My paintings in oil or watercolor explore different ways people seek emotional and physical strength, and the ways that can succeed or fail. There are many different ways that people attempt to seek this strength. The buildup of an exaggeratedly strong physical body is a signifier of personal strength and independence. This kind of physical strength is also associated with emotional independence, though they often have very little to do with one another. Distance is another way from others in another way to find emotional strength. It takes emotional independence for someone to be able to be alone with themselves. Emotional distance can also take the form of preemptively ending relationships to preclude emotional vulnerability. I explore these themes with narrative situations that are open to interpretation by the viewer, with the goal of setting up characters in an unwritten story that can play out differently according to the experiences of each viewer.