Sufjan Steven’s “Illinoise” was the right soundtrack to start this large canvas. Larry stretched two for me before it became clear this was the right shape, compared to my two large charcoal drawings and two color studies. What Sufjan sang on the hit song from this album, “Chicago,” was both true and comforting: “I made a lot of mistakes.” You can see by the glare around the heads that I made some mistakes to correct on this, my most ambitious picture to date. I think I am being realistic rather than pessimistic to expect I will make many more. I am truly confident that I will make a great painting of “Ring Them Bells.” For this title, though, Bob Dylan’s original version is the proper accompaniment.

My thanks to Annie Jefferson and to Mona Reeves for the stalwart and faithful roles they maintain to realize my vision.