Dreaming of Art

I have finished two new paintings. It feels good to be back to painting, even though I am not fully recovered yet. Here’s the first:


I worked from a photo, which was not too different from the painting. How fun to see that treehouse in that wide, generous, gracious old tree! The sun was backlighting the tree, making it golden and magical. And the lupines in front added a kind of generous and almost careless beauty. It’s every child’s enchanted world. I decided to call it “Wanna Play?” to emphasize that feeling of invitation.

Most of the image for the second painting came to me in a dream! Here it is:


Just before waking, I saw the sky much as you see it here, a soft peachy orange streaked with orange-red. And in the upper corner, a bunch of lilacs. I had a vague sense of green below without detail. So as I thought about how I would shape the painting, I decided to add a farmhouse in the distance surrounded by lilac bushes, with another lilac bush in the middle foreground. They are there, really, just to complete the scene. There is something I find mysterious and haunting about this image. Do you? I suppose that I would, given that I dreamed it!

One thing I noticed after waking about the image is that its colors make up a perfect color triad: orange-green-purple. If you think of a color wheel, the colors go around in a circle. It’s red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, returning to red. A triad is red-yellow-blue, or orange-green-purple, or the same thing with any of the in-between colors. I doubt I would have done this if I had been awake!

Throughout my life, I have occasionally, although rarely, had dreams that were a kind of gushing forth of creativity. I remember dreaming of many, many mandalas, each different. Or a collection of small clay figures of fantastic animals. Or decorated eggs in beautiful colors. I would awaken in amazement, thinking, “I made all that!” In the dream, they were just there; awake, I realized that they had come from me. I have not had a dream like that since I started painting, using my creativity. But I wonder whether, as with “Sky Lilacs,” I will get more images from the night?

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3 Responses to Dreaming of Art

  1. Michele Clark says:

    The lilacs in the second one are dancing off the screen, the lupines in the first one are inviting toward the treehouse. Lovely to see you’re back at it.

  2. Gail Anderson says:

    Yes, I do wanna’ play. I want to be at this place and explore the tree fort and find out who lives in the farmhouse., does the fort maker?
    Lilacs are persistent I the desire they create for color and smell. I get both in this picture!

  3. Susan says:

    Beautiful paintings, Mimi. And how magical that ideas for paintings come to you in dreams!



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