I was painting salads in my studio and I was having trouble: it’s hard to make a painting of a salad. It’s also difficult to just make a salad—maybe for similar reasons. You mix it and spin it and it’s this lively thing for a minute, and then it’s dead. Too much goo, I think. Sometimes, though, it’s fresh and zesty, glistening in the light. Everything in the world is an awesome thing to paint, except when everything in the world is just clutter and meaninglessness. When looked at in the right way and at the right time, unconnected images—an arrangement of minerals on a shelf, a specific jewelry rack among a thousand googled ones, a license plate from a state out west—incite feelings of excitement in me, as if I’d been let in on a secret. When I paint, I’m looking for that feeling. Searching for a secret in the debris—a flash of consciousness that ties everything together.