If you follow me on Instagram you might remember me talking about how my newest body of work was inspired by a dream I had- hence the name Dreams in Color. And while that is true, it’s not the whole story.
You see, the idea behind the compositions and the technical aspects of the paintings (the line work mixed with expressive pools and swashes of watercolor) did come to fruition because of a dream. That is actually where the majority of my inspiration comes together- either from a dream directly or those kind of twilight-y half asleep/half awake moments right before you fall asleep.
(I’ve tried to get better at capturing these as they happen and either text myself somewhat coherent thoughts at midnight-2am or sketch something quickly in the notebook next to my bed. Personally, I prefer the text. Why you might ask? Because otherwise I’m sketching by moonlight. And while that might sound all romantic and artsy, it’s not. It’s more because if I turn on the light I will fully wake up and have a hard time falling back asleep. As someone who needs 8 hours of sleep in order to be a fully functioning member of society instead of an overly emotional grouch, I just draw in the dark. Again, just to make sure I am not overly romanticizing this process, keep in mind that these drawings are not just completed without light, but I’m also not wearing my contacts. So basically what I’m trying to say is that when I draw my dreams/thoughts out, I am just blindly scratching something onto paper in the middle of the night, which I then have to try and decipher the next morning. Sometimes I’m successful, and sometimes I’m not. Hence why I prefer my texts. Cryptic or not, they at least have words that kind of go together.)
Well that was an unexpected tangent. Back to the series inspiration.
So although the compositions and colors (sometimes) are brought about by dreams, the ideas behind the series (i.e. what the paintings actually mean) all tie into the overall theme of my art.
If you’ve read my artist statement, then you already know that my work explores the complexities and juxtapositions within people. Specifically women because that is my personal experience.
I focus on flowers because of their metaphorical talents. Flowers have this amazing ability to mimic and portray the full gamut of human emotions. Just shifting a petal or varying the level of life in a bloom can evoke a sense of emotions and storytelling that I could only dream of putting into words. Flowers are also incredibly resilient yet fragile- a quality I find in many women (myself included.) That level of strength paired with vulnerability is a theme that continues to present itself in my work, and it’s one that I welcome with open arms.
Specifically with Dreams in Color, I wanted to explore the idea of finding and becoming your true self. The person you have always believed yourself to be/wanted to be, even if (or particularly if) you felt held back by expectations from society, friends, or family.
It’s about being vulnerable, but not weak. Strong, but not cold. Empowered, but maybe still cautious. It’s about having the courage to be yourself even if you don’t have it all figured out, or even if parts of yourself contradict other parts of yourself and you find yourself living less in the concrete black and white and more in the complexities of the grey.
It’s about breaking free and being who you want, even if (or especially if) it’s hard- and then celebrating that person.
And just to wrap this up on a fun note (and because I saw this episode a few days ago and it made me laugh/speaks to what I’m saying about finding your true self) I leave you with this: