ARTIST STATEMENT: My paintings are visual metaphors for how I experience life. They are about thoughts and ideas, memories of people and places that literally take shape with color and line. These paintings have a strong graphic element, often divided into planes of color. Drawing is a very important element in my work. I often use line to convey a sense of scale and to tie different elements together. These paintings have a lot of movement in them that create a sense of rhythm and timing, and in that way they are like visual poems. When I was in the sixth grade, I was asked to illustrate a small book of Japanese Haiku poems, and I illustrated them in an abstract way. I canít help but think back on that experience with my recent work.