With the holidays behind me, I am getting back into the swing of painting. I started a piece that I planned to do with oils before I fell in November. The canvas is prepared, my field colour selected and, over the weeks in between, the composition has shifted. I think I am finally ready to start this one.
Some paintings just happen, others go through the corridors of my mind for some time before emerging. They are born, only when they are ready. I can only hope that something – an improvement in my skill – the right ‘feeling’ – or some circumstance has happened that will allow me to express the idea in the way I imagine it.
This past week, I had a dream that keeps coming back to my mind. My husband and I have been contemplating a bush lot and had driven by one a few days before the dream. The place had such magic, I am not sure how to describe it. The bush was thick and the snow sparkled. We stepped out of the Jeep. The silence was gentle and we both felt that we were ‘welcomed’.
In the dream, we were walking through a bush much like this one. Slowly, the trees thinned out and the sun became brighter. Finally, we emerged on a low outcropping of rock over a small lake. Unlike the rest of our surroundings, the lake was not frozen. At the end of the lake to our left, there were two moose – a male and a female. They were grazing at the waters edge. Then, my husband suddenly started to run at the moose. The bull turned and began to charge him in return. I watched and cried out and moved myself out of the bull’s path – to the edge of the rocks over the water. Just before impact, my husband dove into the water. The moose continued up the outcropping and stopped within a few feet of me. The cow joined him. I didn’t move. I looked back toward the lake and my husband was swimming frantically across it, but, he was not distressed in any way.
Suddenly the bush from the far side of the lake broke with a surprise that was almost beyond words.
Several of them bust into the water and what I remember most was that they looked ‘painted’ – not like war paint, but like a watercolour dawn. It was as if they were not really there, but that their forms were reflecting another world. They ran in slow motion as smooth as if they were all connected as one. In my amazement, I almost missed the fact that my husband leapt onto the back of one of them. They were making their way down the lake and were going to pass to my right. I broke into a run to catch them and leap onto the back of another just as the dream ended.
I cannot get the image of the moving sky in the sides of these horses out of my head. In them the sun had not yet risen, but coloured the clouds above the horizon. I dream a lot, but only a few remain with me for so many days in such clarity. They kind of reminded me of a painting I had seen once. I can’t find the exact painting, but, this one by Carol Grigg has some similarity in the way it is handled. I’ll post the other if I can ever find it!
The fact that this dream has stayed with me so vividly makes me think that the horses will reappear in some way, creatively, metaphorically… Right now, I can’t be sure of anything other than the fact that these horses will roam the corridors of my mind for a while until they burst into the world.
I almost forgot to add – Happy Birthday Grandpa! It’s his 89th!