Skip to content

Becoming a Painter

I came to painting later than most.

I was turning 30 and already well into a career as a computer programmer.

Painting was something I always wanted to try, so as a birthday gift to myself that year, I bought an oil painting set.


My first attempts were forgettable, but there was something about it that thrilled me to my core.

I loved the process of pushing the paint around on the palette, trying to mix just the right color, and then trying to make the brush create exactly the shape I wanted on the canvas.

I even loved the smell of the linseed oil and turpentine.

I was hooked, and I knew it, and eventually painting became my career.


About the same time, I began exploring Zen meditation, and for years I followed a formal daily practice.

Still life painting and meditation have been closely linked for me ever since.

Both rely on calm, patient, impersonal observation. In fact, at a certain point I lost the urge to continue my daily Zen practice when I realized that the act of painting itself was meditation.


On a deeper level, the sense of being completely present in this moment is the bedrock foundation out of which these paintings grow.

If the painting opens up a quiet space where time stands still and the viewer can experience that absorption and oneness, then it has succeeded.

If you’d like to continue reading about my approach to painting, there are similar articles on my blog.