My Journey through the Maze
1969, oil, 58 x 58", by Jenny Badger Sultan
Finally, reaching the center, which I thought of as Energy, I was puzzled, not knowing how to distinguish it from the rest of the painting, since I had used so many colors. I did many drawings trying to work it out. Finally I got a flash--I’ll make it gold! I located a family business of gold beaters in Oakland who made their own gold leaf. One of them very kindly came to my studio bringing the gold leaf and size (to adhere it to the canvas) and showed me how to handle the delicate leaf. (You can’t pick it up with your fingers, but have to use static electricity by running a brush through your hair and then lifting the leaf up and depositing it on the canvas.) I had made a whirling design for the center and ended up using casein paint to paint it since it was opaque on the gold.
The painting took 9 months to paint, working almost every day. Finishing it was like a birth; it felt like my first masterpiece. I exhibited it in the “22 Visionaries” show at the SF Art Festival. It sold almost immediately and I've lost track of it; sorry that the only slide is of such poor quality.