Ink and watercolor in 5.5″ square sketchbook (larger)

Last night I dreamt first that I was shopping in Macy’s and a snooty salesman looked me up and down and made fun of what I was wearing. He offered to help me dress better and recommended $100 flip-flops with made of thin green nylon (like they make sleeping bags from) with criss-crossed shoelaces that held the flimsy things on your feet.

“The latest thing,” he told me. I wasn’t going for it.

Carrying on the poorly-dressed theme, the next dream was that I was wandering around Los Angeles, looking for a bus to Santa Monica (a suburb of LA where my mother lives) wearing only a large (but not large enough) shirt.



I wasn’t terribly embarrassed by this partial nudity, having gotten used to it from all the time I’ve spent in previous dreams completely naked in public.

In real life, I don’t go out naked, though I did spend a summer nude in the early ’70s when I was 22, camping with 6 friends at a beautiful spot in the Siskiyou National Forest, 10 miles down a dirt road from the town of Happy Camp. The temperature in the afternoons reached 117 so nudity seemed pretty reasonable.

Running by our campsite was the perfectly named Clear Creek which fed into a wonderful swimming hole surrounded by huge boulders, perfect for lying on and diving off of.

We were the only ones there during the weekdays but on the weekends the occasional truckload of Native Americans from the nearby reservation would come out to swim or a family might camp for the weekend. The guys in our group would put on bathing suits when we had visitors but us hippie girls stayed au naturel for the duration and nobody seemed to mind.

Drawing, Dreams, Life in general, Painting, People, Sketchbook Pages, Watercolor

Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. Ah, I KNEW I had a soul-sister! Though I was raising children in the 70s .. I was still a tree hugger (well, still AM a tree hugger) who loved the great outdoors!

    Your dreams are so rich, Jana ….!


  2. Well, this is what I call “exposing” yourself twice…once in your dreams and again on paper. Loved your story and your sketches. I’ve never run around with out clothes but have though about it lately…with the on set of the dreaded “hot flashes”!


  3. Happy Camp…….. I didn’t think anyone knew where Happy Camp was. I was born and raised in Ashland .. you should have come on over to see me, *wink. Hopefully you would have been dressed … Ashland didn’t go for nudity.*giggle


  4. Nancy, I loved Happy Camp (or at least the camping spot known as 10 miles which sadly burned in a forest fire some years later). It was in the Happy Camp grocery store — looking over the slim pickings in the meat case where they oddly had a tv set playing that I saw Richard Nixon announce his resignation. How bizarre is that!

    Marsha, that’s hilarious — I hadn’t thought about the double exposure and I know what you mean about hot flashes! Definitely been there!

    Lin, my nature girl days are mostly over, and I prefer room service to sleeping on the ground, though I do still love being outdoors, especially to paint!



  5. Jana, I found your blog a while ago and enjoyed it very much.
    This one especially made me nearly pee into my pants because it is so vividly describing what I am sometimes dreaming.
    Your sketches are simply wonderfully funny – I think you inspire me highly to follow your model – I need to transfer my dreams into sketches – not sure whether they are ready for the public though – lol!!

    Greetings from Munich,


  6. I love these, great art work you have here!


  7. I dare not paint pics from my bizarre dreams which are forgotten anyway in a flash as I age and the wires get crossed! About advice on clothes – do you have that rather crazy TV program of two confident straight blondies telling very ordinary people how to do a make-over in their dress in order to sex up their lives?


  8. Oh my gosh, Jana, you and I were having the same dream! I, too, was in a not long enough white tee shirt and wasn’t worried at all that everything was out in the breeze – in my dream, that is. In real life I would be horrified to be seen unclothed by anyone but my hubby! haha


  9. When I first moved to California to go to school in Santa Barbara in the late 60’s I thought people just didn’t wear bathing suits at the beach in this state. I was so happy to jump out of my clothes. Ahh, those were the days! But, when I taught school, I used to have a recurring nightmare that I showed up at parent conferences with only a ‘not long enough’ t-shirt on. Then tried to run home for more clothes but there was always some roadblock. Strange thing was, no one seemed to notice how unclothed I was. Now, what could that mean?

    Your dream excerpts and sketches are so fun.


  10. You made me laugh out loud! Naked dreams. I don’t suppose we’d be so embarrassed by our own if we realized how common they are. Mine often involved trying to find a toilet with a door to close. Inevitably I can’t, and wake up having to go really bad! Your pictures illustrate so well!


  11. Great dreams. And, you have such a vivid memory of them in that you can manage to sketch the images out. And, you have such a fun and playful style.


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