I'm constantly haunted by reminders that our time here on Earth is but momentary, like staying in some hotel. The hearse there to pick up the folks checking out--that was meant to be funny, but I hope it comes across as sympathetic humor. I drift through everyday, bewildered by the turmoil of beauty, heartache, joy, fear, love, thrill...all balled up in this incomprehensible experience called life. The happy lovers are central in this painting, but it was inevitable that I put in the older couple and the two solitary figures at each end of the horizon; it's inescapably the work of an artist who knows what it's like to be alone and miserable, and that even the most beautiful moments are slipping away as we speak. Birds seem to have a special significance in my paintings. I don't believe in anything supernatural, but I enjoy the poetry in the idea that birds are some sort of messengers between a higher world and ours, and that if we are kind, loving souls, we can communicate with them. Papillia's always talking to birds, and she tells me what they're saying: that the world is in fact going to be a much better place, but that we have to do our part by being nice to people and creatures around us; that I'm going to be a really successful artist and touch the hearts of many people; and all kinds of crap like that. I can't argue, because I wouldn't know what the hell the birds are saying.