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Dream On - Perspectives No. 359

Dream On

Perspectives No. 359

Small Dream in Red, 1925, Wassily Kandinsky
Small Dream in Red          1925          Wassily Kandinsky

   We are both known for our vivid dreams. We've mentioned some of them to friends, but have hesitated to relate others, for fear our friends might balk at the outlandishness of our nighttime adventures in dreamland. Our dreams range from the harrowing to the absurd and sometimes the hilarious.

   It's common knowledge that sleep brings almost hallucinogenic imagery, the result of random mixing of memories and images, but most people retain very little memory of all the adventures they experience in their sleep. Science, however, is learning more and more about the mechanism of what is happening. One of the discoveries is that creative people tend to have more creative dreams and to remember their dreams more clearly.

   The study revealing this was conducted by Dr. David Watson, a psychologist at Notre Dame. By tracking 200 subjects over three months, he found that those who were high scorers on creativity tests given while awake, tended to remember their dreams more than others. He concluded that this was because their dreams were more vivid and exciting, stating, "This is a case of the rich getting richer."*

   Dr. Watson's work also found that directed dreaming, in many cases, can be used effectively to find solutions to problems which elude us during our waking hours. By consciously focusing, right before bedtime, on a problem or issue that we wish to solve, some of us can find the answers through dreaming. He writes that up to a third of the subjects in his sample group reported success in finding solutions during their sleep cycles. Apparently, the brain will work on anything at hand, and this so-called "priming" can provide the raw material for the creative mind to chew on all night.

   We often use this same idea by setting up in our bedroom whatever paintings we are working on so that they are the last thing we see before turning out the lights and the first thing we see in the morning. Even if we haven't dreamt up any epiphanies, it is, nevertheless, a remarkably good start to any day.

* "The Power of Sleep", Jeffrey Kluger, The Science of Creativity published by Time, Inc.




Copyright Hulsey Trusty Designs, L.L.C. (except where noted). All rights reserved.
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A Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes

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Filled with inspirational examples by the masters of nightime painting, this little book is sure to fire up your creative energies. Never tried painting at night? We show you how it's done with a step-by-step-oil demo and a tale of night painting in the wilds of Rocky Mountain National Park. The Primer on Night Painting - Nocturnes is a 7 x 7" PDF download with 40 pages of text and images. It includes a gallery of paintings by masters of the nocturne, information to inspire and encourage you in your plein air nocturne painting, an illustrated step-by-step demo and tips for working in pastel and oil. Also available in a softcover edition. Check out the tools and other products that we use in our own art and travels in The Artist's Road Store. We only offer things for sale that we enthusiastically believe in.

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About Us

Photograph of John Hulsey and Ann Trusty in Glacier National Park
We are artists, authors and teachers with over 40 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
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We are also regular contributors to the Plein Air blog at Artist Daily.

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