Navigating Between Dreams


My dreams were cut short by the sound of water hitting the earth and I pulled myself out of bed to watch the rain wash the slate of the week clean. I'm normally a sunshine person, but this week I welcome the rain.

I used to have a Buddha board- a 12x9 inch slate that came with a small jar of water and paintbrush. I remember painting designs and messages directly onto the slate just to watch the water evaporate. Buddha boards are designed to help us master the art of letting go...of starting anew.

Next month is my gallery show at LithaMoon, titled "Between Dreams." I plucked this title directly from my artist statement before I started creating and have been using it as a point of departure and inspiration guide ever since.

Now that my collection is nearly complete, I feel this overwhelming urge to string together new words to embody the spirit of this artwork. It's not as if my artwork has changed into something else, but life around me has been changing at lightning speed. It has caused me to step back, look at the artwork from a new place- perhaps more untangled and unattached.

I've always considered my artwork to be partly abstract with recognizable imagery peaking out underneath a haze of color and layered drips. There is a saturation and color to it that makes it elevated from reality. Those familiar shapes (birds, trees, leaves, seeds, ect) bring my artwork to a more familiar and, for me, comfortable place. And as I paint, I can find myself and lose myself at the same time. Anchored by imagery, released by blurs of color.

But now I find myself thinking about dreams on a deeper level. There is an in-between state between being fully awake and fully asleep called "Hypnagogia." People refer to this as "the borderland of sleep" or "half-dream state." This in-between stage fascinates me because new experiences (mental or physical) are often replayed here.

In my mind's eye, I see myself picking up seashells along the shore and sifting through them. They vary in shape and size and some of them are much heavier than others. Which ones should I hold on to and which should I let go of? Sometimes the most inspiring and beautiful shells are sharp and difficult to carry. I find myself newly aware of the correlation between weight in my pockets and the lightness in my heart. We can't control how the world moves around us, but we can choose what experiences we want to hold on to.

My upcoming show, "Between Dreams," reflects what images and experiences I have consciously chosen to hold onto this year. I have wrapped them in abstraction and elevated them into a dreamlike state that I can comfortably navigate. My paintings symbolize the thoughts I want to keep and remember and the process has given me the therapy to let go of what is no longer helpful. You see, this show is truly a gift to myself. I do hope to see you there.

Love,

Kristen


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