When I look at contemporary paintings, I enjoy a surprise on some level. Unexpected subject matter or the medium used in unusual ways. A unique combination of colors that gives me a pleasant jolt. Collectors of my work seek unpredictable art that they haven't seen at every turn. None of their friends has a painting of a cinder block wall, especially one painted on silk. A surprise or two to start the dinner conversation.I love "What if..." challenges. What if a cinder block wall, made of bronze, had weathered to a fine patina? I know this sounds strange, but this is how ideas for paintings come about. When I conceived this painting, there was no figure, no content and no design elements. I focused on the shape of the blocks and surface texture. Usually this is enough. But, for this particular painting, I thought it needed one more element. Dishartened by the daily news, with all the stories of hatred, bigotry, and terror, I felt like I needed a zen moment. My monk-like figure represents peace and tranquility. Peace is something we need to choose. Sometimes it doesn't always come naturally. This painting is a reminder to always choose peace.