Thursday, April 2, 2009

A change of pace - strange dreams

A question I get asked often enough that it should be on my FAQ (but isn't) is whether I paint what I dream. Before I can form an answer, the first question is often followed up by comments of how my dreams must be utterly fantastic.

Nothing could be further from the truth. When my brain shuts down at night, it shuts down. If I had to paint the incomprehensible blather that my mind comes up with when I'm sleeping...well, I'd probably put myself to sleep (again) in the attempt. Generally it's prosaic, mundane imagery slapped together with about as much cohesion and story as a three year old would be capable of with a set of refrigerator poetry magnets, and the buildup of a shaggy dog joke.

And so I was as surprised as anyone the other morning to wake up with some rather vivid images in mind that begged to be put to paper in some form. Strangely, even in the dream I remember stepping out from among city streets to see this towering emerald giant, and wanting to pull out my travel journal to sketch on the spot (I suppose I would have been sorely disappointed upon waking to find any dream drawings to have been as ephemeral as the dream itself), but was pulled along through the rest of the journey by inexorable forces. Passage along a thin rocky path that wended its way along the spine of two oceans colliding, lit by the thin torchlight of city lamps.

At any rate, witness the first two images I have ever done from dreams. I guess I can't answer the question any longer with, "No, I never draw from my dreams."


  1. Those are very nice paintings, different from the preciseness and details of your other paintings (tarot series, etc). I love the loose feeling of them; they remind me of my favourite painting of yours: Dance of Fire.

  2. Very nice dream imagery. Love the swirls and curls.

  3. hmmm... my post seems to have disappeared. the pieces above are beautiful and very ephemeral. thanks for sharing your dreams.

  4. Avatar - yes, it's definitely more in that style of working. Much more immediate than the careful planning that most of my work involves..

  5. They're very beautiful. I love the greens of the first.

    Dreams are funny like that - usually they're just the leftover dribble from our conscious thoughts sorting themselves, and then sometimes there's a jewel of inspiration that finds itself in there.

  6. Can I say -- pure awesome?