Following the Trail of Dreams

 

INTERPRETING DREAMS

Have you ever set an intention to record dreams, and then upon waking, had an inkling that told you, this dream is significant…so you sleepily try to jot down the important elements, knowing there are things missing but nonetheless. You tell yourself you will look at it, your dream, again later, for analysis and perhaps, enlightenment.

I believe dreams affect our choices and have the potential to give profound insight…but it seems so hard to pin them down.

As an artist, I have developed a deep fascination with the landscape of dreaming. Many of my paintings are images that have emerged from trying to make sense of their mysterious content. I have found over the years that, like building a muscle, my ability to remember my dreams becomes more reliable the more I set the intention to recall them and write them down. The biggest challenge, however, is in the interpretation of them. It’s like there is no boundaries in our dreaming world, so there are often symbols and scenarios that are weird and nonsensical. Thankfully, any research I commit to this endeavour has proven to be fruitful; from writing a dialogue with characters to consulting online dream dictionaries (based on the understanding that some signs and symbols are universal).

Lately I have made a determined decision to honour my intuition as I analyse my dreams, and after recording the dream itself, I have been adding a paragraph or two entitled ‘Interpretation’. I use thumbnail sketches when words are not sufficient to describe events or feelings. I also record them in the same voice I would use to write a story.

After my son Jordan died, my reason for remembering dreams changed and intensified. I feel like we are living in a matrix-like world where he is living on the other side and I can’t quite get to him. I associate his energy with owls, so when an owl shows up in my dream I really take notice. There have also been wonderful moments, where he has showed up in my dream all fresh-faced and happy- these dreams are so vivid that I wake having that sad realisation…’Oh, that was a dream’. But many of you reading this may think: ‘It’s not, he’s showing you he is alive and well’, and that’s what I believe on my good days.

The other day I heard a wonderful teacher and blogger talk about dreams and mentioned that it is easier for Spirit to connect with us in our dreams because our busy minds are at rest. We are not living by ‘what’s next’ or trying to assimilate the multitudes of data that assault our senses while we are awake, distracting us. In this sense, our minds are yielding and open. This is my hope, that by following the trail of my dreams , I will gain a deeper understanding of the realm of the Spirit.

WATER

I wanted to talk about the specific dream element of water because it has been recurring for me and I know it is such a common dream symbol. Water dreams often symbolise the world of the subconscience, spiritual realms and deep emotions. This is not surprising, since we are made up of about 70% water, and as a substance water behaves much like emotions. It ebbs, flows, can be calm or tumultuous. In yogic tradition, water is connected to the moon, hence, it often has a mysterious and dark quality. Here’s a recent dream I had, and my brief interpretation:

I was surrounded by deep, overcast, oceanic water, where the wind and the waves were building steadily and I had a sense of foreboding as if I would be easily overcome by them. I was on a very flimsy floating mat, and I lifted up into the dark turbulent sky for a few moments.

My interpretation:

Because the water was dark and waves were building, I am thinking that there are deep emotions I am perhaps still unaware of. Being lifted off the surface indicates to me an encouragement to trust in God; it is akin to the story of Jesus walking on the water in the New Testament.  The vessel I was in was very fragile. A vessel of any description can represent the physical body -I have been feeling really run down so it makes sense the vessel in my dream was ‘fragile’.

There are so many forms and associations for water, here are just a few to ponder:

Did you dream, like I did, that you were on a boat or other floating device? Boats are considered my many traditions to symbolise the spiritual journey, or the notion of being carried and held by God or  a higher power. Some important considerations would be if you or someone else was sailing the boat, if it was drifting, the type of boat, etc. Depending on the context it can indicate safety and/or mastery over your emotions.

Did you go underwater? Being underwater in a situation like snorkelling can indicate a contemplative phase or a time where you are examining your emotions and life journey in order to grow. Conversely, if you dream of drowning, it can indicate being overwhelmed with ‘drowned’ (or unacknowledged) emotions, or something significant coming to an end or death.

If the water is dark, dirty or cloudy it can represent confusion, or frustration at not being able to see to the end or the bottom of something. If it is clear, it has the opposite meaning; truth and clarity are guiding you.

Here’s to acknowledging the ethereal, mysterious and potent messages that come through for us in our dreams….and hoping you all have a blissful slumber

Peace

 

 

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Art Journalling Workshop using creativity as a tool to develop intuition

I have personally used a journal all of my adult life, and have found it to be a wonderful way to download thoughts, ideas, connect with my spirituality and discover the meaning of my dreams. Nowadays, I feel lost without one and take a journal pretty much everywhere I go. One of the things that is wonderful about journalling is the spontaneity it brings; pages can be ripped out, and images can be made with collage, inks, pencil and pen, making the process very forgiving and nurturing. Journalling in this way is also a great tool to develop ideas for larger paintings and artworks.

All materials provided, including an A4 size art journal. Light lunch provided. This workshop is suitable for people with all levels of art experience.

In this full day workshop you will:

* Take part in guided meditations designed to help you find images and/or words to include in your journal.

* Experiement with a range of materials including watercolour, paper collage, inks, fineliner, pencils and paint. I will teach how to utilise a variety of mediums, and how to prepare an interesting and textured background to build on.

* Discover the symbolism in animals, insects and other elements that come across your path. The world is full of messages and meanings that can bring direction and confirmation to your personal life journey.

Date: Saturday the 11th of May

Time: 10:00 a.m-4:00 p.m

Location: Art Garden Home Studio, 12 Heylmore Road Medina

Cost: $60

Contact: hyeonmin809@gmail.com or pm my Facebook page, ‘Alyssa’s Art Garden’

*spaces limited to 8 participants

Angels and Archetypes, a Tribute to my Son

Angels and Archetypes, a Tribute to my SonI’m in the process of working towards an exhibition I have entitled “Angels and Archetypes”. It has caused me to really look at what is at the heart of my artwork and why I am drawn to certain images and themes. Most of the paintings are from 2018, however, there are some I have included from earlier. They are all linked by their archetypal element- people, places, animals and objects that have a symbolic meaning. The archetypes highlight the connectivity of human beings, since they are found in the collective unconscious, a place of myth, legend, dreams and folklore.

This exhibition is dedicated to my son Jordan who died tragically in a car accident in 2016. It feels like a wonderful way to honour his continuing presence in my life, not only as my son but now as a guide and source of inspiration to me. He is a creative soul, blessed with an inexhaustable curiosity about the world and everything in it. I wonder what he is doing now. I hope he is playing music and making new discoveries, free, unfettered and joyful. I know he is beside me always giving me so much encouragement. My creativity will always be a way to connect with him while we are separated in this life.

So much love to you my son, always, always.

 

 

Meditations on Nature

In this course we will use guided meditations focused on aspects of nature, using them as a catalyst to create a painting which will celebrate what it is to be a spiritual being having an earthly experience.

I believe meditation is a wonderful tool to unlock creativity and inner wisdom. It grounds us, makes us more attentive and in tune to our environment and helps us relax into the ‘flow’ of imagination until the painting itself becomes the meditation.

Over the four weeks we will be working on one large canvas, which will change an evolve as different ideas emerge.

Focus is not on observational painting, but of using nature as a way of creating visual symbols which are unique to your inner journey. You may choose to use collage materials, incorporate found objects such as leaves or feathers or use a myriad of other materials to create texture.

I will be on hand to support you through this process, whether it be technique, colour mixing, composition and most importantly, to help you feel empowered to follow your intuition.

High school Art @ Mug ‘n Brush

 

These classes are perfect for older students to develop their artistic style and skill set. We will be exploring acrylic painting techniques, the effects of complimentary and analogous colour, working with clay and other materials. Students will be inspired to express their own ideas in visual forms in a thoroughly supportive environment that is suitable for a wide range of abilities and experience.

Starts: Saturday 28th of July 2:00-3:30 p.m for 8 weeks.

About the teacher:

I am a trained teacher, and have been teaching art for many years both in a school setting and from home. I am passionate about art not only as a valuable subject area in school, but also as a way of adding a sense of joy and purpose to life in general. I believe all of us have an artist within. 

I like to keep classes structured at first, but then a little open ended as I cater for the unique goals and abilities of individual students. Questions/enquiries welcome – you can email me at hyeonmin809@gmail.com or on Facebook messenger.

 

My Counter-Intuitive way of Dealing with Artists’ Block

The term-“artist block” is one that every creative person has heard, and carries with it a sense of frustration and artistic desolation. It’s a term that has been in the back of my mind, daring me to tackle it and rise above it.

Lately, I have simply surrendered to it, which runs counter-intuitive to the common advice given on the subject, suggesting that the artist should “just turn up” to their creative practise regardless. A kind of fake-it-til-you-make-it mentality. And there nothing wrong with that, it does work- I’ve tried it in the past. But I guess that’s not where I am at the moment.

I wanted to divorce myself of the label “artist” as part of my identity. Funnily enough, as I write this it occurs to me that perhaps this was necessary so I could grow as a person.

In December I ditched my studio space in Fremantle. In January I ditched my home studio, replacing it with a beautiful, funky lounge room. I decluttered all my art supplies, leaving me with just the bare bones-journals, pencils, paint and canvas. In March I ditched my gallery space in Fremantle. I gave away some artwork here and there, which has been liberating and kind of joyful, too. Ditching and giving. Throwing away the superfluous, gifting things that hold meaning and value.

I’ve just been finding the whole process of trying to sell artwork….soul destroying.

I still paint occasionally- only when I really want to- and I just set up in my dining room or outside. But mostly, it’s all about sketchbook doodles, writing down dreams, thoughts of travel and trying to find the still small voice again.

The below image is from my sketchbook, done on a plane trip on my way back from Bali.

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Catching Stardust

This painting was created using a lot of texture, from paper to fabric from Jordan’s old board shorts….it’s been interesting using his clothes in such a way, for me it has carried a lot of meaning….creating using something of his, I feel I am sharing with him in the whole process of painting. Jordan has always been involved with my art; from being the subject of Portraiture, to being a model for Jesus for a mural I did once in Bruce Rock….not sure if this one is quite finished, I may add some stardust in the angel’s hand. The angel in this piece has popped up in a couple of paintings now… it always fascinates me when this happens!

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A detail of the Angel’s face
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Another recent painting using Jordan’s boardies for texture.