The human presence is a mystery unto itself, a paradox that animates flesh and bone. It is not nearly enough for me that I attempt to render a likeness. I must strive to illuminate some of the mystery that surrounds and permeates the figure, giving it a life of its own, a condition that transcends any artistic agenda. Often, the environment depicted in the painting becomes an extension of the figure’s will to live; memory, desire, fear, joy and oblivion—all are recorded in the architecture of the composition. Formality is a metaphor for the structure of the soul. The girl in the painting has a name: Lilly, the daughter of an old friend of mine. The resemblance is fleeting, but some part of her vibrancy colors the surface of the panel. Her presence was, and remains, my inspiration.