Drawing My Dreams Daily Again

Girl with wildly matted hair on pretty deck off pretty kitchen. Old lady dancing for people while workmen powerwashing on a roof spray water than turns to hail.

LEFT: Girl with wildly matted hair on pretty deck off pretty kitchen. RIGHT: Old lady dancing for people while workmen powerwashing on a roof spray water that turns to hail. Ink and White Pitt pen in compact Moleskine, 5.5 x 7 inches.

I used to start my mornings by drawing images from my dreams but got out of the habit some years back. I got inspired to start again after seeing Nina Johansson’s project of drawing from imagination daily in a Moleskine daily planner. Her strangely beautiful pages are skillfully drawn scenes from a vivid imagination. I loved her idea of using a dated journal so I bought up a pocket-sized yellow Moleskine planner and started drawing my dreams again every morning.

Russian soldiers marching and big feet. Chinese vase with butterflies and lady bugs.

Russian soldiers marching and big feet. Chinese vase with butterflies and lady bugs.

I was pretty rusty at first, but with each drawing I’m feeling more confident about mostly drawing without references or props, and without worrying about accuracy. I’m using a variety of pens including Pitt Artist Brush Pens and their new PITT Artist Pen – White pen that works really well. I’m throwing out all the other yucky white markers I tried before.

The big screen kiss and lots of goats. Visiting my secret hidden basement room again and bowl of M&Ms.

The big screen kiss and lots of goats. Visiting my secret hidden basement room again and bowl of M&Ms.

The paper in the journal is thin so there is a little show-through from previous pages but the Pitt pens are great at not bleeding.

Woke with a migraine: shipwreck and monkey. Eat on Time.

Woke with a migraine: shipwreck and monkey. Eat on Time.

Sometimes if there are no visuals from the previous night’s dreams or I wake with a migraine, I draw what I’m feeling or something else related to life, like the two above, the migraine image on left and the reminder to eat on time (to help prevent stupid migraines).

Guy from Ace Hardware tried to take my dog and phone. Tall ships, bundt cake and a painting in progress.

Guy from Ace Hardware tried to take my dog and phone. Tall ships, bundt cake and a painting in progress.

Odd, the food items that appear in my dreams, mostly stuff I don’t eat.

No dream, just a sketch of a shitty migraine.

No dream, just a sketch of a shitty migraine.

From time to time I’ll post my favorite dream sketches here, but if you’d like to see them as I draw them, visit Drawing My Dreams Daily on Tumbler or my Instagram page, which I’m using to keep daily posting simple (no computer, just iPhone shots of the sketch).

My Dinner with Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan, watercolor

Bob Dylan, watercolor

I dreamed that Bob Dylan was having dinner with my friend Michael and he invited me to tag along. They talked seriously about music trivia for hours in the old wood-paneled café.  I was surprised at how much better Dylan looked in person. I was going to tell him but decided it sounded too dumb. So I just sat there silently, trying to inconspicuously flirt with him.

Then my calico cat Fiona woke me up, making those telltale, pre-puking sounds cats make. I pushed her off the bed and tried to go back to sleep since it was still dark. Just as I’d finally fallen back asleep she started licking my eyebrow. I gave up trying to sleep and spent the day feeling dopey and too tired to do the oil painting I had planned.

Instead it seemed like a really good idea to wash off the entire background of the Big Tulip painting I thought I’d “finished.”  More about that later…now off to get some sleep!

Cereal Dream; Clogged Sink Nightmare

Plink Cereal Dream, ink & gouache, in Moleskine 5x7"

Plink Cereal Dream, ink & gouache, in Moleskine 5x7"

I had a dream last night about a new cereal called “PLINK” that was designed to be eaten at your desk. I think the name of the cereal comes from the sound the computer makes when a new email message arrives.

This morning  when I prepared to do the dishes waiting for me in the sink (OK, not just my breakfast dishes but about three days worth) I discovered it was completely clogged and wouldn’t drain. I poured a teakettle full of boiling water down the drain, thinking that might help, but all it did was fill the sink even more. I left the dishes piled in the mucky water and went to work.

Clogged Drain Nightmare, ink & gouache in Moleskine, 5x7"

Clogged Drain Nightmare, ink & gouache in Moleskine, 5x7"

When I came home I asked my neighbor who knows everything about working on houses, what I should do. He came over with a plunger and spent 15 minutes trying that approach. But instead of emptying the sink, the plunger added what looked and smelled like rusty mud to the water. In a way it was an improvement over the left-over cauliflower scent from last night’s dinner.

After spattering muddy water everywhere he gave up and promised to bring over a drain snake tomorrow night. I tried to look on the bright side: since I couldn’t wash dishes or vegetables, I had a perfect excuse to neither cook nor do dishes.

I had a bowl of cereal for dinner. Not PLINK though,  just Cheerios.

Dream: Dancing Nude at the Office Party

Dancing Nude at the Office Party, Ink & watercolor, Moleskine sketchbook, 5x7"

Dancing Nude at the Office Party, Ink & watercolor, Moleskine sketchbook, 5x7"

I dreamed that I was at an office party where dancing was to be done nude. I was having fun, and surprised that I wasn\’t the most embarassed person there. There was a woman who was so self conscious she\’d wrapped herself in a gauzy fabric trying to (unsuccessfully) hide beneath it. The dream was fun but it was even more fun to draw it and just see who appeared beneath my pencil.

I usually like to draw directly in ink but I wasn\’t sure where I was going with this one so started with pencil and then inked over it.

Oh…I guess I should also mention that while my office does have nice parties, dancing nude has never been an option at any of them and, I\’m quite certain, never will be.

Actual sketchbook page:

Nude Party Dream - full page

Nude Party Dream - full page

Dreaming in Color of Beautiful Birds

Woodpecker Dream, Gouache & Ink

Woodpecker Dream, Gouache & Ink

Do you dream in full color? I dreamt I spotted the most beautiful woodpecker, and in my dream I noted that it was in gorgeous golds, ochres and siennas. The woodpecker, aside from it’s unique coloroing, looked just like the California Stellar Jays I see in my neighborhood, complete with peanut in mouth and nothing like a woodpecker. (Not that I’ve ever seen a woodpecker, although I have heard them).

Lime Mohawk Bird, Goauche

Lime Mohawk Bird, Goauche

Then I spotted another beautiful bird with, as I noted in the dream, a lime-colored Mohawk. Actually, in the dream I think I called it a “faux-hawk” because there’s something about the way”faux-hawk” sounds that pleases me.  This bird made horrible Peacock noises.

Mermaid Hair, Gouache

Mermaid Hair, Gouache

The next dream carried on with the odd colored top-knot theme. The long, black, silky, beautiful, Latina hair of the girl next door had been bleached white and then died mint green so she’d look more like the Disney mermaid princesses she seems to like so much.

These were all done with gouache in the large Moleskine watercolor notebook.

Dreamt a Peacock Wanted My Beaded Bag

Peacock Harassment Dream

Peacock Harassment Dream

I dreamt I was being harassed by a peacock who wanted my antique beaded bag that Steve’s mom gave me 33 years ago (where is that bag now?). In the dream I was carrying the little bag inside a big purse. The beaded bag is in peacock colors and that bird was determined he (?) would get the bag. I finally stood up to the big bird and said “Go home!” and he went to the house across the street.

I followed him and knocked on the door, prepared to ask them to keep their dangerous peacock at home. A lovely Persian woman opened the door and I could see the house was full of Persian women and children having some sort of daycare cooperative. I know that Persia is now Iran, but in my dream they were Persian.

I can’t even begin to fathom what this dream was about!

Leap (year) * Illustration Friday

Leap

Four watercolors, framed together 24×32″ (Larger)

This week’s Illustration Friday challenge is “Leap” in honor of leap year, this February 29, 2008. But the paintings and sketches in this post were actually made twenty years ago. They were inspired by two dreams recorded in a 1988 dream sketchbook (below) and a class in color theory I was taking at the time, based on Joseph Albers work. The images include references to the seasons; times of day/night; the elements of water, fire, earth, and air; and tarot symbols.

The dreams that night were showing me a choice I needed to make in my life. Then as now I was fascinated by computers/technology and art (a perfect combination for an art blogger, no?). But my dreams pointed out how the time and energy I was spending on the computer tied me in knots and stole from my creativity.

Here is the image from the first dream that night: A computer tech “boiler room” full of electronics, miles of wires, computers, monitors, and icky nerds frantically, obsessively, working non-stop at their computers with no time to even look up. It was a nightmare really…full of tension.

Leap-1988

In the next dream I left that scene and I was running free in a field and it felt really good.

Leap-1988-2

And then, from a quote I’d heard somewhere, this image and words.

Leap-1985

When I awoke I knew I had to make the choice for life, freedom, and art, and quit spending so much time at my computer.

I guess like anything else in life, it comes down to a matter of finding balance and making choices about what’s really important. If I remember to ask myself whether I’ll feel happier at the end of the day if I’ve spent my time drawing/painting or working on the computer, I usually know which to choose (Art!).

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