Emergence: Fire Under Water
1996, acrylic on canvas, 60 x 50", by Jenny Badger Sultan
Laying this large canvas flat, I brushed on many different warm and cool colors and used thin paper to create decalcomania textures. I kept adding layers of color and texture until it became darker and began to feel like underwater grottoes and an intermingling of fire and water.
By glazing and gently scumbling with dry paint, I began to bring out the images that were suggested by the textures and colors of the paint.
An embryonic figure in the center began to crystallize the meaning of the painting. It suggested an Aztec or Maya spirit of the corn. This and the other male figure (left) came to symbolize the emergence of the young man (on my mind, as my son was 18 and had just graduated from high school.)
Various Mother images also emerged, expressing different stages of mothering--pregnancy, nurturing, sorrowing.