In the paintings of dream recollections, I join a group of artists that for hundreds of years, have been seeking inspiration culled from their “dream state visions”. In paintings from my “Dream Series”, images from my memory are put down on canvas. It’s a process of loosened reality which is reshaped in in my mind. I paint an ethereal world where – although similar to a living place – crosses over into a place of illusions with different and diminished rules in shapes, forms and color. I allow more surrealistic path that comes out in these paintings, which are truly painted entirely from memory. No photos or sketches to refer to. Entirely from my mind. 

Some “art authorities” suggest checking out museums to familiarize yourself with the different periods and styles of art.  If you have time to do this and enjoy it – then for sure do that.  Whatever good that may be, still it’s not necessary to know “styles” above what actually speaks to you; what actually calls out to you. Living with pieces of art that you really love is what’s going to bring you more pleasure than confining yourself to a particular style, over what an “art authority” recommends you do.   So go with your gut, and your own particular feelings on what speaks to you.  You don’t even have to identify why a particular piece speaks to you.  You will know it and feel it when you see it.   

Many times, in an image like this - at least for me anyhow, the light is also altered, as it comes to me in the form of a particular recollection of a certain time of day.  And in those specific recollections in the mind – the light is not at all the same. It’s how I imagine the light to be.  Certainly it does take substantial skill to contrive “light” in my mind.  I feel this series of paintings to be very strong and very visually enticing.

Some of the most recognizable artists that painted “dream states” are Salvador Dali, (1904-1989) and of course the Surrealists; a cultural movement of artists -that began their work in the 1920’s. They used their dreams to relate the “dream state” in alternate realities. 

Romantic and Renaissance artists also captured psychic visions, trippy images, spooky images, and some rather pretty bazaar images that contained odd creatures and unfamiliar objects.

Francis Bacon, who is the most recent;  (1909-1992), and then going way, way back in time; Hieronymus Bosch (1450-1516), both resonate as artists that put dream states down on canvas. Many of their painted images were quite bizarre. Some even disturbing.  Thankfully I paint beauty and don’t at all care to go the route of the unattractive or spooky – and I certainly would never take satisfaction in painting creatures! 

Even Post-Impressionist artists like Vincent van Gogh and 20th-century British painter Francis Bacon, while in in their waking moments, allowed their daydreams to slip into a world seen in their minds.  Visions and recollections were interpreted through their “minds thoughts” to form a memory state.  I feel this is a skill learned over time – not every artist can pull this off without a visual reference in front of them.

Van Gogh stated: “I dream my paintings, then I paint my dreams.”  While Francis Bacon said “If I sit and daydream, the images rush by like a succession of colored slides.”  I can associate with both of those statements quite well.  But certainly - as for Van Gogh’s statements; I most relate to them - and well understand - as it’s such a matching process to my own. 

“Misty Morning Cypress”- Dream Series 24 x 24 Oil on Linen, by Bonnie Sailer

Certainly not all painters have the ability of using this gift of “dream state”, and personally I don’t know any that do, other than myself - that is.  But they are out there.  I feel strongly that this is a gift – if an artist can recall a vision and paint it, and not end up with muddy colors that are just not right.  It’s a mental exercise – when used to its best – creates exceptional art.  Art with an aura.  

My “Dream Series” is based on the dreams I have - of landscapes that are dear to me.  My mind visions and those visions in my dreams - tend to come from places I’ve been to, or places I want to return to.  Many times if I’ve not visited a particular place; one that I’d so like to revisit – usually a place I’ve not been to for a very long time, - those places can show up in my dreams but in less “defined” visualizations.   

Just like the subject matter in dreams, those places in my mind’s eye can be softened and less defined or changed in light and color.  And in many cases - that’s how we remember details too.  Latent memory creates substantial changes from reality.  But for the artist painting in this manner - some really sensational art can come from it.

“Trail To The Sun” – Dream Series 20 x 30, Oil on Linen by Bonnie Sailer 

It’s a process of painting that is really quite magical.  And when the opportunity strikes for me to recall a place from a dream state, so vividly, I quickly go to work to capture that “mind picture” on canvas.  

I hope you enjoy my “Dream Series” of Paintings.  They really excite me, and are some of my favorites. You can see them as landscapes, specifically – and those particular paintings will always note:  “Dream Series” in the title.

Until next time, I hope you enjoy my art!  Please share it with others, and I hope you will support me by choosing to adorn & beautify your home or office with a piece or two of Bonnie Sailer Fine Art. Thanks for reading my blogs!