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Colorful oil painting on canvas
Ode To Freedom

Song: "Ode To Joy"
Inspiration: Fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989)

I went to Berlin with a woman who took me all over the city just to see great art. It was a whirlwind of emotion. The people are still dealing with the past, but they don't wear it on their sleeves. When I came home, I didn't really think about the meaning of it all. I didn't process what had happened there. All I wanted to do was smoke, to relax. Then, I thought about the wall. I thought about all of the people who had died trying to escape. I knew it was the day to paint my experience. I just knew it. I went outside and started. I usually paint two [canvases] at a time--I can work on one and then do bigger strokes on the other. I started this painting, but, when I finished, I knew it wasn't quite right. It was dark and heavy. My paintings usually come from dark places, but this one was too much. It didn't tell the whole story. So, I painted over it. At the bottom, it's dark. It looks like a trampled field. But, then, the crosses turn into trees. Something is underneath, but you don't know what it is. Then, there's the light. I wanted to capture the light; like being in a bowl and looking up. It's hope. It's truth; a beautiful and intellectual place.