Dreamtime Painting

Dear Friends,

I’ve recently returned from a week of my own personal painting retreat and having all sorts of thoughts about my own creative process as well as that of others since I teach so many workshops.   As I wandered about my house this morning I was missing my retreat routine of painting right when I woke up.   I was enjoying doing that each morning while away in Maine. I felt I needed to unpack and record some of my thoughts before I could settle back into a painting routine again.

Primarily I was thinking about how often people ask me if my paintings come from dreams and why that is.  I realize that it is for two reasons:

  1.  Some of my work has a loose ethereal dreamy quality
  2. I create some of my paintings right upon waking so that the energy of dreamtime, as well as the subject matter seep into the works.

There is a power, a magic for me that is present right when I wake from sleep.  I usually lay in bed processing and recording my dreams and allowing any “incoming” thoughts and ideas to download.  I don’t like to be disturbed during this time!  If I am able to get right to my painting during that time that magic is carried right into my work with ease.  If I am painting at other times during the day I sometimes will tune in with a meditation before I begin painting.

Painting is a right brain activity which means that when we are painting we are in the receptive mode, rather than the more linear thinking left brain activity.  Residing in the right side of our brain allows us to access ideas and imagery with more ease than when we are deliberately thinking about something.  Even though we may be focused on a picture or scene we are working from, we are still in a receptive mode as we paint.  When at our best we are lost in another world, the world of infinite imagery.  If we have taken time to learn enough skills we can allow ourselves to get lost in thought, and our hand can take over without much help from the “thinking mind” when we are lost in the image.  We already know how to mix our colors, which type of brush will work for any given area on the surface, what type of paper we should use, etc.

Painting is more than a joy for me, it is my medicine.  I love getting lost in the process.  I’m happy to help you with yours if you ever have the interest.

Be well until next time,  Melissa