I am a realist/impressionist/representational painter. I like painting subjects to look like recognizable subjects. In recent weeks I have been faced with an uncommon task, painting a theme. A client asked me to paint two trees with interlocking branches and roots as a symbol of a marriage union. This will be a wedding gift soon. That is, if I don’t destroy my two attempts first. If they survive and if my client likes one of them well enough, we will complete the sale. I am sure that I am harder on myself than the client will be, but I can’t be certain of that either since Christine, my resident art critic keeps pointing out features needing improvement. It’s been an exercise in self-realization. I am less able to imagine images to convey concepts than I thought I was. I have greater respect now for aboriginal artists who capture the spirit of nature and creatures, and for cartoonists who visualize thematic interaction between people. There has been some artistic enjoyment in this work and a strong dose of frustration. Since I was told that the engaged couple are deeply committed to their Christian faith, I have painted subtle symbols such as the Holy Spirit superimposed as a dove in the foliage of the joined trees, and the tree roots sunk into the foundational principles and truths of the ten commandments and the assurance of Christ’s divinity with the open tomb underground. The paintings are coming along, with more fine touches to be added. Yes, I did two paintings and that will give my client a choice. She can have them both but she can choose the one she will gift to her friends. Upon completion, I can hardly wait to get at my next two commissions, true subjects that reflect light and create shadow. I would be a lousy and dissatisfied abstract painter even though I often appreciate some other artists’ work.