My art as a whole is currently about the idea of being feminine without the traditional characteristics of femininity. Just being a woman is feminine. Going to work, walking around school, eating meals. As a woman, all of these things are inherently feminine. What makes a woman strong? What makes me strong? Sometimes strength is found in weakness. I would argue that strength always lies within honesty with oneself about weakness and longing and change. A strong independent woman can still enjoy or long for motherhood, vulnerability, and relationships among other things that can sometimes be seen as something passive to the patriarchy. But what defines me is not what I fight against. Who I am has nothing to do with how men view me or how I fight against that, and that is just one small example. A strong woman still feels. A strong woman does everything in her femininity even without realizing it. A strong woman just lives, for no one and against no one. This series aims at documenting the growth and change I'm finding within myself as I sort through the emotions brought on by the daily ups and downs of life. These are raw emotions expressed through self portraits created using oil paint and linseed oil slowly layered onto canvas to create dramatic dimension through building highlights and deepening blacks. The paintings start with a colored base and a solid studio-like background of the same color as black and white is layered on to dramatize the subject and illustrate a mood. I plan to continue this series endlessly and cherish looking back on where I was compared to where I am now in time. I hope to the viewer, this can make you feel, and help you connect with something outside yourself.