One morning last week, I woke up from a vivid dream and decided to paint the feelings of it.
In the dream I am in a boxing ring with a strange man. I don’t want to fight, but I know I chose to be here. I don’t know how to fight, and this man is showing me what to do and fitting me with gloves. I’m touched by his kindness, but I also don’t trust him, because I know he could lash out at me at any time.
He makes a move towards me, and I tentatively hit him lightly. I realize that I will fight if I feel scared or threatened. Lots of people are standing around and watching, making me feel more nervous. They can’t wait to see this fight.
The first thing that came to me when I woke up from the dream was “fight or flight” — that stressful state when we have to make a decision about whether to stay and fight or flee. So that’s what I decided to paint.
The painting started off with a pale olive green and coral pour over scrunched up canvas, mainly to create texture. Then I layered in fight or flight imagery until it got so jumbled that it made me dizzy to look at it. Finally I came in with the robin’s egg blue to obscure the busyness of the imagery and harmonize the piece.
Here’s the finished painting and some detail shots. Click on the images to see it larger, and for more information about this piece.
“Fight or Flight,” 30 x 48 inches, repurposed acrylic latex paint on canvas
Detail images of the painting:
Have you had any interesting dreams lately? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts. You can share them with us in the comments section below.
With love and appreciation,