Ah, Sedona!  What a beautiful place.  We spent last week there and had a magical time.

Whether you believe in the mystical, healing  powers vortexes (vortices?) or not, just being in a place with so much natural beauty is good for the soul and the body and the spirit.  Oh yeah, and the best pizza in the world is there, too.  “Picazzo’s, Where Pizza Is An Art” is in Sedona.  The first week we spent in Sedona a couple years ago we ate there six times!!!

Last May we invited our good friends, Ron and Adria, to stay with us in Sedona for a week.  The first evening the four of us hiked to what is the most famous — and most photographed — Sedona landmark: the view of Cathedral Rock from Oak Creek near Crescent Moon Ranch.  It was dusk and we were drinking champagne while sitting on the still-warm rocks…and I could clearly see Adria’s aura, standing out all around her like a fuzzy, hot pink boa!  I attribute this aura-sighting more to Adria’s strong spirit and the champagne than to any psychic or metaphysical powers I may possess.   Whatever caused the phenomenon, it was an amazing and exciting thing to witness.

That night, back in the condo, I had a dream in which Adria appeared under a huge full moon, wearing an aubergine silk jacket and holding a cactus.  She looked like the high priestess of the red rocks.   Her hair was moving and swirling, Medusa-style, and she was smiling like Mona Lisa.  When I awoke the dream stayed with me and I felt compelled to capture the image on canvas.

In took me nearly a year to translate my dream into a painting…and here is the result (full size is 24 x 18 and it looks MUCH better in person!), which I gave to Adria and Ron.

The toughest part to paint?  That crazy, glowing, hot pink aura!!!  I laid on the paint (Gamblin quinacridone magenta + Galkyd medium) then scrubbed it into the background with a stiff bristle brush.  Didn’t get it on the first try…had to repeat the process three times.  And, for some unfathomable reason, in the photo of the painting the aura looks like a neon tube.  In person, in the actual painting, it looks much softer and diffuse.

I changed the cactus plant I saw in my dream to a cactus flower, because the cactus looked just too phallic.

In the dream her hair was gently moving, curling and swirling…and I certainly could not capture that in oil paint, so I tried to suggest movement by painting lots of wisps and tendrils.

Here’s a super-close detail of her face in the painting.  So difficult to paint teeth!!!  Arrgggh! But diamonds are a snap to paint…just dab on the brightest, clearest white oil paint!

Her outfit — the aubergine silk jacket with silver swirl fasteners — is exactly the way it appeared in my dream.

In their beautiful home, Adria has displayed the painting on a black floor easel…and it looks great!  (Will post a photo of the painting on its easel when I get one.)

(Beautiful Sedona photos taken by my talented husband, Dan!)