On Painting Dreams

I have always painted my dreams.

I’m not referring to my sleep-dreams, those often chaotic and convoluted movies the subconscious plays on autopilot every night– though, granted, I have had more than a few interesting dreams of that nature. No, the dreams I draw, that I paint and write– these are waking dreams. They are the ebbing and flowing tides of the imagination.

Sometimes the dream is just an image, shimmering with its own life from somewhere behind my eyes. Other times it is a full story, alive with characters and history and magic. I suppose this is why I’ve always been happiest when combining art with storytelling. The nebulous images swirling within my consciousness start to come alive in pixel and light, in paint. They crystallize with vividly frozen motion in word.

I find inspiration in so many things. Story, myth. Nature. Spirit. The silvery flicker of stars darting across the heavens as I gaze up from where I float languidly in a waterfall-fed pool. Cliffs that shimmer with a golden glow in the light of the full moon. Snowflakes falling, like a whisper, to rest among the trees as the ice chimes its hushed melody in the branches. Green, green, so much green, a verdant cloak of moss that embraces the forest floor, the trunks of the trees, twisting branches and ancient stone. These things, things otherworldly and enchanting, things I have seen in reality and in fantasy, haunt my dreams, and they reach out with their misty touch to illuminate my art. I am enamored of magic. The universe is a wonderland.

dreams of starlight and magic
Dreams of starlight and magic

I think, over the past few years, I’ve begun to lose sight of this magic a little bit. Oh, it was still there, lingering in the background, waiting for me to notice it again, but I was so focused on doing , on the three-dimensional, stark, linear Must Do’s and Daily Lists and Bills, Bills, Bills, that I began to forget about the enchantment. Sometimes I remember it when I write, when I paint. But this year… this year, I think I will open my arms wide to receive the magic again. I will pour it once again into my art, into my storytelling, into the words that I write here and elsewhere. And I will remember also to look for it in the everyday, because even the mundane can be magical.

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