A portrait, for reverie or record, memorializes the image of a person for the future. Employing the venerable medium of oil on canvas, I explore the fingerprint as unconventional subject matter for the often traditional mode of portraiture. The "sitter's" print serves as a framework for my description of their identity and energy; a nonliteral, abstract translation of their psychological self, culled from a common yet singular physiological characteristic.

The fingerprint, taken from the individual, is digitally scanned and magnified enough to read the unique information collected. This referential documentation is nothing more than a guide; the whorls and lines can sometimes correlate directly to the subject's quality of life and specific circumstances to which they have been exposed, e.g., scarring, accidents, overuse, stagnation, and more. Corporeal evidence of change or stasis is a confirmation of the subject's lived experience.

Formal decisions regarding color, line, negative space, and what information is kept visible relates directly to my perceptual understanding of the individual's personality or aura. My convening of organic gestures seeks to build an impression of the fingerprint from a representational source to traverse an emotional and internal narrative inferring historical depths below the perceived surface of the skin. These layered, organic marks aim to celebrate and excavate.

The fingerprint is a natural, specific attribute and steadfast link to a person's physical identity. Unless subjected to extreme conditions, this characteristic remains unchanged. However, in contrast, an individual's life is in constant transition. These stories can and should be endlessly revisited; they are ever-changing and evolving.

fingerprint card