Dreamed 1998/8/10, painted 1999; acrylic on plywood doorskin; by Chris Wayan
I dreamed I was painting a large square landscape of a natural arch like Rainbow Bridge (which I hiked up to at 15) with one odd detail: in the dream I paint myself as a somewhat younger girl, twelve or so, climbing up off the path, and stumbling on two older girls making love on a ledge, behind some brush. Startled and excited, I had to face that I had lesbian feelings--the first time my orientation became undeniable.
Except... this never happened, not in my childhood or in the dream--just in the painting IN my dream!
And the dreampainting didn't focus on the sexual revelation. It was if to say "emotional issues can be a minor element in what's mainly a landscape. Get some perspective!" Let human drama fill only one tiny corner of an image--more like the tiny oasis it is, in a huge, busy, rather dry universe.
Greater artists can make our small importance darkly funny, as when Brueghel played with death in his painting The Fall of Icarus: the foreground's so nice, you hardly notice the poor kid's splashdown, way off at sea.
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