Alaskan Artist - Elise Tomlinson
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03/02/2006: "On having "visions" (or...they make meth out of cough syrup don't they?)"

Last night I had a dream, well, it was probably closer to a hallucination of the too-much-over-the-counter-medicine variety but it seemed very real. I know reading or listening to other people's dreams is one of the most boring things ever so I normally don't write about mine but last night's was art related so...

I was in my studio sitting on the floor and my paintings in all stages of being finished (one's I'm actually working on, not made up ones) were on the walls all around me. Then one of the women called me over, she asked me if I'd "considered all the possibilities".

I asked what she meant and she began to change, the colors became weaker, than darker, the shadows shifted, became more in focus, then more abstract, her look changed from placid to angry to fearful, within a flash I saw a hundred possible paintings. Choosing one still frame among so many options seemed impossible. Then all the paintings started to shift similarly. Most stayed somewhat close to their original conception but some changed altogether, became still lifes, insects, non-objective color fields.

It was pretty much overwhelming. This went on for what seemed like hours. In some ways I knew that I was at home, in my bed, that my paintings weren't really holding a coup d'etat on me, but it was real in the sense that I was seeing all these variations on a theme, and some of them were much better than what I had done so far, and I was trying desperately to photograph them with my eyes so I could remember some of the better ideas but there were just too many of them.

This morning my paintings on the walls looked dim and unimaginative in comparison, and I only remember a few specifics well enough to actually make any useful alterations.

Replies: 17 Comments

on Thursday, March 2nd, holly said

trying to email you-- your boxes are full.

on Thursday, March 2nd, subi said

have you read 'the story of Avis'? this post really puts me in way of a particular scene in that book. victorian artist coming of age...and being in way of her artistry. read it! pretty amazing vision(s) dear!

on Thursday, March 2nd, Elise said

Sounds groovy Subi, I'll have to check it out.

on Thursday, March 2nd,">Rob Roys said

Cool Beans!

Art dreams are my favorite! Yes even sex dreams are lower. Actually smoking dreams are my #3, sex is #4, and flying is #2. I have had only one flying dream.

on Thursday, March 2nd, Judy Vars said

Last night I dreamed that I lived in a city in a highrise penthouse it was nice until I discovered that other people were also living there with me sharing the rent when I looked at the TV the phone rang and some computer generated voice was charging me for television time there were also some funkey old lady interior decorating going on and I wasn't allowed to change it went from stupid to stupider. God please give me some meaningful dreams. Sex, art, flying. Hey I'd even like a nightmare.

on Thursday, March 2nd, Jackie said

E: Whoa! what was in that cold medicine you took? morphine? Actually, whether or not I take medicine when I'm sick, I always have wierd dreams.
And Rob: you know what Jung said about dreams of flying, right?
Puts sex dreams right up there at #2 for you!
Too bad someone doesn't invent a dream recorder, so we can play back the cool ones, eh Elise? :satisfied:

on Thursday, March 2nd, Elise said

Your smoking dreams rate higher than sex? Someone isn't doing something right!
And Judy, have you heard of lucid dreaming, where if you become concious that you're in a dream you can try to actually alter it?

I've been able to do that in the past and it might work for you too.

As for what happened last night, it wasn't really a "dream" in the real sense of the word. It was closer to my experience coding with my hands in Achorage. You're kindof awake, aware of your surroundings, and yet it feels like you're acutally doing something but a part of you knows that it's pretty improbable.

I know it *sounds* like a dream, but there is a very distinct difference. I mostly only experience it when I'm sick and have a fever.


on Thursday, March 2nd, Elise said

Hey Jackie, I guess I was posting at the same time as you.

A dream recorder would be an excellent invention, I believe someday it will be a reality. Some of mine are so disturbing I don't think I'd want a record of them anywhere though.

What did Jung say about flying?

on Friday, March 3rd, Julie McBrien said

I watched a documentary on Man Ray and he would get up in the morning, sketch images from his dreams, and then spend the rest of the day developing a painting from his sketches. I should hi-hack my free time at work and instead of mindless doodling, I should develop ideas for a painting to work on in the evenings.

on Friday, March 3rd, Julie McBrien said

hi-hack = hijack

on Friday, March 3rd, Elise said

That's funny Julie, my mind automatically read hi-jack!

I think it would be fantastic if you got back into painting, you're so talented and it makes me upset that you don't find time to do it anymore.

Are you going to First Friday tonight?

on Friday, March 3rd, Julie McBrien said

Hey, Woman:

First Friday? I am not sure. I might be tempted to buy something! Thanks for the compliment (blushing).

I would like to comment on your 'works in progress', because they are very good! They have more depth to them than your earlier works. By depth, I mean that they don't look flat. Also, your use of color is more sophisticated in these current paintings.

I love highly saturated colors that are bold and bright (strong theme in your earlier works) but this new series is calm, more detail-oriented, and more inviting. When viewing your earlier works, I spent a lot of time reacting to the boldness of line and color. Somehow, they made me feel thrown off balance, or like I needed to rest after looking at them. But these new paintings invite me to step in and walk around.

Your blog is addicting. I find myself checking it more and more often!

on Friday, March 3rd, greg said

heh, just so you know ... I had the dream where you had a huge and successful show of your morphing dreamworks, and people were lined up for blocks to see the show and meet you! I seem to recall up until the time I got too wasted on wine-in-a-box and was thrown out, you had become a millionaire and were sailing your yacht down the streets of Juneau with Cillian Murphy, and all your dream works in tow in golden dinghies.

I wasn't even asleep for this one. Could happen - never know! :D

on Friday, March 3rd, Elise said

Hey Julie, thanks for the comments about the new pieces. You have been a supporter/collector of my stuff from the beginning so that means a lot to me. Whenever I try goinging in a slightly different direction I feel a lot of, that means a lot to me!

And Greg, WOW! I want a little of whatever you're taking!!!

Thanks for the most excellent vision!!!

on Friday, March 3rd, Elise said

BTW, I got this email this morning so it seems the offer was legit. The book has good reviews on Amazon so if anyone else wants to get in on it, sooner is probably better than later:

"Dear Blogger:

Thanks for contacting us. We will be sending you your copy of "Living the Artist's Life" this week. We hope you enjoy the read.

Kindest regards,

Hillstead Publishing
4741 Central, #213
Kansas City, MO 64112 "

on Friday, March 3rd, Jackie said

E: thanks for the tip-off. I e-mailed my info to get the book -so we'll see if it's any good.

Glad you're feeling better. Oh - and Jung said dreams of flying are dreams of sex. I dunno. I've dreamt of flying before - like that I had wings, not on a plane - and then Erica Jong named her sexy bestseller "Fear of Flying" (not that I've ever read her book). :blush:

on Friday, March 3rd, Elise said