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Dream imagery as a source for artmaking

As a follow up from another post, Incorporating cartoon imagery into traditional three-dimensional still life, my next piece is an ink value collage.  It started off strictly as a study for a potential painting and ended up a serious art piece.  It’s a dreamscape.  The woman in the foreground is a figure from an intense dream I had.  She wore a veil in a low-lit corridor with shiny floors.  Other details pertaining to this dream will be withheld for your sake. In my experience, when someone says, “I had the weirdest dream last night …” I know better than to say, “Oh really? Tell me about it!”  I am willing to count this as a deficit on my part, but someone else’s dream explained in detail is not my idea of compelling conversation, consider yourself spared.

I sat down with my journal and sketched the veiled figure just as I experienced her in my dream, as shown here on my Instagram account. I don’t know who or what she represents, but she made an impression. Also, sorry for the melancholia but you know the dream where you’re falling and you wake up before you are smashed into little pieces — that dream? What remains on this life stage is a symbolic narrative — one that is derived from memories. See the third image below for the symbolism detail.

What started out as a value study in collage, turned into a “thing.”  The warm and cool value rendering of this collage came easy. After so many drawings (understatement) it just fell into place. The next post will show the finished piece and commentary on it’s theme. As of this writing, I have moved beyond the collage branching out to two oil paintings that share the same sentiment of passing through time. 

You already know this: Record your dream imagery in your journal or sketchbook, potentially to make art, but mainly for you.

Here are some in-progress photos of the “stage play” I am directing:

Charcoal study.  My instructor suggested I collage this scene as a study for a painting.


Transparent falling figure. Remember — you wake up just in time!

Dreamy lady Collaged figure with a veil. I used a chunk of charcoal to create the texture of the veil.

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