For several weeks I've been painting the Australian desert. Though I did live in Sydney for a time as a young boy, I never really went much further west than the Blue Mountains and Wagga Wagga. This image is of Uluru - the massive and famous rock at Australia's center sometimes known as Ayers Rock. There nearest town of any size, Alice Springs, is 200 miles away, and I've never been there. But my brother Curt went in 1986. The sunrises and especially sunsets are famous here, with the rock glowing as the chnaging low sun hits it. This arrid landscape has a hold on my imagination to this day and I've been using that point of entry - a deep and abiding connection to the land of my formative years - to keep me painting as the weather forces me indoors. Thre great bulk of this one - the rock, the sky, the first washes of the forground -was completed in less than 45 minutes, and I had enough sense to touch nothing above the mid-point again. But the next day (this morning) I worked on the values of the land, trying to depict the hardy spinifex grasses that are able to survive here.