I have been asked to write something about the story behind this painting - COLLATERAL DAMAGE - so here it is. I frequently attend painting groups here in Northern Vermont. Painters get together and pool their resources to hire a model, which few of us can afford on our own. The model showed up with his own prop - an American flag, which someone tacked to the wall and he sat down in front of it. THEIRS NOT TO REASON WHY is the study I did that day. It was just chance but the painting turned out to represent, for me, some poor innocent boy who was being sent off as cannon fodder. I chose the title from the Kipling poem "The Charge of the Light Brigade". At about the same time, I was practicing painting faces by copying pictures I saw in books and magazines. RED, WHITE AND BLUE was done in this way. The magazine picture was of one of our senators. (I'n not saying which one) The two pictures just seemed to go together. I thought the politician was duping the young man into going off to fight a useless war that would somehow benefit the privileged classes and the rich and powerful. I had two of my friends pose together so I could get the pose right. I found the image of the gun on the internet. The two children are kids I know and the grieving mother, I made up. I wanted the background to somehow represent the USA, so the "amber waves of grain" became the stars and stripes. Et voila. I think that it all turned out pretty well but there are still some changes I would like to make.