Monday, October 18, 2010

Dreams and Reality

I dream my paintings, then I paint my dreams.
--Vincent Van Gogh

I am an amazing artist in my dreams. I allow myself to lay claim to all that I see when I dream, for it is coming my brain. The problem I face is bringing my dreams to reality; how do I produce what I see in my dreams with my waking brain? I've never felt that I have very strong drawing or painting skills, yet this is the art I mostly create in my dreams. That and fabulous clothing from time to time. But I see beautiful things. Last night, I dreamt that I was in a Chinese art vault. The Chinese government was trying to destroy pieces of art that were controversial. There was a great debate over what was art and what was trash and what was a confession of sins perpetrated (use of blood as paint). I got hired to work in the vault and catalog the art. I saw the most amazing things: Easy pencil drawings; simple and bold graphical paintings of people and creatures; majestic winged birds embroidered using a color palette of eggplant and clover; and the list goes on and on. In my dream, I was struck over and over by how, if I let go of my critic, the art I loved was not necessarily the most classical. I was not drawn to the perfectly created pieces; I was drawn, rather, to the more chidlike, free, easy and spirited art. And I realized that perhaps I'm too hung up on perfection, "skill", and classical training that I don't allow myself to create for fear that it won't be very good, nor perceived or received as worthwhile "art". In reality, I never say I'm an artist. I say I am crafty. That is a much more comfortable space for me to inhabit. However, going forward I would like to think of myself as both. I hereby give myself the freedom and permission to explore and learn and stretch my eggplant and clover covered wings and someday perhaps, believe fully that I am an artist and craft gal all in one.

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery,
it wouldn't seem so wonderful at all. --Michelangelo

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