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Author Topic: Are Your Eyes Open?  (Read 2062 times)


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on: September 04, 2012, 02:33:44 AM
Copied from one of my blogs:

A few years ago I received an email via one of the Newsletters I subscribe to. This one had nothing to do with Art but had to do with self-improvement matters. I believe that I need to constantly analyze myself and check that the goal(s) I has set myself is(are) still online according to the graph of life.

Many business people take considerable time over goals and goal-setting. As an ex-engineer I had to do a great amount of that as part and parcel of my work duties. The moment the progress line on the graph showed any signs of serious deviation I had to give account of this to the management, who then asked me just how I would proceed to rectify the matter.
The heading of that email was:

Directed Dreaming with Your Eyes Open.

I don't wish to discuss the contents of that email, but rather to apply it to Art because this Blog is dedicated to helping aspiring and practicing artists. Normally the act of dreaming is taken to be when one is in bed and fast asleep. "I dreamed last night that ...." Some dreams are very vivid while others remain vague.

The art of surrealism is mainly paintings that are depicting what happens in a dream state - where we "see" things happening that in real life would be absolutely impossible. Surrealism and dreaming are very closely connected. The Little Oxford Dictionary says this of the word Surrealism: "..seeking to express subconscious activities of mind by representing phenomena of dreams, etc."

To be a true artist one needs to exercise one's imagination (thinking in images or pictures) and creativeness (the application of these thinkings). Now how does one do this? There are several ways and methods, but I feel the one of the greatest is in the act of "day dreaming". While at school my late father often called me "Dennis the Dreamer!" Today I see the results of this in my success as a highly respected art teacher and my ability to be able to transfer my expertise over to others -beginners or professionals alike. My portfolio of student's paintings is proof of this. (My website has postings of some of my students paintings)

Whatever you do, strive at excelling in creativeness and your imaginative senses. Do it by "dreaming with your eyes open". This way you will remember what goes through your mind. Doing it often enough will guarantee that the right sort of material, suitable for your art sessions, will be fed directly to your subconscious mind.

Trying you hand at Abstract painting (even if you don't like it) is a great method is exercising your mind and your creativeness. Give it a try – it can only improve your art!
You are what you THINK about - Napoleon Hill


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Reply #1 on: September 04, 2012, 06:13:00 AM
NINA  :flowers:
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says. "OH NO, SHES UP!"


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Reply #2 on: September 04, 2012, 06:24:26 AM
Dennis, you've given me lots to  :think: about here.

In my fast-paced work-a-day world over the years, I haven't allowed much time to daydream.

Quite honestly, I haven't gained a great appreciation for abstract art in it's extreme, such as the works of Mark Rothko.  I like to at least be easily able to recognize images there or be able to see great color, shapes, texture and depth.  There are some very interesting abstracts that I really like, especially those of an impressionistic nature.

I'll have to really work at changing my mindset where abstract is concerned and it scares the life out of me to just start putting paint willie-nillie on a canvas per a figment of my imagination!   :2funny:

I think I will have to loosen up and take on an I could-care-less attitude and not consider the cost or the outcome.
"The way to be happy," said Winston Churchill, "is to find something that requires the kind of perfection that's impossible to achieve and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it."


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Reply #3 on: September 04, 2012, 08:12:38 AM
What a fantastic topic to sit around a PB family fire and share about. 


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Reply #4 on: September 04, 2012, 09:39:18 AM
Thanks Dennis for a great reminder that it's OK, even GOOD to dream!  I was always a day-dreamer as a child, and often got in trouble for it!  But, really my mind was working a mile a minute!  As I got older, became a wife, mother, employee, etc. that time for day-dreaming got less and less, until I almost forgot how!  Or, I learned how to overlook it, to the point I even forgot how to dream at night (or at least remember any dreaming)! The most wonderful thing has happened since I retired - I am again able to day-dream, and now even have wonderful, vivid dreams at night!  What a gift to have back!

I am also in awe of how my granddaughter, who is now 8-yrs old, is able to day-dream, and tell me about some of what she is thinking!  I also am amazed at how she "sees" things with such openess and curiosity.  The other day when we were driving along, she asked me why the mountains and far trees look grey and purple, when they were actually green!  She asked me if the sky was blue above the clouds.  And what makes the sky blue.  She has asked me why the air looked like it did one day when it was very hazy.  When she was four we spent about an hour driving and talking about all the ways electricity is made, and how it is made - why does moving water make electricity.  That kind of curious mind is what we all need to stay inspired in our art!  I'm learning so much from her!  I am reminded how much fun it is to day-dream, and also how necessary it is to my sanity!!

So, thanks again for the reminder to DREAM!!


"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties."  Erich Fromm


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Reply #5 on: September 04, 2012, 06:03:55 PM
In my case, I always try to capture images in my mind. Not always easy, but sometimes I just close my eyes and the pictures come. I can remember my dad often used to say to me 'where are you now?' It seemed I was always dreaming my way to my future, and here I am!
I get so many ideas, so much inspiration that its hard sometimes to settle (   :parachute:  ) on one thing and focus. I'm one of the besieged who simply must try everything! Must see everything! Must paint everything!   :heeha:
That is what inevitably brought me to where I am, quite through happenstance I discovered Dennis, Nolan and Paintbasket ... and these two incorrigible wizards of the arts have had my head spinning with possibilities ever since!  :D
Bless you both for helping a dreamer to dream.   :-*
Cheers, Val

”Creativity is allowing yourselves to make mistakes. Work on knowing which ones to keep!”

- Alvaro Castagnet


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Reply #6 on: September 09, 2012, 12:32:42 AM
 :thankyou: Dennis, great article.   I am going to put this into practice and "open" my eyes.   Never thought to do this.
Choose to make every day a good day


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Reply #7 on: September 10, 2012, 01:02:26 PM
I was a day dreamer in school too. I remember my teacher putting it on my report cards! I always strived for conceptual art with my photographs, and now that I'm painting, I'm afraid to do it..even though i have the chance to really paint ANYTHING.   I'm too concerned about the actual ability to paint well first i suppose. I think most of us had more imagination in our day because back then, it was about going down the creek, building a tree house, etc..not like today.
The moment you find yourself mostly satisfied with a painting and think you'll "just quickly" do this or that, that's the moment to stop completely. Take the painting off your easel and put it aside for at least 24 hours, then reassess whether it really needs that tweak.


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