The Direction of My Dreams

As I write this, I am listening to a selection of beautiful classical music shared by Anne from the Denney Home Place blog. It is always a pleasure to visit there, not only for the music but also for the inspirational quotes.

Henry David Thoreau’s comments caught my eye:

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

Life the life you have imagined.

I’ve always liked this quote. I think it touched me more deeply now than ever before, though, because it fits perfectly with thoughts and feelings I experienced while painting the scene below. In fact, I had given this painting the title of Winter Dreams.

Revised Winter Dream


This painting speaks to me about dreams, and especially about moving in the direction of my dreams as an artist. Shortly before painting this, I had read a few remarks about art and dreaming, and as I picked up my brushes, those thoughts were still in my mind. I wanted to paint a dream.

I already had a canvas with various splotches of color on it — I’d done that several days ago — and I could clearly see a winter morning hidden within those colors. I loved the bluish gray, the darker grays, the bright white. So, with a deep breath, I picked up my paints and tried to create the dream-like vision I saw in my heart.

One thing I’ve been working on as I move toward a looser style of painting is creating a softness about a landscape, a misty, dream-like quality. I love seeing that softness in paintings I view, and I want it to become part of my artistic repertoire. I think I’ve captured a bit of that softness in the grove of wintry trees, especially those toward the background on the left.

But…still I question myself and my art. I’ve posed this question before: How loose is too loose? When does a painting cross the line between being loose and just being a mess?

Is my painting really an impressionist landscape? Or is it just a jumbled mess of shapes and colors? I don’t know. I do know that I like much of the painting, so that’s a good thing. Whether the painting succeeds in what I wanted to achieve is questionable, yet it’s definitely taking me in the direction I want to go.





      1. You are always overly critical with your art. 🙂 Let it go… 🙂 Consider it a draft and move to the next one. Then come back to it, if you feel like adding things to it. Art is a process not a final product..
        artists are never satisfied with their art… 😉
        I think you have a gift for colors..keep playing with them. 🙂

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      2. Thanks. I’m sorta “feeling my way around” again as I explore different things and develop a looser approach. I love colors. It’s a long, long story, but that was what led me here. Since I couldn’t draw but had always loved colors, I bought a “grown-up coloring book” about 3-1/2 years ago. (This was before they became so popular.) Ultimately that led me to Prismcacolor Premier colored pencils. I fell in love with them, bought a complete set, and then the only way I could justify owning “artist-quality” colored pencils was if I became an artist. So, I shrugged and said, “I need to learn to draw.” Now, here I am. Happily drawing and painting. Oh, my goodness, what an unexpected pleasure this journey has been.

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  1. Thanks for sharing your art and for sharing about your journey. Reading Thoreau’s quote affected me today and it really helped me continue working towards my goals. I was thinking about where I am headed earlier this morning and questioning whether it was all worth it. I needed to read that quote today. It helped me stay focused.

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  2. I think the impressionists put something of themselves into their art which was different than the artists of the time. I think they weren’t afraid to put down globs or paint and color and have the strokes match their mood. It’s a hard thing to do. I sometimes start out loose and then tighten up. I think the question arises though, do you like your painting? Does it say something to you?

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    1. I like parts of the painting. I love the colors… just not completely happy with the overall composition of the different elements. I do like approaching it from a looser, more impressionistic place.

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      1. And I think the composition of a painting is what draws the eye. My art mentors always say to make sure to lead your eye into the painting and to allow enough interest in the painting be it the strokes or color or other detail to allow you to stay there and be affected by it. I think it’s just paint a lot and don’t be afraid. Enjoy!

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