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Lilies, Dreamer, Fox

1998, acrylic on 48" plywood disk, by Chris Wayan

I painted this in a San Francisco art class. The summer fog had rolled in, and it was cold as winter. The model felt chilly and tense even with three heaters, and the students were largely novices and shy around nudity, and the room was shabby and grim... so like Rousseau's woman on the red sofa, she just closed her eyes and fled our glum, underfunded eyeball-jungle for a warmer forest... and started to relax.

I followed where she went, and painted this.

round painting of a curious fox and a small orange bird watching a woman sleeping in a jungle
Painting of a yellow bird on a jungle branch. Oops. Photo is flipped left to right! Feh. Oh--the little grinning fox is me, the painter, of course.

The curious yellow bird? I think it's someone's soul.

Someone's soul who's watching me watch (and paint) her--and, I suspect, seeing daily-painter-me, that little trickster, as just as peculiar as this girl dreaming naked in a room of strangers, summoning a dream-Eden.

But is it my soul, or hers, watching us both below?

I'm really not sure whose.

Maybe we were too similar, that day, to tell.

Painting of a grinning fox, ears pricked, forepaw on a woman's hip; flowers behind.

Painting of the face of a sleeping 
woman


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