The central theme that unites all of my paintings is human connection. My paintings examine what seem to be separate and isolated life experiences and look for the connections to, and impacts on, other people hidden in them. Whether the painting depicts sworn enemies braced for deadly engagement or lovers who have never met before, the solitary people in my paintings are actually already bound up in intimate, silent relationships with the strangers they face, whether they realize it or not. The "masks" and the accompanying identities we all assume depend on the life roles we must play. They obstruct the conscious mind from acknowledging what unites us: our shared experiences of pain, loss, desire, the need for acceptance, and the quest for personal serenity. I focus on combining traditional oil painting techniques with surrealist symbolism to explore a dystopian emotional and physical landscape. Many of the characters in my paintings are women because women seem to bear the majority of humanity's emotional and physical scars. However, the subjects of my paintings refuse to fall into victimhood. The women wear their wounds with pride while refusing to be defined by them.