“The Cloud” – Working with Creative Energy Over Time: Part Two

"The Cloud" - Oil on Gessoed Panel - 12 x 12"$250. Available through Turtle Mountain Mythic Art.

“The Cloud”Oil on Gessoed Panel – 12 x 12”
$250. Available through Turtle Mountain Mythic Art.

Continuing to attempt to reconnect with painting sketches and notes created back in 1994 for paintings that were never realized, I began working with the second such notated sketch, for a painting of another dream image. Although the 12 x 12″ format doesn’t match all the sketch proportions, I want to move through these old images quickly, on the way to creating new work, perhaps in a new style of painting, and the panels are ready to go. In addition, these 12 x 12″ gessoed panels already have painted sketches on them for other paintings begun but never finished, so…this painting is a combination of two old painting sketches/starts combined with a more recent sketch and painted in a new way – wet on wet. The painted sketch on the panel was of a nude with some abstract shapes. As I worked to bring all three images and the various creative energies that once informed each into one cohesive composition combining the old energies with my current creative energy, the figure became an image of me reaching for the cloud and its meaning, expressing what I felt in the dream. The painting was just finished and still very wet when I photographed it in the studio, so has some glare…I’ll replace the photo once the painting is dry enough to take outside and photograph in natural light.

The sketches were made following a dream on the night of October 15, 1994. Here are the notes accompanying the sketches: In the dream, I walk from the house described in another recent dream, out into the surrounding landscape. I look up at the sky because I hear what I think might be Canada geese. Then I notice the strange triangular cloud appearing between two green mountains. As I watch, a large black bird flies to the cloud and settles on it, then many more come. I think I’m witnessing an important event, and then realize that the important event I’m witnessing is that I’m being shown a painting. In the dream I look around for my Polaroid camera, as I don’t want to forget the image and want to record it in case I want to paint it. I see the camera laying on the ground in the snow next to my typewriter.  Both are partially covered with snow and I am dismayed, as I think they will be destroyed by getting wet. I notice that green lights on both of them are indicating that they are still operating. I feel elated at seeing this. I brush the snow off the typewriter, then pick up the Polaroid and photograph the bird on the cloud for future reference.

Sketch No. 1 for "The Cloud."

Sketch No. 1 for “The Cloud.”


Sketch No. 2 for "The Cloud," which shows the "underlying structure of the image," as it was described to me in the dream.

Sketch No. 2 for “The Cloud,” which shows the “underlying structure of the image,” as it was described to me in the dream.

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"Creating a work of art is essentially a conversation between artist and image that begins long before brush is put to canvas and continues on long after the painting is physically finished."
- Scarlet Kinney