Illuminated II (2003) oil on canvas, 55 × 79 inches
A bodhisattva is the Sanskrit word for "hero of enlightenment", a being whose abilities allow her to achieve perfection, but whose compassion compels her to turn back to the imperfect world she might leave. Christians believe such grace is granted by God only to those of deep faith; Buddhists believe everyone is able to attain it, though not in a single lifetime. I love the idea of a spiritual warrior. Indeed we need to be armed and determined in the face of doubt and fear, but there is always a light shining for us in the darkest night and our practice allows us to grow powerful.