Each time I come to a canvas, I pause and for 10 minutes am still.

This stillness connects me to the stillness of the sitter, revealing a state of mind beneath what is seen. For the past five years I have been exploring the figure in my work. I come to each model strongly influenced by Japanese woodblock prints, to a stripping down of the subject to simplified formal elements. By limiting the visual noise, I reveal a person at a private moment of inner stasis, where sitting quietly for hours makes space for contemplation, meditation, or the outer limits of boredom.

Since the August 12 events in Charlottesville, I have been moved to shift my portraiture to address issues of greater social relevance. Despite my privileged position, I have an opportunity to put in the forefront images of people who, perhaps, have been overlooked by this community. As an artist I can give each person a voice.