Self-Portrait with Planets II, state two, drawing in progress 7 August 2008, watercolor and graphite on Fabriano paper, 6 x 4″
I’ve become interested in daydreams; flares of imagination that punctuate waking hours. We all do it; drift a bit and the mind is somewhere else. A few days ago I was dozing and an image floated up in my mind, three people were sitting in a car with a woman who was pointing to holes in her bare feet. I blinked. There was such matter-of-fact quality to the image, no sense of pain or alarm. What could it mean? A few days later I was sitting talking to a friend at the table and as we moved our heads, I felt I was seeing front and side views of his head simultaneously; he seemed cross-eyed for a split second. Not exactly a daydream, but a phenomenon representative of the slips in reality I like to note.
Perhaps my sustained recording and study of dreams has cultivated my awareness of such jags of the mind. Kin to dreams, I can’t help but scrutinize them in the same way, imagining some underlying truth about myself or my situation being revealed to me in their arcane symbols. In previous online entries I’ve talked about my method of recording my dreams as a means of self-scrutiny (see online journal entry, Recording Dreams). I am convinced these daydream images are a similar nudge from my subconscious to look at myself from an alternate, previously unnoticed perspective.
I have begun to note these moments in my journal and I’m particularly encouraged by the momentum my writing has gained from incorporating these observations. The annotations have also begun to embellish my series of drawings called Pages (three states of one of the Pages are used as example above and below). Executed on sheets of paper the size of leaves in my journal, the Pages combine image and inscription tuning into my stream of consciousness. I especially prize dreams, daydreams, and slips of reality. As I make my notes and drawings I am often waking in the early morning studio, my script is often packed with such fleeting phenomena.
But the inscriptions also have a visual effect in the Pages series. Beginning as pencil notations, they parallel the drawing as it develops. As the graphite inscriptions fill the page, they are generally obliterated in the image-making process and as more space is needed for writing. I trace the mental process that attends the making of the drawing as well as scrutinize the act of drawing itself. To bring the drawing to a close, I usually pick a particularly pungent dream from the many I’ve had over the period that I worked on the piece. I transcribe it, returning to see if I can uncover further associations as I ink it on the page.
I like the fact that my journals and drawings continually change and evolve and I see this expansion of subject for my writing as another step along the way.
Self-Portrait with Planets II, state three, drawing in progress 15 October 2008, watercolor and graphite on Fabriano paper, 6 x 4″