I took up painting relatively late in life—in my mid-thirties, inspired by a chance visit to an exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art called The Fauve Landscape. It featured paintings by Matisse, Derain, Vlaminck, Braque, and Marquet. I can honestly say that my encounter with the Fauves that Saturday afternoon in 1989 changed my life. Though mostly self-taught, I have learned a great deal from generous friends who are accomplished painters. Having an office across the street from the Art Students League of New York, where I took night classes with Ernest Crichlow and Hananiah Harari in the 1990s, was an enormous stroke of good luck. Obsession has also aided in my development. I am a representational painter, working in what I suppose would be called an expressionist style, guided in painting, as I am in poetry, by Ellington’s edict: You’ve got to find some way of saying it without saying it.