Inspiration from a Dream

The evening before last I had a dream in which a painting I had made features prominently . It was an image of an abstracted female nude with child, painted in gorgeous muddy mushroomy,mossy colors with hints of warm terra cotta and dull ochres. In the dream it was quite a hit. The next morning , with the memory fresh, I was determined to put it onto canvas . The following image is the result . I worked feverishly on it , utilizing unfamiliar acrylics. The muted pallete was lost in translation – I will try again in oil now that my fear of losing the image has passed.


 Dark Madonna
acrylic on canvas
16 by 20 inches

Until next time, take care,

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

12 thoughts on “Inspiration from a Dream”

  1. I love it!

    I’ve had songs come to me in dreams, have occasionally woken up with the tune still in my head and then quickly recorded it for future embellishment. There’s nothing like having a dream come true!

    1. Thanks, I think (operative word being think) I like it. Not certain, but in this instance being honest to the process seemed more significant than its actual aesthetic value. Will have to see how it translates into a muted oil palette.

  2. I love the story of this painting coming to you in a dream, it occasionally happens to me too – how does that work? They always seem to be paintings I’d never usually paint too, all very mysterious, but I love this, it looks very much itself and like it emerged onto the canvas fully formed, very satisfying

    1. I haven’t any idea how paintings pop up in our dreams, particularly images so contrary to our usual aesthetic (rut?). I am working at the moment on another interpretation of the dream painting, coloring is more in keeping with what i remember. Sadly dream paintings are not only mysterious they are elusive. Would love to see any images you have of work inspired by dream muses.

  3. Dreams are just a way of thinking in our sleep, and so the paintings recalled from them after waking are ones conjured by a creativity unhampered by our conscious thinking patterns. I dream paintings too, but perhaps because of my earlier life, I also frequently dream performances. Interesting to see from the comment above that Thom dreams songs. At a time in my life when I became interested in such things, I wrote my dreams down on waking, the better to recall them later. I found that there were very often useful ideas to pursue in those bedside notes, and the ideas were certainly unlike the ones that came to me in my waking hours. The person known to me who seems to have the most comprehensively recalled dreams, is Philippa Robbins, though I don’t know whether she feeds the ideas back into her paintings.

    1. I am an avid chronicler of my dreams, I am blessed-or cursed with extravagant dreams. My dream journals are filled with groggy sketches and often illegible narratives but the next day these scribbles reveal worlds I wouldn’t have imagined on my own. The journaling is a discipline I have practiced for several decades and now that I am seeing a Jungian the experience is even richer. I agree that dreaming is unrestricted thought but I also enjoy the notion of the dreamworld being another reality, one that coincides with my daily conscious world. An unconscious world, more truthful, more awful, more ecstatic, more enlightening; I don’t believe in an afterlife but we are given release from this earthly existence every evening. It is a blessing I hold dear, one that has enriched my life and I hope my work.

  4. They are ephemeral, I force myself out of the beds, pushing aside snoring pugs and I try to scribble out what i have seen. It is a matter of stubborn will, certainly not joyful inspiration; but always grateful the next morning.

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