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.
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.
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:
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!”
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: