When I create a painting the process is one of building up and tearing down. There is a lot of struggle and finding my way as the piece develops. The drawing is the beginning and changes are done with an eraser or just starting over again. Making changes in a painting can be done wiping out or scraping off while the paint is still wet. Once it is dry I use sand paper or a razor blade. (I got the idea of using a razor blade from a account I read of Grant Wood's working methods.) I believe the magical element of the painting comes through in the mistakes and changes. I have heard that some African musicians believe that when a string instrument plays with a buzz here and there, - that it is through the buzz that the spirit world enters. I feel that it is in the grappling with your limitations and yet pressing forward that God's power is released in a greater measure. I think God leads us into places our weaknesses and limitations become more apparent and in this process we have the opportunity to cling tighter to him for help.In cling tighter we become more like him. If you look closely in the above painting you can see the evidence of scraping and sanding on the surface of the paint. These marks are traces left behind of the process. They tell the story of struggle and suffering. Don't our lives themselves take on a greater beauty as we accumulate the scratches and bruises that come from a life fully lived? Even though we do all we can to protect ourselves from calamity, it is in the brokenness that are lives become more alive.