Tell me a story. Isn’t that a wonderful way to begin; with a willingness to listen, an open mind and an equal willingness to share? Life is stories, strung together like beads on a string and then tied together again as one loop. Tell me. Listen to me. Share with me. That’s what I am trying to say with my paintings. I am trying to tell the small stories that string together the necklace of my life. Most of my stories are short, small moments that become symbols in a visual language. I use them to express deeper emotions that are hard to verbalize. Meeting a rabbit in my garden becomes a metaphor for my need to feel safe and sheltered and equal frustration with my desire to hide. I choose the images of my life and culture in central Pennsylvania because they are mine, of me as I am of them. I know the names of the plants and birds because I have looked for them.The women of my family made quilts, another form of storytelling. I mark my seasons by food ripening in the garden and by the work of my hands. It is small, quiet work, women’s work, common work. But there is strength in these things just as there is strength in the bones of old hands. Most of my audience will know these images, I think, and will hopefully feel the power behind quiet work, and a closeness to nature, because they know these stories too. I choose patterns for the sewing I was taught as a child. I choose nature because it is what I see and I choose paint because it is stronger than my words. Though these pieces might seem simple or commonplace, they are not without intention. I choose each image carefully and there are almost always secrets hiding in the details if one looks closely. They are intensely personal pieces but still open enough to speak to my audience, I hope. Let the viewer fill in the blanks. A true storyteller knows to allow the imagination room to speak. Thank you for listening. Tell me a story?