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We stood in her home office and I could already tell things had changed. The smell of peppermint vaporized from a blue-neon contraption on a table to my right. The desk was neatly arranged before me, as she went on about how she was working with someone to help her feng-shui and organize the room. I sensed a level of enthusiasm and calmness in her voice that had not been there before. She explained the room is where she would be spending most of her time now that her traveling obligations had diminished, though she didn’t say why. She wanted the space to convey a sense of peacefulness and positive energy.

I smiled thinking this is exactly what I have been trying to achieve through my paintings. We were already in agreement.

I asked her what kinds of things made her feel good and she rattled off a shortlist of elements such as water and sky, in addition to a few locations around the globe and some other things. My mind was already at work putting together concepts I would later flesh out through a battery of sketches. I knew when I left her house that morning this commissioned project would be every bit of a pleasure for me to paint as it would be for her to receive.