Experiences, passions, and our gains and losses comprise our lives. We are our own individual creations; what we imagine ourselves to be, what we have not yet become, and what we are despite ourselves. Our symbols are with us through our lives; a reflection of our choices, our inner world, our purpose. I think about these things when I approach a “portrait” commission. What needs to be said to describe a person, a life, a “likeness”? When my friend, and patron, Dr. Bezan, commissioned me to paint his portrait, I thought about the things that he loves to talk about the most. And there I saw the symbols of his life, as a psychiatrist and patron of the arts, metaphorically revealed through his garden. You see, in Dr Bezan’s garden, ( nurtured for over 30 years), individual plants are allowed to grow without strict boundaries. They are allowed to find their optimum space to grow, with only gentle guidance and persuasion. They are encouraged with nourishment, and plenty of light and water. No plant is forgotten; each is appreciated for its unique contribution to the harmony of the entire garden. As are the humans in Dr. Bezan’s life, and as is the art he collects. Dr. Bezan understands that these things are important for the survival of the life force. He understands the need for beauty, and the purpose art serves in a healthy human life. At the center of The Garden of Dr. Bezan stands a statue of Qu’an Yin, Buddhist goddess of compassion; “she hears the cries of all beings”. As does Dr. Bezan as a psychiatrist, and as a patron of the arts. The upper right section of the painting includes images of figures as symbols of humanity and art. The figures are taken from works by this artist, several of which the patron owns. A passionate mother lifts up a reticent baby in the lower right corner of the painting, representing the mystery of all life. She lifts the baby towards Dr. Bezan, who presides over the garden, in the upper left section, looking somewhat quizzical, but very satisfied. Dr. Bezan is in his garden, and his garden is in him.