The Art of Dreams


Dreams form one of the main pathways to the workings and special messages from the subconscious mind. Dream journals are one of the many ways to uncover the world that goes beyond our concrete reality and merges with a montage of ethereal symbols and realities to convey  new meaning in our daily lives.
Here are some very strange and unique artistic captures of this other world we fall through while in our sleep.
Jan Kirstein

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Half our dayes wee passe in the shadowe of the earth, and the brother of death exacteth a third part of our lives.

(Thomas Browne, On Dreams)

…night after night, with calm incuriousness we open the door into that ghostly underworld, and hold insane revels with fantastic spectres, weep burning tears for empty griefs, babble with foolish laughter at witless jests, stain our souls with useless crime, or fly with freezing blood from the grasp of an unnamed dread ; and, with the morning, saunter serenely back from these wild adventures into the warm precincts of the cheerful day, unmoved, unstartled, and forgetting.

(Elizabeth Bisland, Dreams and their Mysteries)

Dreams have long proved a fertile ground for human creativity and expression, and no less so than in the visual arts, giving rise to some of its most arresting images. In addition to the many and varied dreams so important to religion and myth there has emerged, in the last few centuries since the birth of Romanticism, an exploration of the more personal dream-world. Indeed, with its link to the unconscious, the form has perhaps proved the perfect vehicle for those artists looking to surface that which lies submerged – desire, guilt, fear, ambition – to bring to light the truth the waking mind keeps hid.

No doubt, also, artists have been attracted to the challenge of giving form to something so visually intangible as a dream, a challenge taken up in many ways through the centuries. More often than not there appears the sleeping body itself, with the dream element incorporated in a variety of ways. Common is for the dream sequence to appear in a totally separate part of the image, as if projected on the walls of the sleeping mind: often in the midst of that familiar floating cloud, but also as emerging from nearby objects or events of the day (see the Toyokuni image below) . Also common, particularly in the depiction of nightmares, is for the figures of the dream to simply appear as though in the room with the sleeper, often directly upon the body itself (see the Fuseli below). With the advent of photography, and the potential of double exposures, we see also a different way of trying to capture that intangibility of the dream image. With both the Grandville and Redon images featured, and the work of the Surrealists they anticipate, we see a different approach entirely, one which looks past the sleeper to focus solely on the imagery of the dream itself, and in the process perhaps giving a more true impression of the strangeness and otherworldliness which so often characterises the dream experience.

The Nightmare, by Henry Fuseli (1781). Perhaps Fuseli’s best known work, it has been copied by other artists, including many engravings such as this one by Thomas Burke – Source.
Dream-land (ca. 1883), an etching by S.J. Ferris after a painting by C.D. Weldon – Source.
El sueño del caballero, or The Knight’s Dream (ca. 1655), by Antonio de Pereda – Source.
The Jockey’s Dream (ca. 1880), published by Currier & Ives – Source.
A Nightmare (19th century), by E. Vavasseur – Source.
Nightmare (1810), by Jean Pierre Simon – Source: Wellcome Library.
Job’s Evil Dreams (1805), by William Blake, from a series of 19 watercolours illustrating the Book of Job that Blake painted in 1805-6 for Thomas Butts – Source.
A Child Dreams of the Passing of Time (17th century), by Boetius Adamsz Bolswert – Source.
The Soldiers Dream of Home (ca. 1861), by unknown artist – Source.
A Dream of Crime & Punishment (1847), by J.J. Grandville. Predating Dostoevsky’s book by some 20 years, it shows “the dream of an assassin overcome by remorse” – Source.
Dream Vision; A Nightmare (1525), by Albrecht Dürer: a watercolour and accompanying text describing an apocalyptic dream Dürer had on the night of 7-8th June 1525. The text readsIn 1525, during the night between Wednesday and Thursday after Whitsuntide, I had this vision in my sleep, and saw how many great waters fell from heaven. The first struck the ground about four miles away from me with such a terrible force, enormous noise and splashing that it drowned the entire countryside. I was so greatly shocked at this that I awoke before the cloudburst. And the ensuing downpour was huge. Some of the waters fell some distance away and some close by. And they came from such a height that they seemed to fall at an equally slow pace. But the very first water that hit the ground so suddenly had fallen at such velocity, and was accompanied by wind and roaring so frightening, that when I awoke my whole body trembled and I could not recover for a long time. When I arose in the morning, I painted the above as I had seen it. May the Lord turn all things to the best – Source.
Yume no ukihashi, or The Bridge of Dreams (1854), by Utagawa Toyokuni – Source.
The Artist’s Dream (1840), by George H. Comegys. The artist, with his head down on a table in his studio, perhaps seeking divine intervention, is having a vision of great artists from the past, such as: Sir Joshua Reynolds, Rubens, Rembrandt, Titian, Leonardo Da Vinci, Raphael Michelangelo, and others – Source.
Legend of St Francis: Dream of the Palace (1297 – 1299), by Giotto – Source.
The Orangerie;—or—the Dutch Cupid Reposing After the Fatigues of Planting, depicting William V, Prince of Orange, as a fat, naked Cupid (1796), by James Gillray – Source.
Tatiana Larina’s dream (1891), by Ivan Volkov – Source.
The Orphan’s Dream (19th century), by James Elliott – Source.
Dreaming of Santa Claus (ca. 1897), by William H. Rau – Source.
A Verger’s Dream: Saints Cosmas and Damian Performing a Miraculous Cure by Transplantation of a Leg (ca. 1495), by Masterof Los Balbases, – Source: Wellcome Library.
Tako to ama, or The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife (1814), an erotic ukiyo-e by Hokusai, from the book Kinoe no Komatsu (English: Young Pines), a three-volume book of shunga erotica first published in 1814. For an English translation of the rather racy text see the link to the source – Source.
Jacob’s Dream (late 16th century), by Adam Elsheimer – Source.
The Dream of King Nebuchadnezzar (10th century), Staatsbibliothek Bamberg, Msc. Bibl. 22, fol. 31v – Source.
The Dream of Pilate’s Wife (ca. 1879), by Gustave Doré. According to Matthew 27:19, While Pilate was sitting in the judgment hall, his wife sent him a message: “Have nothing to do with that innocent man, because in a dream last night, I suffered much on account of him.” – Source.
‘Emperor Godaigo, dreaming of ghosts in his palace (1890), by Ogata Gekkō – Source.
Dream (1878 – 1882), by Odilon Redon – Source.
Little Nemo comic strip, by Winsor McCay (1906). This particular strip was from a European edition and never printed in the US – Source
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Kirsteinfineart Introduces Jewelry


Along with Abstract paintings, and related products, Kirsteinfineart introduces accompanying jewelry to complement each KIRSTEINFINEART Collection.  Collections include the “I Love Teachers,” “Justice Series,” “Circus Buddies,” “Wild and Wicked,” and Summertime’s special “Surf’s Up Collection.”

Today and throughout the week, Kirsteinfineart is running a special 20% discount for those who arrive with the code:

 https://kirsteinfineart.myshopify.com/discount/CA3G2SCPWHPK

 

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Click thumbnails to enlarge.

 

 

Turtle Ad

 

 

 

Click on thumbnails to enlarge.

 

 

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The painting both at the very top of the page and also shown here, is from my Underground Cave Series, made with mixed media on stretched canvas, 4′ x 8.’ I am still working on this piece. One of my friends said: “Don’t light a fire around this!”

 

Jan Kirstein

 

 

 

 

 

High Contrast


Nancy Hillis gives an excellent talk on contrast this week in the program “Studio Journey.” She speaks of the visual excitement generated by contrast of color: light and dark, warm and cool, and the play of complementary colors, colors that exist on opposite sides of the color wheel. She demonstrates these contrasts within her own paintings. She also examines contrast of smooth and rough texture of paint application, opaque and transparent paint applications and soft washes vs. bold brush work.

I love the teaching bundles in her program “Studio Journey.” She brings knowledge of science, art, mythology, psychology and physics together into easily understood food for though and exploration. A truly enlightening journey.

Nancy Hillis is an abstract painter, currently working in her art studio on medium to large abstract paintings. At the beginning of her program “Studio Journey” she says:

“Welcome to Studio Journey. I’m delighted that you’re here! As a fellow Journeyer, I want to guide and inspire on your journey. My mission is to encourage you to cultivate a robust studio practice, explore and experiment in your art and ultimately create your deepest, most authentic and personal work.

I see our work as artists as being a never ending journey of listening to and answering the call within ourselves to step into the wonder and the mystery of our art and our life. Just as in life, we’re continually coming back full circle to the foundations, the beginning of our journey. We do this over and over again and each time, we see the beginning with new eyes informed by our experiences.”

The Studio Journey has inspired many painters from all over the world who find her teachings enlivening and fulfilling. The challenges are exhilarating and a personal learning experience for all in this on line painting extravaganza.

Creations I have made on this Studio Journey, by Janis Kirstein:

Hildy Maze Makes Mind Moves


Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is very pleased to announce that Hildy Maze has been selected as one of the four artists of the gallery’s recent eighth “Solo Art Series” Art Competition.

 

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Hildy will now have a month-long solo art exhibition and she will be featured on the gallery’s front page, in the Gallery’s YouTube Channel, as well as in the “Solo Art Series” archive. See links below to access.

 

Artist Biography:

Hildy Maze is an American artist with Turkish, Russian, Austrian heritage. Born in Brooklyn, NY she received a BFA from Pratt Institute. For years, Hildy lived and worked in her loft in Tribeca, NYC before moving to East Hampton, NY where she currently works and lives.

Hildy is best known for her abstract contemplative oil on paper drawing, painting collages. In her messy paradise, which is her studio, Hildy explores mind and identity. Though her process of collage and the handling of materials she intimately describes how our active mind creates collages of thoughts and patterns, as in a dream. If we examine our thoughts, we can see they are fragmented pieces, empty of solidity. “None of us can avoid thoughts” she says, “but through awareness of our pitfalls, beauty, strengths, and weaknesses we can open windows into the mind”. The core of her contemplative art practice is to visually embody the blind spots as a result of our thoughts.

She is interested in the study of how the mind works as a means of gaining insight into how we communicate, how we create identity through form, emotions, and consciousness, and how we hide in that creation. She explains that essentially this work is about all of us and the empty, clear and unconditional nature of the mind we all have. When we know the nature of our mind we will know the nature of our world.

Hildy’s work is influenced by her long-time study and practice of Tibetan Buddhist meditation with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. Her studio floor is covered with a vast tapestry of painted paper—ripped, aged, and often walked on for days or months. This, she says allows the process and rhythm of art-making to come more alive with spontaneity and unpredictability. Her work has a rugged, earthy, hands-on, living quality. The treatment of the paper lends to it an inherent living quality. Depending on the passing of time and light, it takes on various characteristics and a quality of accelerated impermanence as the paper ages and becomes fragile, not unlike those things we search for and cherish in an attic or basement, or even at an archeological site, or when retrieving a lost memory. An otherwise ordinary, insignificant quality becomes special. A fingerprint, wrinkle, rip, drip, or tear becomes texture and language. These abstract contemplative works were developed with the view that art has the capacity to infuse our experience with awareness of our inherent nature, and, along with their carefully chosen titles, invite viewers to move beyond the boundaries of the image into a more contemplative consideration of mind in relationship to the phenomena of what we consider objective reality.

An additional activity that informs Hildy’s work is her familiar, family-like relationship with a colony of Herring and Great Black-Backed Gulls she’s been feeding hard-boiled eggs to for 20 years at Maidstone Beach Bay. She says, “We know each other well, perching on my head and shoulders, surrounding me as if protecting the bounty they know I have for them. This ritual is filled with a sense of an intimacy with wildness. I’ve learned who is mated to who, each gull’s idiosyncrasies, who their chicks are, when they arrive at the bay in August, how they physically change from white to speckled depending on the mating cycle and season’s light and so much more”. Eventually, she would like to develop an installation called “lover of the open sky” based on this relationship with the gulls.

Hildy has exhibited her work throughout the U.S. including NYC, Long Island City, Brooklyn, California, and Beijing, China. She has won numerous awards and is in several private collections in the U.S, Europe and Asia.

Hildy lives in East Hampton, NY continuing with her study and practice of meditation, making art, and feeding the gulls whenever the weather allows.

 

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Artist Statement:

Years ago, a friend sent me the Prajnaparamita, known as the Heart Sutra based on realizing the non-conceptual simplicity of reality, “form is emptiness, emptiness is form”. Having a heightened interest about how mind works and how mind is, reading the Heart Sutra changed my life on the spot! Within a week I was practicing and studying Tibetan Buddhist meditation with Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist meditation master and artist. I received ‘pointing out instructions’ from him which brings the investigation and recognition of mind’s flawless nature into personal experience cutting through conceptual obscurations that are our endless, dualistic thoughts and emotions.

My abstract contemplative work is completely informed by these realizations. My path of making visual images became the inner structure of mind and how its’ patterns of confusion obscure our recognition of this vast space of ceaseless energy. For ten years I studied and practiced meditation with Trungpa Rinpoche until his death in1987. Since that time my work has gone through a process of increased familiarity with how mind works and how to present that familiarity thru visual images.

The development of each piece is experiential using collaged drawing and painting on paper with disparate techniques and specific titles discussing how mind, when active, creates collages of emotional thought patterns, like in a dream. The images are intended to be intimate, yet not isolated since the activity of mind is the same for everyone yet personal because each of us is affected by our thoughts and emotions differently. The work is unrefined with an immediate, handmade, unprepared quality, working with the ordinary characteristics of the paper meaning rips, wrinkles, aging, fragile-ness and light sensitivity. A sense of impermanence representing our life progression.

My process is filled with discovery and surprise, playing an edge within myself with deliberateness and imperfection without conceptualization, trusting mind’s innate clarity. For me, oil on paper collage is the most responsive way to investigate the mind. Whether awake or dreaming, mind is like a collage, appearing as countless variations of thoughts and images, as an over-lapping unfinished aesthetic that embraces the unresolved, open-ended imperfections of living. Viewing mind and collage this way contributes to the hands-on realness of intimacy and immediacy of seemingly non-sequitur abstraction with a touch of representational expression.

 

I recall instructions from Trungpa Rinpoche, ‘art arises from a deep merging of mind and heart, seeing from within, drawing from pure awareness without visually grasping, beginning from uncertainty without reference point’. Drawing freely without visual judgment; spontaneous and personal, I use tools and techniques that are intimate and varied, anything that can make a mark with controlled spontaneity. I would like the images and titles to create an accessible, personal space, like hearing a familiar voice. The images can be viewed as individually framed pieces, or informally, closer to how they were made, simply pinned to the wall, or randomly together similar to how our thoughts arise, dwell and dissolve in a seemingly continuous, often unrelated stream. .

Essentially I view my work as an evolving inquiry. I continue to live, make art, and to study the principles of Buddhist contemplative philosophy, a pursuit not unlike cleaning the dust off the windows in a house in order to see the world and oneself more clearly and precisely, with less aggression and with more equanimity, kindness and humor. To view more of Hildy’s artworks visit her website;

 

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http://hildymaze.com

 

Check out this Fab video Presentation of Hildy’s work.

You Tube Presentation

 

Here are individual images of Hildy’s work.

https://www.lightspacetime.art/hildy-maze-solo-art-exhibition/

Many thanks to the Light Space Gallery for this story and images.    

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Subliminal Transformations


What message do you want to send to yourself every day, or to your friends? Here is a great way to send constant affirmations: choose a word of affirmation surrounded by the visual energy of that word as interpreted by fine artist Jan Kirstein.

These messages, surrounded by corresponding energy of that word will not only evoke feelings from within the viewer, but imbed that concept in the subconscious mind to travel with you no matter where you go on your daily journey.

Surround yourself with an image next to your front door that you see every time you enter or leave your house, or embellish your bathroom or bedroom with pillows, shower curtains, towels, or totes. Surround yourself and others to become the best version of yourself.

To see these prints and related products, click this link. https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/janis-kirstein.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=770219

The Painting Journey Continues


Our painting Journey Continues with Nancy Hillis’ Studio Journey online abstract painting workshop. Her assignments help free up your expressive inspirations through exploration and self confidence. Growth emerges through experimentation. My own personal journey has opened up possibilities far beyond what I faced even weeks ago. Thanks Nancy!

Painting in a Series