This drawing was created in 1999 when I was 15 and it probably is my favorite work of art because of the backstory. Most people that see it in person are intrigued and want to know the story behind it. People usually want to know why the surfaces have been reversed. The dog appears to know that something is wrong and there are always questions about the eerie background. I had a vivid dream in high school where all of the colors, surfaces and textures that I was familiar with were reversed with an object it was closely associated with. Objects would touch other objects and their surfaces would be exchanged. So I woke up the next day and created this colored pencil drawing to capture the experience I had the night before.
The meaning I got from the dream was that change is inevitable. On the other hand growth is optional. We can either embrace it or do everything in our power to avoid it. My parents were going through a divorce at the time, so I chose to use a dalmatian to tell this story. Dalmatians were used by fire departments many years ago because they were fearless and natural leaders. Dalmatians and horses are very compatible, so the dogs were easily trained to run in front of the engines to help clear a path and guide the horses and the firefighters to the fires quickly. At 15 with no male figure in my home, I saw myself stepping into a leadership position and taking on new responsibilities very quickly. The divorce created change in my life. I chose to grow.
This piece is important to me because it is the first time I attempted to do conceptual art. In conceptual art, the idea (in this case my dream) becomes a machine that makes the art. Many years later, conceptual art remains the style of art that I am most interested in and study.