These paintings express the personalities of places, and of the people who engage those places in the hopes of developing a meaningful relationship. They are part of a new project in which I am making one painting per month for twelve months, each inspired by the area around my Minnesota home. In terms of style, I think of my paintings as layering the figurative narrative of American folk art and the textural assemblages of abstract expressionism. Even though my landscapes respond to my surroundings, they are imagined, based mostly on memories. The plants and landforms in my works are characters of equal importance to the persons among them. Within the crowded scenes, I paint the people very small, portraying them in leisurely activities. These pieces embrace our comic relationship to nature, separate from our twenty-first-century technological existence but not as some sort of escapist delusion or romantic fantasy.