Scott and I met this wonderful model in Arizona. To me, her face encompasses the history of the West, with Indian, Hispanic, and European ancestors all having left their imprint. More than anything, I loved Dakotah’s positive spirit. Over a week’s time, we painted several quick portraits of her from life. When we gave her one of them as a thank-you, she actually cried because she’d never been given a painting before. This piece was done later in my studio, and I was excited to experiment with texture and abstract patterns contrasting against the subtle realism of her features. More than anything, I wanted Dakotah’s brilliant spirit to shine through.