"My works are small and my subjects are usually still-life, but this time I wanted to include something different. I decided to paint a self-portrait wearing my favorite necklace. As I worked, I knew I didn't want to include too much detail, so I kept everything plain. I wanted a proud, but subtle mood in the finished work. I gave myself a lifted chin to show off the necklace my Mom made, and neutral colors to balance the gold sweater. The patterned border represents a mud cloth and gives my oil painting a gentle African vibe."