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Mothers in the Fiery Field of Snakes

dreamed 1997/11/22, painted 1998, acrylic on canvas, 43 x 48", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Mothers in the Fiery Field of Snakes

I am working in a store. I may be younger. Some of my co-workers ask me to do a drawing or painting--a mock-up for a poster or record cover. It shows four black circular shapes in a burning field. The shapes have the texture of tire treads or snakes (when I woke I was unsure what they were). Lettering goes over and around these black shapes. The whole thing is in color on illustration board. I do the lettering rather roughly. I show it to my co-workers. They like it a lot but say I need to spend more time on the lettering.

They want me to show it to a man who is our boss. He likes it and wants me to do it in final form, with care. I donít really want to. But he is very persuasive, telling me "My regular artist is not around, and I like your rough version very much. You would have several days to do it--all weekend." That seems like plenty of time, so I agree to do it. I get the feeling I may be developing another source of income by doing things like this.

The painting started with the fiery field and the circular snake/tire shapes. I used decalcomania and very vivid colors. Out of the textured ground the figures of the mothers emerged--giving birth, holding and nurturing babies, and sleeping.

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