Hello, my name is Curt Nelson. I'm interested in learning your painting methods but am unsure of what you mean by the term realism in defining painting style. I'm interested in some abstraction and am frustrated by my own inability to stray from depicting what I see realistically. I guess what you mean by realism is the faithful representation of colors and forms seen by the artist. To me, this is what photography does, although as you are an admirer of J S Sargent whose paintings do not look like photographs, I think your definition of realism must be somewhat different. I am a complete novice who needs to learn all of the technical aspects of oil painting but ultimately I want to introduce abstraction to my paintings. I would love to hear you discuss realism and abstraction.