“I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.” – Vincent Van Gogh

When I graduated from Mason, my brother gave me a picture frame with these words on it.  For me, this quote rings quite true.

I’ve heard that artistic/creative people have “quirks” or ways of working – rituals they perform before diving into a creative act.  A way of loosening up, getting mind going, and opening a flow of thought.

Most of my ideas develop in my dreams, as the quote suggests. I spend a lot of my time researching, scribbling down notes on anything I can carry back to my studio, including napkins. I do make sketches, doodle, think and ponder. I usually get so worked up with an idea that sometimes I can’t figure out what exactly I’m going to do. I know what point or message I want to get across – just not the vehicle.

My mind relaxes as I sleep – and I start envisioning my piece(s). Things just happen – I end up “seeing” the pieces. Seeing the final product – the colors, the feel of the paper/materials, the message.  Everything seems clear when I wake up – I usually get a pretty good idea of what it will look like in the end, and follow through.


Things may change a little here and there, but they always end up looking how I dreamed it. It may take a while to get there, but they always look nearly exact to my dreams. The fans from bound looked exact – from the little details of worn paint, to the little charm, the tassel…to the bigger image on the front and the back. It’s as if I had help from a muse in my dreams and I just gave them life.

It’s amazing how that happens.

I wonder if this is common?