I feel compelled to march in the long procession of animal representation that reaches all the way back to the caves at Lascaux and Altamira. Early man scratched marks on the walls with ground pigment so that others could recognize the animal and conjure its spirit - then it could become the killed rather than the killer. That primitive bargain is the starting point for each painting, where it is decided, metaphorically, who lives and who dies. They are cyphers that stand in for the way we are -- corruptible and faithful, fickle and steadfast. I like to paint with my two dogs around me, because they remind me that the most poignant qualities humans have are the ones we share with animals.