I do it in part because they are underrepresented in formal portraiture. I have always done portraits of people of color in oil. But until I saw the portraits of African Americans that Beverly McIver was showing at a show in Sacramento, I did not understand what exactly was it that I was looking for. I wanted to give the sitters exactly the same choices someone with more means might have had had they commissioned a portrait from me, but I also wanted to have more emotional involvement in those portraits. I also wanted to give them the experience of sitting for a portrait in which they would not be treated as the exotic other.