Aiming the paintbrush at the canvas, she imagines making the first mark. Although it won’t be a mark, as such, it’ll be more of a cut, and as Rod Stewart once sang, the first cut is the deepest. And also the hardest. Aiming with one eye shut, she searches the surface for a hint of, something, to show her the way. All she needs is the smallest of indications. Memories and feelings allow her to open up and channel what she’s got going on inside, and yet she needs a physical beginning; a point of entry where she can plant her heart and transform the canvas into that which she sees fit. Swallowing another mouthful of alcohol, she spins in circles as if she were a leaf falling from a tree. With her arms stretched as wide as they’ll go, someone on the other side of the studio puts on some music. Usually, such a disturbance to her creative process would cause her to snap out of her trance, and yet as the words of Elliott Smith float to her like butterflies, she welcomes the guidance he brings to her from the other side. The other side of the curtains, and the other side of life, which is death, but somehow not.