Fine Art Painting, Seattle, WA

Dream and Allegory

Dream and Allegory: Love Transcendent

In 2006, my mother died on her birthday. She died just before midnight on the East Coast, shortly after having routine knee surgery a few days earlier. On the West Coast, I went to bed unaware of my mother’s passing.

That night I had an extraordinary dream. A mummy lying on a table sat up and then approached me, desperately trying to communicate with me. I said I was sorry that I couldn’t understand. I noticed that the holes where the eyes should be were hollow. Next, I saw a rushing river getting clogged with trees and boulders. After that, a Victorian hearse passed in front of me.

Then, the telephone rang.

At 6am my brother called to tell me that our mom died, suddenly, from a pulmonary embolism. A blood clot travelled through her veins from her knee to her lungs. Because our mother was an organ donor, her eyes were harvested.

Detail images above. Cedar, madrona tree branch, hand-painted photographs, mask, gauze and rocks

In the days before my mother’s passing, I had been working on a large watercolor painting of a magnificent Madrona tree. I was pretty far along into the work. When I was able to return to the painting I continued what I had already established. My tears flowed into the watercolor. After finishing it, I commemorated the painting in memory of my mother.

Weeks later I showed the painting to a friend. She was astonished at my interpretation of the Madrona tree. I hadn’t realized that the rounded base of the tree trunk looked like a clot and the leafless red branches resembled a network of veins.

Like Mother  This dynamic and multi-media exhibit is curated by L. Kelly Lyles explores the profound bond between mothers and daughters, both visually and narratively. 

April 28 through May 28

Magnuson Park Gallery
Building 30 West, Magnuson Park
7448 63rd Avenue NE, 3rd Floor
Hours: Thursday-Friday, 10 AM – 3 PM
Saturday, Noon – 5 PM
and by appointment.