Robert Brackman influenced me through my teacher, Juanita Greene Parks, who studied under him and was profoundly influenced by his painting. She was a good student in that she painted very much like him. I needed Mrs. Parks to teach me the principals so that I could know what rules I was breaking! At first I thought I was going to paint like her; but as I began to evolve, I found my own style and found myself chuckling at how she would react to what I did. The subtle common threads are multiple though. “A broken line is a more beautiful line”. That runs through my head many times a day, every day. “Repeat the color”. Always part of what I do. I just do it inside out. I do layers of color that show through all over the canvas, rather than remembering to apply each color as I go along. I also like to redraw every time I sit down to work on a painting in progress. Reintroducing the black defining line and then as I work, getting rid of it again and again. This enables me to fine tune the composition. Mrs. Parks influenced me the most, though, about color. She considered color to be the finest part of a painting. We had to work all the time on “values”. She said that getting the value right was essential in creating dimension. I remember the first day that I actually began to see color in everything. Until that day, I heard what she was saying but the words had no meaning. I was driving down the road and, all of a sudden, it was like going from black and white to color. Color was everywhere! All different and unpredictable. I had to pull over! I think that that part of color expression is unique to everyone. I believe I see the colors that I see because of my own personality. I play with colors, finding their interaction, and the emotional affect juxtaposing different colors has on me. Apparently there is a common thread in this, as many people have reacted to this in the way that I do.