What is carried as memories and episodes from the past influences who one is and becomes. Their essence can wrap around and weave through our bodies shaping our beliefs of the world and ourselves. This concept and its effects, whether positive or negative has been a consistent theme in my work. I paint the figure primarily in black and white not only because it symbolizes the past, but also because it emphasizes the contrasts that we deal with in both our inner and outer worlds. I then combine the figures with colored patterns or images of nature that convey those hidden emotional persuasions or blessings we carry. Fire has been an image that has reoccurred in my work and is used to represent certain relationships. Like some personalities, fire holds a hypnotic beauty that is ultimately deceptive. It has an awesome power to destroy what is vulnerable but ironically, it cannot exist without the wood it consumes. The intrinsic power that each element of nature has is undeniable, and when combined or matched with each other, one is either enhanced or defeated. Water can cleanse and nourish yet is capable of stealing breath by drowning. It can be serene and transparent, or violent and dark. And when its blues and greens painted on a canvas are changed to oranges and reds,they become fire. Water confined to a kettle is turned to steam by fire; fire engulfing a home can be doused by water and reduced to smoke. All of these ironies are what I find so intriguing,reminding me that things are not always as they seem at first glance. They remind me to value the tiny delicate bird as much as a movie star legend, to listen to the wisdom the quiet brings as much as I would a blaring movie screen.