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Iris's Early Light
Iris's Early Light
Digital_Cintiq 24 Pro_PhotoShop
Printed copy = 36" in the longer dimension

“Iris’s Early Light" is a scene from my narrative sequence of five digital paintings called “Mother of the Muses.” All these digital paintings are on this website. "Mother of the Muses" includes this painting and four others: “Snowy-fingered Iris,” “Iris’s Dream,” Valentine,” and “Within Without." I grouped this painting and the others listed above into a comic book-like panel: "Mother of the Muses."

Forgetfulness in conversation with memory/remembering/recalling is the theme of this painting. Every night we emerge into a seemingly strange and inchoate world. Every morning we emerge into wakefulness, emerge back into this world, largely forgetting that other world forged by sleep. This digital painting shows the liminal state somewhere between these worlds, midway in the process, half-asleep and half-wake. It seems to be the place where and when most human beings still are able to remember their dreams, and could even while still in this in-between place, also operate well enough in the physical, conscious world to record in writing or images what was just dreamt. I haven’t tested this theory yet, but I should because I hardly ever remember my dreams after I’m fully awake.

The cats are metaphors for the vigilance, awareness, and memory required to recall dreams: the white-faced cat on the left, my cat Valentine, meets the viewer’s gaze and is highly aware but my other cat, Daphnis, in the other paintings is sometimes highly but in this painting enjoys sweet oblivion and forgetfulness.

I contrast the settings of the snowy worlds this painting and "Snowy-Fingered Iris," which represent liminal, half-awake/half-asleep states, with the tropical settings of "Valentine," "Iris's Dream," and "Within Without," that represent dream and other-worldly states of being.