I have worked as a professional artist for the past 20 years.  Most of my sales are through third parties–vendors, art consultants, galleries.  It is only in the past four years, from my studio in Northeast Minneapolis, that I have sold directly to the public.  And as visitors make their way to my studio during our twice-per-year art crawls, I am asked all sorts of questions–like, what kind of flower is that in that bouquet outside your door, or, what color is the paint on the wall?  Mostly, thankfully, the questions are about my artwork, and art in general.  The question I am asked most is: where do you get your ideas?  My art is about color and texture and abstraction; inspiration is drawn from travels, my backyard, events in my life.  And often, my work is pure serendipity.  I was working on an abstract piece one day, pondering anew series when my daughter–a senior in high school–called me from the girl’s bathroom (phones forbidden in h.s.) to tell me that my advice not to worry about not wearing a white shirt to her senior class photo was ill conceived.  Earlier that day, she had explained that everyone was to wear a white shirt for the photo.  She was not thrilled about the idea.  I told her “you are all teenagers, nobody will be wearing a white shirt.  Don’t worry about it.”  Turns out everyone wore a white shirt.  Except my daughter.  The principal was not amused and draped a white something or other over my daughter’s shoulders and she became the picture of conformity.  After school that day when my daughter had come home from school I told her I was sorry I couldn’t do anything to change what had happened.  But I could name my new series in her honor:  Don’t Wear Your White Shirt.