I painted Life Raft in 2011, during a time of great personal upheaval. During this period, I came to truly understand, for the first time, the vital role that art plays in my life. As most of the solid ground I had depended on seemed to erode away, my art emerged as the only thing keeping my head above water. I woke up one morning with this image in my head. I built the raft myself and spent the next couple of months completing the painting. It’s a very literal image, and I felt quite exposed and not entirely comfortable making it at first. Now I see it as something positive to come out of a bad situation. It also marked a turning point in my work, as it has led to a move toward more personal paintings, beyond the straightforward portraiture I was doing before.