I never had the patience to look at the pictures in my storybooks. As a child, I hungered for words. Words seemed clear, precise, unambiguous. Pictures took too much time, too much work to unravel their meanings. Gazing was lazy. Words were safe, fast, sure.

I was raised in rural southern Indiana in the 60's. As a child, I romped in the woods, caught tadpoles, hunted mushrooms, collected birds' nests. I watched the moon and the crops and the wild animals. I grew up reading Shakespeare and Harlequin romance novels.

Kathi Anderson

And then one day, I realized I couldn't doodle. I LITERALLY couldn't just… doodle. So, at the age of 40, I began to paint, having never done "art" before.

Now, I can't help but be hypnotized by the movement of clouds, the curves of flesh, the color of light.

Now, painting feels like playing in the mud. Like cooking without a recipe or foraging for wild greens. It is about making commitments and taking risks. It is Spell-Making. Mysterious, powerful, irresistible and utterly absorbing.

I live in a rambling old house win the midst of the central Illinois prairie, with my partner and too many cats. I read, garden, cook - mostly, I paint. I watch the clouds move over the fields. I watch the fire I the winter. I watch the sun set each summer night.

Meaning, I have come to understand, is many-layered and multi-determined. It's complicated. And it's beautiful.

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