These are a couple of paintings I did during a creative arts retreat in April. It was an opportunity to practice meditation, open more to the creative process, and dismantle my relatively automatic way of observing and composing. I really feel like my more recent paintings have gained some more depth as a result. The top painting is a small oil of a tiny wildflower plant on the banks of the Rockfish River in Nelson County, Va. The lower one, a gouache on paper, is a view of a propane tank and shrubbery at the retreat center; the shadow between is what caught my eye.