My first memorable aesthetic experience took place on the boatdock behind my early childhood home on Nessling Lake in Waupaca, Wisconsin. I threw a handful of dry oatmeal onto the surface of that green water and watched as Bluegills and Sunfish cautiously emerged from the deeper water’s obscurity. The constellation of bright white spots on the water drew attention to its surface and to the illusive opacity of the lake as a surface — reflective and smooth, punctuated but not penetrated by the flakes I’d scattered. Suddenly, though, the fish below betrayed the illusion as they came into focus, drawing attention to the lake’s depth and water’s translucency, however limited by murk. There was indeed life below, and it was watching. When a fish violated the surface for just a second to grab a bite, seemingly contradictory appearances collided. The visual thrill of that early experience with almost sublime beauty stayed with me. It’s what I seek today: simultaneous flatness and (potential) depth, opacity and translucency, abstract pattern and landscape, surfaces that are seen but also seen through. There’s also something to that giving gesture, my offering something to the unseen in hope of its becoming visible, a childish commune with nature, and my recognition that nourishment came at the cost of vulnerability.