Dreamed Nov. 2003 to Feb. 2004, painted 2004, acrylic, 24 x 30", by Jenny Badger Sultan
This painting is a cluster of dream images whose vivid color struck me. I had just begun teaching a class on color in spring 2004--a class I had thought about and developed for years. I asked my students to pay attention to how color showed up in their dreams and think about the symbolic qualities of the color. My own dreams responded.
1: THE BLUE DRAGON
Jan. 9, 2004
I dreamed someone was presenting the story of a huge and fearsome Chinese dragon. We see it huge and looming as a grey stone sculpture which moves. I confront the dragon. Its mouth opens and closes and it seems to roar. I throw a ball of wadded-up paper into the dragon's mouth. I hope that this will disrupt its menace. I go back to my seat. We wait. Then the dragon emerges from its space, gliding. It is large, but is a stuffed sculpture, completely harmless.
I relate this dream to some very specific fears from my childhood (having to do with my older brother) which turn out to be harmless when I confront them (possibly through writing or painting--the crumpled paper.)
Dec. 30, 2003
This was from a dream about a planting of bougainvillea with groupings where dull red and golden yellow show up together. They looked most unusual.
3: RED SEED BEADS
Feb. 15, 2004
These beads on a string came from a dream where I am collecting such beads from a necklace that is broken. I plan to take them and re-string them while I am visiting my mother (though she had been dead nearly 20 years).
This woman is from a dream in which I was trying to make a copy of either a painting or a real person dressed this way. She seemed Persian.
4: THE WOMAN IN YELLOW
Dec. 25, 2003
5: PODS OF CHILDREN
November 8, 2003
My husband Hank and I are going around the city doing various things. In large open places where there are many people we see circles of children, sitting close, with their heads together. They wear little hats or hoods of a fuzzy material--all alike--kind of an ochre green, maybe a little bit peaked. They look like seed pods. It is remarkable and unusual. There may be different color configurations--maybe denoting boys or girls. I wonder if they're tour-groups of children from a foreign country and this is the formation they were instructed to use.
We see one of these groups of children in a large, crowded plaza. We look at them intently. I think we have another friend with us. We are speculating about the children. I say "I think they are from Central Asia."
A girl from the group sees our interest, and sends a pale pink piece of paper over to us that explains a bit about who these children are. However it's not very clear.
6: THE ERODED RUINS
Feb. 9, 2004
These come from a dream where I am with Hank and my parents (both dead long ago). We are in a place built on a circular plan. First we're waiting for food. Then we get separated. Then Hank and I are trying to locate my parents and we see the ruins.
They look like the remains of brick buildings in strange many-tiered shapes. They felt very eerie and unexpected. What used to be here?
7: THE FRUIT IN BOWLS
Jan. 15, 2004
These are from a dream where two children, a boy and a girl, are making vows to one another (as in a marriage) and they are given these fruit offerings.