My recent work combines hand-formed figurative elements with bold, decorative backgrounds to depict queer spaces defined by lust, friendship, and tragedy. Using the symbolic, time-honored imagery of the flower and the butterfly as stand-ins, my paintings represent the bodily presence of the individual or the playful mise-en-scène of group interaction. Overlapping surfaces and dizzying patterns create energetic compositions, while paper pulp gives the work the feel of hand-molded intimacy. These paintings overtly reference folk art, textiles, and queer art history, blending historiography with something akin to memoir. The apparent handprints seen in the roseate surfaces draw attention to the tactile and physical process. The contrast between the flat surfaces and the raised, bubble-gum material illustrate a theme of “otherness”—the inherent quality of being different. Drawing from the outsider artist tradition, to which I feel indebted, I find myself attracted to honesty, sincerity, and the sense of something deeply felt.