Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I wrote this up for the show last weekend. Forgot that it might be nice to share here, too. It's the story of how I came up with my most recent signature for these new works.

Making a Mark

Dream February 6, 2009
I am given a small block of wood with a wood burner resting on it - in order that I can put a special mark on a piece of art I have created. The man who gave me this tool hands me a very old Tibetan print with a special red color and points to the red (which is the same as the red I have been using in my paintings). The mark is only about a half inch in size. This is an ancient tool to make an ancient and very special mark. This tool is ancient and Tibetan - it must be several thousand years old.

After this dream, I knew that I would use a wood burner to make my sign on my recent artworks that are primarily on wood. I was not sure what my mark would be, but that would come.

Then, a few weeks before this show, I had another message from a dream:

Dream September 5, 2009
I see large paintings or images of forests, water, etc. Superimposed on them are concentric red circles - sort of like targets. They could be successful artworks - large paintings. I woke up remembering this for later. I moved on to other dreams, and in those dreams reminded myself to remember this important image.

I awoke the next morning feeling appreciative that I had received a message, but also thinking that the image was a bit heavy handed for me, in terms of art content. I just couldn’t see myself plastering such a big symbol all over my work. I sketched it out, though, and thought about what the symbol could mean in the context of my life, and rested on the idea of frequency. I had been thinking a lot over the last couple of years about frequency and how we resonate to certain things and people – and with colors and sounds and places. Not only that, but this symbol also suggested to me the small stone that makes a ripple which travels far. These felt better to me, but still I wasn’t sure what I would do with the image from the dream in waking life.

A couple weeks later, preparing for this show, I borrowed a wood-burning tool from my mother that she had gotten for the grandkids to use. I wondered what my sign would be. When I got the box with the wood-burner to my studio and opened it up, I found several generic points in addition to the wedge point, which was the only one I’d ever used before. One of these was the concentric circles I had seen in my dream. I was so relieved to discover that not only would I not have to make big targets on my work, but even more because I knew what mark I needed to make. I would never have chosen that point with which to make my mark - but that my dream had informed me just in time.

This is one of many stories about how dreams, when I pay attention, can guide me in beautiful, strange ways.


Adam Stoltman said...

Wonderful story with much wisdom being passed on/through.........remind me to share with you some work by the poet Wang Ping...she has a poem which also deals with dreams and Tibet and in some ways reminds me of your story.

Clarity said...

What rich dreams you have?

I don't remember mine these days and have had only "artistic" dream about a year ago which gave me my first literal dream inspiration. Normally I don't see dreams as literal but like the way you are feeling around it for clues and direction.

I always thought your work would look beautiful in small or large scale. Hope to see more soon and fantastic that you got to exhibit Honor, Peace, xxx.

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