I grew up surrounded by both the natural world and representations of nature by the many artists in my family. When I draw or paint from nature, I focus on my interconnectedness to other living things and also a reckoning with our differences. I am particularly drawn to plants and birds. Plants for their seemingly magical transformation from seed to sprout to maturity to decay. Birds for their beauty as well as all the time they spend hunting, building, and fighting for survival in a very big world. I feel especially inspired by small living things that persist and are markers of the seasons. With the existential reality of climate change paying attention to these small messengers become particularly important. They inspire me to be resilient in the face of big changes and to be respectful of all living things.