"Painting outside is an ecstatic experience. I've read some of the writings of Charles Burchfield, who for me is in the canon of landscape painters. Like Burchfield, I am profoundly aware of sound.
Sometimes it is the sound of crickets, grasshoppers, or birds. Even an occasional train whistle in the distance. Sometimes there's a song I hear repeating itself, painting rhythms inside me. High energy of Divine creation surrounds me, is inside of me, coming through me in spite of my instinct to control it. Let's face it, life in its fullest is wild! I can't tame it, can't reproduce it. I just want to be it. I wish for the clouds, the sunlight, the clicks, the chirps, and the breeze be living inside me, living inside the paint.
When I'm back in my studio later doing finishing touches on the work, my goal is to serve, not to conquer. I listen. I pray. I get in touch with the feeling of making the painting. I break out in song, dance, tap my brushes on the easel and clip lights -- anything I can find. I'm a mad percussionist. I'm a composer waving my brushes to an imaginary orchestra. I am totally free."
- Helen Mirkil