In art, as in life, directing one’s gaze towards the self is critical. When working in the realm of figurative painting, a self-portrait often serves as a checkpoint, a signpost to elucidate where life has taken you. Within this self-portrait are elements that function as signifiers. The gloved hand is my muse, that which brings dreams and encompasses the inexplicable. (It is also, on a literal level, my wife’s hand; She being the subject/muse of whom I most frequently paint portraits.) The environment within which I am situated, with peppermint-striped curtains and wainscoting, references the aesthetic of the early 20th century circus, a longtime influence and inspiration. The ring on my finger is a link to the past; it belonged to my late grandfather. As a young man during the Depression, he saved for many months to obtain it. It is symbolic of accomplishments gained through hard work and the reward that comes with that. Much in the same way, painting has given me great rewards through many years of devotion and discipline.