I Had An Idea:
To paint an imagined image;
Starting from two recorded dreams, ‘The Unfound’ and ‘The Unobserved’.
They were imagined while I was in the unconscious state of sleep and were perfectly clear on waking before being imperfectly recorded.
I am uncertain whether I can re conjure them from a conscious state and I am uncertain whether I can access my memory of the unconscious state?
The dreams were never really an idea so I have no idea.
I dreamt of pestilence, pests infesting deep into the dark of my sleep wherein I was happy hosting friends and preparing to feed them more from the remains of a feast. We were outdoors; someone brought my attention to a turkey that we had cooked a few days before. It had plenty of white meat on it.
The turkey was inside a cotton cover but when we removed it, I could see an oily fizzing spout coming through from just beneath the browned skin, near the top of a bone.
This mound was hissing with small amounts of fizzing liquid.
I recognised it was going to erupt and tried to re-cover the meat with the cloth, but was too late as breaking through the skin, blue bottle flies flew out in hoards and then from another site and another… hoards and hoards of buzzing bluebottles.
Disgustingly unstoppable and the noise a frightening penetrating hum.
In a later dream I am in a shabby bathroom with bluish green-gray darkness.
I hear a noise I shouldn’t hear and bend down to move a box to peer behind it. A rat leaps out and runs off.
I think to myself that I can live with this one rat loose somewhere in my house but then see another smaller rat run out, and then another and then another…
I am overwhelmed by the realisation that I can’t live with so many rats as they are going to take over the house. I will have to act, so I look behind the bath for the source.
Here I find a small grey lead metal pipe that comes through the wall from the dark and it is from this opening that another rat appears.
I grab a towel to block the hole – but even more rats are trying to pour through, one behind the other. The one at the front of the queue, now blocked by my hand in the towel, bites my finger.
I can feel his toothy grip through the towel so with my finger I push downwards pressing hard against his lower jaw and feel the bones disconnect as I break it downwards. But still he persists.
The rats queuing behind now begin to pour through the hole pushing the biting rat and my towel and hand, out of their determined path. Pushing past my resistance. Pouring into the room. So many…
I ask myself why is there pestilence in my dreams, why are eaters of decaying flesh pouring into my dream life?
Finding the Observable
In order to convert the dream into an image, I will need to be conscious.
I will need to look for images of the particular components of the dreams so that I can record the details visually in a recognisable way and I will need to convert my reference materials into a 2d format line by line.
Drawing becomes maths when drawing from the real. It involves calculations and measurements and the tricks of transcribing geometric shapes that change a 3D object into a 2D representation.
If not directly copying an object but instead the drawing seems to come directly from the head to hand to paper, you are nevertheless still a mathematician pulling out the free flowing forms that then coalesce into recognisable patterns.
These may come from a memory of geometric shapes that you have studied in the past, or memories of the forms you are wanting to reference and record, the maths encoded in the scales of lines that build the recognisable shape in front of us.
Finding the Unfound
I will need to choose a scene, which will come about by running as much as I can remember from the dream, through my head, until I can frame a part of it to stand for the narrative of the whole.
I am certain I will paint in oils but…
I am uncertain about the size of the painting.
I am certain of the colours as I can recall the muddied greys of the dimly lit bathroom, the muted blue grey painted wall, and the lead grey pipe.
Or the shiny glistening burnt sienna of the turkey, the blue blackness of the flies.
I am uncertain how well I can depict the rushing rats and will need to look at reference images.
I am uncertain how to paint the sound of the flies.
I am uncertain how to convey the fear.
I am certain the preparation of the canvas will require a week of layering white gesso and then sanding.
I am certain that the first coat of oil paint will be a dirty umber.
I am uncertain what forms I will first sketch on.
I am uncertain how many times I will paint over the images I have laid down, repainting and starting again.
I am certain that I won’t recognise the painting at some stage.
I am certain that the painting will reach a point where it becomes itself, separate from the dream and separate from any slavish plan to copy the dream.
I am not certain what the painting will look like at this stage.
I am certain that from this point the painting will lead me to finish it.
I am certain it will have become a puzzle with its own solution encoded within the geometry of the canvas.
I am not certain who would be the audience for this painting.
I am not certain what it will be about.
I am certain I will recognise it as finished.
I am not certain anyone else will want the painting.
As I am conscious, I have to wonder why I would go to the trouble of illustrating and making publically visible these unconscious images.
As I am conscious, I suppose it would be more worthy to consciously cognate a more certain idea.
As I am conscious in that case the idea could be expressed as an object or in an object that would no longer necessarily need to be a painting.
I am conscious that a painting is a peculiarly uncertain medium that keeps changing its idea.
I am conscious “One idea per work” would encourage one idea per audience, which would lead one audience to one idea.
I am certain that would work.
I am certainly conscious that would work.
I am uncertain whether that is what I want to do.
I am uncertain.
I am certain I am uncertain.
Oh well it was only an idea.