Dreamed 2011/2/17 by Chris Wayan
A few days back I painted a sketch of a cliff and a crescent moon echoing the shape of the wood panel it's on. Looked good, but a little empty.
Today, I suddenly find myself drawing in one figure, a fox/cat girl whose white belly echoes the crescents of the panel and moon. Yes. She seems to fit.
More? Or is it done now?
I'm in an art class in a crowded two-floor complex. I go through a stack of old art, but find a recent project--a furry watercolor comic with a fox-girl and a unicorn, as if Hiroshige drew Terri Smith's furry comic "Xanadu".
Colorscheme of the painted panels: full color but all except true blue suffused with paper's warm yellowish beige. Looks very rich despite moderate contrast--few darks, all medium to white.
I've only painted every other panel, leaving half of them bare paper, a warm offwhite. And only 4 or 6 per page, so it's less a checkerboard than an open architecture. Like a city full of parks.
Do I intend to fill it in? Start to doubt I should. Looks good half-empty! Zen toon. Leave it so.
NOTES THE NEXT MORNING
ACTION: the dream has spoken. Declare that painting done.
ACTION: open up my comix, too! More open spaces. Because those dream-comix looked better than my waking work.
I included this piece to show how even my nondream art gets vetted by my dreams. Often they do suggest changes, making the resulting art clearly dream-influenced.
But what of pieces like this, where my dreams say "leave well enough alone"? Surely approval and "enough is enough" is as vital a critique as disapproval and forced revision! Yet I tend to undervalue, even fail to credit such dreams--dreams saying yes, not no.
Such affirmative dreams aren't confined to art. Dreams often reassure, not critique, timid or marginalized dreamworkers. Just as dreams can inject doubt into overconfident people, they can hearten those of us who are, by nature or nurture, already full of doubt. Non-art example: Balloon Dive.
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