What better preparation for figurative art could I have had than my years as Assistant Professor of Anatomy at two North American schools of medicine? The proportions of bones. The connective wizardry of muscles, particularly the muscles of facial expression. 
When I started painting human figures, whether for a commissioned portrait or to portray mythical spirits, my objective was simply to replicate a visual likeness. At first blush this seems an uncomplicated notion: draw what you see. Right? The real truth lies in how the human subject is exquisitely difficult to portray. The figurative artist must travel beyond anatomy and superficial likeness: it is embarking upon the road to empathy and intimacy that leads us to the final destination, where we may have painted the “whole” person.