The process of creating something is not about letting go of your need for precision, your fear of failing or your drive for perfection. It is only about embracing those characteristics of yourself and letting them be. You are always good enough. Nothing can thrive when it’s repressed. It was the battle of fighting those parts of me that made me put down my pencil and brush for many years.

The Star Trek episode “The Inner Light” was – and still is – a defining moment in my life, as it was for many who watch the series. For me, it was the score composed by the infinitely talented Jay Chattaway that touched my heart more than anything. I have listened to his orchestral version of Picard’s “Flute Solo” hundreds of times.

I put it on single repeat for the entire duration of this painting’s process, which was about 20 hours.

On a technical note, this was the most difficult – and therefore personal – work I have completed because of the shadows and lack of detail in the reference. It was done with Van Gogh watercolor in Lamp Black and Toison D’or soft pastels.

You can listen to Chattaway’s composition here: