The Intuitive-Connections Network

Current Update as of May 14, 2003

Inspired by The Edgar Cayce Institute for Intuitive Studies

Edited by HENRY REED, Ph.D.

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Creative Use of Dreams for Inspiring Art


During my dream-interpretation course with Dr. Henry Reed I became aware of what my dreams were trying to tell me. I was examining them on two levels--the first simply in terms of the objects in them and their value as material for my visual work, the second in terms of the messages they were trying to give me. The exercises that were a part of the course encouraged me to took at life and people around me in fresh and more diverse ways. When these were understood and absorbed, I would then be free to fashion a more creative, free, and joyful life.

I was now able to see dreams not only as the miraculous phenomena that they are, but also to become aware of their ability to act as teacher, to add depth and resonance to my life, and to become more sensitive to relationships--me to me, and me to others.
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"Skipping and Dancing" 4 3/8" x 6 5/8" painted relieve collage

Before the course, I had curated an exhibit with Gail Enns (director and owner of Anton Gallery, Washington, DC). It included nine artists whose work was informed one way or another by our dreams. For that show I had completed a number of painted collages.

After the show was over, I continued this series, and was asked to exhibit alt this work (that hadn't been sold before this) in Los Angeles, CA, at an improv theatre and gallery space called Bang. Studio. There are approximately sixteen of these in all. They were shown in five-sided black boxes and covered with plex, shown from May 1 to- June 30, 2002.
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"Don't Cry." 4/ 1/4" x 3 5/8" mixed media

I began this series with a group of Polaroid photographs, each of which contained a three dimensional object resting on a two-dimensional surface, perhaps on an illustration found in the pages of a book. To these I added other cut-out snippets of things, and sometimes some text from a poem or encountered phrase. Then, instead of building the images directly on the photograph itself, I began to scan in the initial image and add to it and manipulate it on the computer. The process progressed to where I was using photographs or parts of photographs taken on my travels in Japan, France and Italy, then adding to them. I also began to incorporate pieces of scanned-in candy corn, marzipan peas or jacks into the compositions.

Fragments of dreams combined themselves with things from everyday life, as these objects began to do their dance seemingly without my conscious intervention. They composed themselves. In the last few, I began cutting apart the layers and laminating them before painting, so that now, I was creating reliefs.
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"Babe-in-Toes" 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" Mixed Media

Dreams are born, experienced in a breath, then just as quickly die. Dreams--those ephemeral creatures--gifts of the Imperishable, the bodiless inner eye--Light our steep for moments before quickly dissolving to return us to our life-renewing sleep or to our waking selves.

Fragile, almost impossible to entrap and record in our sensate lives, they add scent, beauty, and melody as we journey toward our certain end. So quickly do they disappear, yet, when caught in our flailing net, how helpful to us in recapturing and reconsidering our memories and moods of today and the past. Dreams, like imagination, intuition and improvisation are a channel to the sacred dimension--non-material, ephemeral, synchronous.
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"Judith and Holoforms" 10" x 8" painted relief collage

For me dreams are by their very nature evanescent yet, paradoxically, butterflies to be caught and savored by us--the dreamer- -for a tiny slice of time. Some, perhaps, suggest solutions to almost insoluble problems. Yet all cannot but be peacock displays of creativity, psychological specula, psyche-revealing marvels-- evocative of both life and death. I liken the process of dream creation to what we as artists do in the studio, as we focus within and open to without.

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"Our Animal Nature" 8 1/2" x 10 1/2" Painted relief Collage

Recording dreams, their events, feelings and moods- -being privileged to be able to contemplate them--being privileged upon a time to be able to catch hold of these illusive wisps flowing through my psyche--form the basis of a series of dream images I am composing on the computer.

Mandala 4" x 4" Mixed media collage

As early as 1998 I began my first collage series which evolved to the use of digital processes. A. an Alice Book, consists of twenty images based on that extended dream, Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland , I composed these first "by hand", cutting and pasting various elements onto heavy paper, then moved on to using the computer. My next project began with Polaroid photographs used as a background for the collage. Then, I simply scanned in the Polaroid image and enhanced with it on the computer. In the last pieces I used collected elements stored in my image files as well as three-dimensional objects scanned in directly. Text appeared in most of these. After printing, these cut out, aggregate, shaped images were painted. My current two projects, progressing together, are (and will be) making computer collages of fairly literal content of specific dreams; and a series I call: rrMandalas for Artists". Based on the idea of the mandala as well as on kaleidoscope format, evoking the feeling of a dream, these collages consist of any images I encounter that resonate and work well together. So far in these, I have used birds and flowers, photographs of Giverny, photographs of earlier work, bits from earlier paintings, a photograph of a fish bowl with, of course, fish, and a large, very oddly shaped tomato. These images remain unpainted, as I wish to begin experimentation with transparent overlays. My proposal is to blow up either of these series' of images digitally and place them on large sheets of paper or even fabric, which will be hung simply without frames.

To read Elaine Langerman's interview for the Green Chalk Dream Art exhibit, click here!

Additional articles on dream incubation for creativity:

Dream Incubation for healing:
Joan Gravallese 's story of her dream quest experience:
Noreen Wessling on making dream quests:
Margaret Dwyer's description of her dream incubation work:

The Committee of Sleep:

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