Portrait paintings are a window into the soul. As humans we are wired to look at faces. These contemporary oil paintings may have a quirky humor or sometimes melancholic narrative, depending on the mood reflected at that time from both the sitter and the artist. They capture something specific and universal to all of us. Painting a portrait is like a puzzle. I want to look beyond the mirror, see beneath the surface and understand what it's all about. At the same time there is a deeper connection and conversation going on between the artist and the sitter that comes across in paint. Each portrait gets a glimpse into the mind's eye - partly mine the painter and partly the subject's! A portrait for me does not simply show a likeness of bone structure and flesh but conveys a sense of mood, and depending on the time of day and what the sitter is contemplating, the painting can alter dramatically. I combine realism and abstraction building layers and excavating for the truth. I like to let imperfections stay as none of us are perfect and the paint, drips and mark making are part of the process as I find an emotional connection to the sitter.