The author Marilynne Robinson, profiled in the New York Times Sunday magazine, recalls the most valuable advice she ever received. ” ‘You have to live with your mind your whole life.’ You build your mind, so make it into something you want to live with,” she describes her teachers saying.

Becoming a painter means continually building my mind and hands. Some days I wish they stacked up more soundly. The portrait pictured above is one in a long series of attempts to show a woman betrayed and disappointed. Not there yet, I know, and so I must strengthen my heart to treat my tools well.