I’ve blocked off my entire schedule for tomorrow to devote to painting a commissioned piece in my Pacific beach studio. I’ll be painting a privately commissioned large-scale canvas inspired by one of twenty field studies I created in and of Continuum Estate vineyards in Napa Valley. This evening I taped the edges of the 30” x 40” stretch canvas with blue paint masking tape so that my thick paint won’t bleed onto the sides. The framer will appreciate this effort. Then I reached for a Winsor and Newton willow charcoal stick, a fragile 5” piece of thin charcoal used for sketching on canvas. They’re ideal for large-scale drawings or filling in forms. I always break them while I’m drawing. Tomorrow morning I’ll go for a long run in The Presidio to the Lyon Street stairs and clear my head with the ocean air. When I return I’ll shower and turn off the phones and the computers. I want no disturbances when I paint. It’s time to center and engage in an active mediation requiring my full yet relaxed focus. I long for these times when I can create. I’m excited to just let the painting flow. I lose track of time and I’m in the most peaceful place that I can be and still remain conscious. This high is what draws artists to painting like moths to a flame.