I've always incorporated something personal into every painting. For example, I make sure to use the brushes I inherited from my grandmother, and to use a dab of the oil paints she'd left to me when she passed on. For me, that preserves a continuum of heritage in my art.
But my art is also about land and culture, too. I don't want my art to merely me depiction of a landscape. For me, the art represents my own sense of place and experience in the land.
But few people know that I also infuse every painting with some portion of oil paints I've made by hand, using pigments derived from the earth. To do this, I collect mineral and pigment samples from around the world, and developing my own palette from these ground (powdered) pigments. Regions of origin include Australia, China, Africa, Central America, and throughout North America. One trick I've discovered is to combine a slightly-staining yellow pigment with the adhesive I use to bond linen to birch boards; this gives a soft "glow" undertone to the linen, adding to the luminescence of the painting.