November 23rd, 2010

breeden

Dreaming of Paintings That Don’t Exist

Had one of those mind-bending dreams that make you sleep late. The yard was flooding, and there were strange frogs and enormous lizards with orange dewlaps in it. My mother was frantically rearranging the living room, while the yard continued to flood.

Then strange people started showing up, and I was wandering around hearing snippets of disturbing conversation–”The giant’s child is dead. I will visit her now,” and “I hear he has a bone-dog for sale,” and then, because dreams are basically absurd, “I’m Mork from Ork!” (Leaving aside the bit about Mork, there was a great deal about bones.)

There was a plump, rather goth woman there who seemed to know what was going on, so I pulled her aside and said “What’s happening here? Why is everyone talking about bones?” So she took me to another building, past all these crowds of strange gawky fairy creatures. The building had a great many doors–some of the doors very short and stacked on top of each other, so they looked like cupboards or doors in a morgue–and on most of the doors were paintings. They were bright pastels, very strong colors–sort of like the work of Tom Perksinson or Tony Abeyta, but without the Native American imagery. Each image indicated something about the creature or room behind the door, all part of some bizarre shamanic fairyland, and I remember thinking “If I can just remember these paintings–this could change the way I paint, but I’ll never be able to remember–”

Which is always frustrating, because the truth is, there probably isn’t anything to remember. The brain is a remarkably skilled charlatan, and the odds are good that it didn’t bother to generate any great masterpieces, it just kicked the bundle of synapses that generates the feeling of looking at remarkable art.

And I know this, because it’s happened before.

I just wish it didn’t FEEL so real, because damnit, on some level, I’m convinced some of those paintings that didn’t exist were really amazing.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.