Autumn brings a new palate. The changes are far beyond the obvious golden hues of the falling leaves rustling quietly like whispering secrets. Soul transformations are Autumn. Preparations in all of nature commence for the ceremony of dying into being. Tired limbs become brittle; gravity brings them to the surface of the earth. One of the countless circles is complete as it begins yet again. This cycle of life is the foundation of my new series of work I call, The Earth Paintings. This past summer, the olive tree my parents planted over a decade ago, split right down the middle. Half of the tree still stands, providing shade for the grave site of Elvis, the dog I painted for eighteen years and Tigger, the cat I painted only once. The other half of the tree nicked the barn before it came to rest in the field. I ran to the fallen tree in fear it might had fallen on Goat. Goat was my mother’s pet goat, who she lovingly named, Goat. Goat was fine for the time being, however, she was eaten by coyotes a week after my mother died. The Saturday we buried my mother, a bundle of colored balloons tangled by their white cotton strings came to rest in the top branches of the part of the olive tree which still stood. I watched the balloons bump into each other as if they all were all in a hurry to be first in an imaginary line. None popped. Instead, as if finding contentment, the balloons freed themselves from the olive branch and gently floated east over the Sandia Mountains. An epiphany can come in the most seemingly unlikely moment, like when one is straining to focus a pair of dusty uncooperative binoculars. A pile of wood chips resembling a Volkswagen Beetle sits next to the barn, close to where Goat is buried. I sort the shredded wood by size and shape, piecing together an organic puzzle which was once a tree. Puzzle complete, I pray and begin to paint. I paint The Earth Paintings.