Dream Time and The “Good Idea”

Every once in a while I have a whopper dream.  You know the kind.  It feels more real than waking life, except when you try to relate it to someone else in your waking state, and then it kind of falls apart.  I had two such dreams last week and felt compelled to express them through art.  Here’s the first:


acrylic and collaged painted papers on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

The water looks inviting and the moon is so bright. I would like to go swimming tonight. There are rocks to navigate first.  They block my way at every turn and whisper “Not here. Not now. Not safe.”  But I can see others swimming out beyond, and I want to join them. “Not here, not now, not safe.”  Is it a shark fin I see there, or am I imaging?  Are there faces on these rocks, or am I imagining?

I think most of us wonder how people come across the really good ideas for painting.  In our own search for the “Good Idea”, creative ideas get scared off all the time!  Nevertheless I thought I’d give it a try with my Monday Muse group, because they’re always game.  The home-play assignment was to identify some kind of idea for the next painting, with no specification as to what form that might take, and no pressure for it to be a Good Idea.

Lo and behold, and bless their hearts, they all did it.  Here’s what they came up with:

*those bright colored, jewel toned former mansions described in the book Havanna Bay, and all the places I’ll never go.

*autumn leaves abstracted and uniquely painted

*the Canadian Group of 7 landscape painters and a picture of a naked painted lady

*the persistence of life and the need to embrace it.

*Motherwell’s layered collages

*the juxtaposition of machinery and natural forms

*and mine, which was the dream

Each person did a mixed media painting inspired by the idea she had voiced.  There’s something about articulating the idea to others, or even writing it in a journal, and then following through with the painting that opens the door to more (admittedly random) ideas.  So I say beware, because new ideas come rushing in a swarm.  We have to be ready with that net!



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