I’ve been working on making prints where the imagery is derived from vivid dreams I have had. My ability and desire to remember my dreams changes periodically, and I went through a rather long stretch where I didn’t care to remember them at all. I was able to forget my dreams, for the most part, but occasionally a dream of unusual detail and power would strike. Those are the dreams on which I’m basing this new body of work.
This image (which was very poorly photographed indeed, using my cell phone camera in poor lighting after a couple of glasses of wine) is my first foray into making a print that I literally dreamed. In said dream, I had a print pulled (an etching with a lovely, velvety black aquatint) of a plate with a ring of crow heads for a border. The middle of the image was blank, and I had a drawing on a piece of tracing paper that I was trying to compose in that space.
That image was a portrait of a gentleman, I would guess from the 19th century, sporting a dramatic Hulihee and a crisp collar. I have no idea who he was or why I might dream such a thing, but it was so clear that I jumped out of bed and scribbled a thumbnail on a scrap of paper by the bed.
This crow head sketch I composed by drawing the heads separately on pieces of tracing paper, cutting them out, and arranging them until I was pleased with the density of crows and shape of the blank space. I now feel sure of my familiarity with the shape of a crow’s beak, particularly the lower half, because I struggled with it on several of the sketches.
I’ve heard that trying to remember one’s dreams by such means as keeping a dream journal or repeating the dreams back to yourself upon waking can actually lead to remembering more dreams. I have never heard of someone making dream-derived art that resulted in art being created in a dream, though I suppose it makes a certain sort of sense.
I am still working on the “mysterious skull” plate (I have another proof to pull) and the Yezinky one (still drawing on that litho stone; it’s a slow process). Stay tuned for more…
I wish I could come up with all my ideas by simply falling asleep. Too easy, I suppose.