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Desert Journey

1988, oil on canvas, 49.5 x 42.5", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting, 'Desert Journey', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge

A camping trip to Eureka Dunes became the basis for this painting. First I did a very loose landscape painting of the dunes. Then I overlaid it with a grid and a large profile of my face. I developed it by repainting each square, sometimes just changing the color, sometimes introducing an image from a feeling or a dream.
Detail of composite painting, 'Desert Journey', by Jenny Badger Sultan: Detail of composite painting, 'Desert Journey', by Jenny Badger Sultan: Detail of composite painting, 'Desert Journey', by Jenny Badger Sultan: Detail of composite painting, 'Desert Journey', by Jenny Badger Sultan:

Decades later, I cannot remember the sources of all the images, but I think the adobe city came from a dream of a city like Djenne in Mali, and the heart in flames relates to the Sacred Heart image, and to a feeling of heartache.

The face began as a stone that I found with a light inclusion that suggested a face; a few touches of watercolor made it more visible. I saw it as the veiled woman who has appeared in so much of my work over the decades.

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