Animalia Obscura represents a cathartic outlet for me. It represents a new awakening to the outside world around me. I experienced a paradigm shift that has redefined the way I look at being, and my interaction with my surroundings. This shift has given me a greater appreciation of nature, and an awareness of how fleeting and special life is. This life-changing event, being diagnosed with cancer, hit me like a ton of bricks. This collection of work signifies the transition of my own emotions, from shadowy darkness at the beginning of my diagnosis to a clarity that never leaves me. Analogously, each individual piece typically begins with the viewer seeing only abstraction. Eventually, though, the form becomes clear, and once it has been seen, the abstraction falls away. My choice to render this work in chiaroscuro was a departure from my other work. Previously I have used bright colors, sparkling on the canvas. But in the moment of my diagnosis, everything shut down for me and I became numb. However, art has always been a lifeline for me, and I kept working, even on autopilot. Later this act became a conscious expression of my circumstance. The choice of representing animals is a symbol of my willingness to remove myself from the negative, and engage with the environment around me. My engagement usually took the form of trips to the mountains, exploring new music, and finding opportunities to spend time with animals to live in their space for a moment. All of these experiences are the driving force of this body of work.