The patina and history of old doors compels me to use them as a base for narrative painting. Hanging on a wall, they function as a metaphor for transition, the past, other worlds, the unknown, “l’otro lado”–the other side. They come to me as partner in the work, more so than a clean canvas or board, because of their past. As I carefully scrape away layers of paint to create a base texture, I can smell the scents of life; rooms full of cigarette smoke, overheated frying oil, an uncooperative wood stove flue. I often carve another layer of storytelling on the wooden body of the door with Meso-American glyphs. Together, the door and I make an altered story of its past.