Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Dreams and the Psyche of the Artist

This month's blog is a continuation from last month of commentary on the Dream Series illustrations available on Society6 and RedBubble as wall art, clothing, iphones, homedecor, bags and sundry other items. Once again, I have chosen to concentrate on the original view of the artwork for sake of emphasizing the story. 

As with the artwork from last month, I am working on the Dream Series in hopes of creating art that is more of a personal expression than my other designs may have been. I dream vividly, and have long been fascinated by dream imagery of my own or others. Dreams are deeply personal, yet may indeed have archetypes that many dream of. Everyone has their own take. I hope to showcase my vision here.

Circle Gateway Dream

"Here I am at the tram stop again. There is a city gate, made of stone, but reflective like metal. The scene always has an element from an amusement park. I recall the spirit of my mother."

Another dream setting I have is European as European can be, but I'm never sure what city it is. My gut feeling is that it's Vienna, Austria, and I think I'm traveling by way of Hannover, Germany. The main obvious thing in the dream is that I've been riding on a tram (my trams can travel through different countries!), and there is a stop on a curved section of track that lets off right by a city gate, which is notably metallic, although made of stone. There are lots of bright colors and a feeling that I'm in an amusement park - hence the carousel. Sometimes it is the famous Viennese Ferris Wheel. BTW - this is sold on RedBubble, where the automatic German translator decided to translate "merry-go-round" directly. Doesn't work!!! When I have this dream I awaken with lingering thoughts about my mother - good thoughts - probably the wish that we could've travelled together more.

Dry Cleaner Horror

"The dry cleaner had an immense building, but only a small service space. What was the extra room used for? Surely terrible things were going on unseen. Mangling, steam, and such - an array of contraptions too hideous to be shown. With ill luck, one would hang in the relayer, as if hung out to dry."

This one. In this case I took a horrible dream and changed the viewpoint, making a somewhat comical end product. In the dream, I am the one hung up, and I can't get off the hanger. I am left to go round and round the interior of the dry cleaner's forever. It may sound innocent, but there's a dangerous steaming and mangling process to go through, and I can't get off the relayer!!!! Not fun. The relayer also goes really far off the ground at some point - something which is also unpleasant to me. As soon as height was reached, the hanger would start to jiggle, trying to let me loose, but at that height it would have been quite a fall. It was no doubt inspired to trips on errands to pick up cleaning when I was little and didn't understand much about the cleaners, other than that lots of hot, uncomfortable processes were involved. Here I went more for a feeling of how odd it would be to see someone *in* one of the hanging suits! 

The Dreaded Aqueduct

“Complete darkness. In a blast of consciousness, I find myself atop an ancient aqueduct. I am solidly aware of the wind blowing around me and the impossible height I find myself at. The stone blocks are crumbling, but water still flows. The landscape is achingly beautiful. I dream of an aqueduct.”

For the life of me, I cannot figure out why I have a phobia of canals and aqueducts, but they completely weird me out. At least I have seen a few canals. I have never seen an aqueduct that I can recall, and I had this dream starting at a young age. It still pops into my head every now and again. Sometimes I'm terrified, and other times I just enjoy the view, while resigning myself to being stuck. I never actually see the water above me, but it's an aqueduct after all, so it's there. I feel like I can hear it flowing above me. The view is of a lush green landscape in mountainous terrain. The feeling of wind is very distinct, and it makes the height I'm at seem even more dizzying. The aqueduct spans such a wide area that my thoughts of trying to cross it bear little fruit.

Eclipse Dream

"Pinhole camera and special glasses in hand, we head to the field. The birds prepare for sundown, unaware of nature's plot. I wonder if this is a time of change, brought about by partial darkness. I know there's no answer, but a wonderful eclipse."

Sometimes I dream of the solar eclipse that took place during junior high school, way back when. It was a moving experience, but the setting was awful. We awkward early-teens got to go out to the asphalt bus loading area beside our remodeled 1950's school, and use the pinhole cameras we had fastidiously made in class. At least I think it was in class. Maybe homework??? We all wished we could be outside for the entire experience, of course, but the powers that be had it times down to the height of the event. I took liberties with the setting of this picture, for artistic purposes. It was a different experience then. No internet. No "eclipse viewing glasses." No digital cameras. And life was slower then too..... That in a way stays true with the eclipse. The moon passes at it's own lumbering pace, but that 2 minute period where the movement becomes very obvious is exhilarating.  

Crossroads Guardian Dream

"A guardian watcher spirit at the crossroads fends off those unworthy of passage to the next realm. An all seeing, all powerful gaze, warding away evil. I must pass through the crossing before achieving any forward movement. the shots from the statuary are fierce. I must lay low and go forth."

I had this dream repeatedly at a terrible time in my life, when I seemed to be beset upon by all sides. The road in the dream was at an intersection between my place of work and my home. In my dream, the intersection had Chinese Lion statuary that wasn't there in real life. As best as I can tell, the Guardian character was inspired by an old set of tarot cards, whose name and artist I have unfortunately lost track of. Please rest assured that the Guardian here is meant to be a powerful image of spiritual truth and the safe-keeping thereof. His gaze emits light and energy flows forth through his fingertips. I have no idea about those lions, but that the Guardian was also fending them off!!! All I know is it's a drag when laser beams are threatening to decimate you. It's like "Big Trouble in Little China" or something. Very bizarre and nothing of the sort was anywhere in my midst in real life. 

2nd Grade Play Dream

"It was 2nd grade, time for the school play. We were to make the set, along with a huge, scaley dragon, from a sheet and some tempera. I felt I had a purpose more meaningful than most school subjects, to make the beast who lived on an island. The hallway transformed."

This is a very happy dream whose setting recurs now and then. I believe it was 2nd grade (possibly 3rd, but I don't think so), when it was time for our class to make a play of a childrens' book we had been reading. We were divided into actors, prop actors, and set makers. I got to be one of the lucky ones (in my mind) who got to work on the set. I remember the story was about a dragon who lived on an island. As we busied ourselves making palm trees, and bushes, the teacher led a few in creating what seemed like a massive head for the dragon. As time went on, we could hear the actors practicing their lines. I remember this distinctly, because the narrator always said "is-land" instead of "i-land," and that word came up often. The teacher unfurled sheeting, and we kids attacked the cloth with tempera to make scales. The teacher bade us all to be careful with the paint, but of course some was spilled. I honestly don't remember the play, but in the dream I'm happily painting scales and imagining what a ferocious beastie this would be.

Those are the features for this month's blog installation. I will continue on with the series, as long as the muse hits. I'd love to hear your comments! Stay tuned for more. I also added a few patterns, which are very happy matches with S6 home decor and RedBubble fashion. Surf on by for Mela threads.