Reflections on Dream Part IV

Christine Alfery

Posted on January 13 2022

Reflections on Dream Part IV

Featured image: She Dances In Fields Of Golden Wheat

In my dream, I recognized that the middle isn’t about compromise, and mutual understanding, and good will for all. Rather, it is about just the opposite. It is about finding yourself, honoring yourself and your uniqueness, recognizing where your energy and power is leaking from yourself and plugging it up.

When I stepped back and looked at my art work, and asked myself, " Is it mine? Really mine? Is it part of my authentic self?" I had to say truthfully, "No." And why wasn’t it? Well honestly, I was only following what others had done. I hadn’t developed my own marks and my own thinking about my mark-making. I hadn't developed my own thinking about sets of colors and how they went together. I was only following what others had done. To find myself in my work I had to set down some clear objectives as to what I wanted to accomplish and I had to work for them.This in turn meant that I was working for myself. I formed my own foundations, and fundamental principles, and I began to incorporate them in my work. I became a conceptual abstractionist. This means that I take abstractions and develop a concept that fits – a concept that others can grab ahold of and think about. That means something, that means a great deal. I began to write about what I was trying to say with my mark-making. I realized I liked doing both even though I remember at one point I believed that one was better than the other. It is all about communicating about my values and my beliefs and finding others who are like minded but motley in their own way. I respect their motley-ness as they respect mine and we learn and grow from our creative thinking. We don’t learn and grow from thinking for others and telling them what to think. Instead, we learn from our ability to creatively make space for others who think differently and to respect them and learn from them. We decide for ourselves whether we agree with them and discuss with them how perhaps their idea might exclude “me” because I don’t think that way.

My dream reinforced just how important creativity is, and the imaginary is, and the unique individual self is. It is ok to disagree. It is not ok to force another to agree with you when you disagree with them. Rather, when you have a very strong value you hold, ask yourself, "If I force someone to agree with me am I asking them to go against themselves?" For the most part I would say, "Yes, you are." At least that is how I always feel. And because I feel that way and don’t want to hurt their feelings, I am quiet. I don’t want to rock the boat so I don’t say anything. Is that right? My dream said, "No, it is not because you are not respecting yourself and your beautiful uniqueness and who I created you to be." So how do we go about responding without disrespecting ourselves and others? My dream told me to do it creatively like when the team that created the plastic object and kept revising it and revamping it and making it better. We can do it by listening to the ideas of others, respecting them and asking, "Well, let's see how that might work." When you are creative about how you go about things, at least many authentic artists have found this out, you are respecting all sides of the discussion and through discussion. What is wrong with having a very motley space rather than having a monochromatic grey one? Why can’t we think of motley as harmonious like we do the color grey? I think we have forgotten how to discuss and respect, to set goals and create and imagine. That is what harmony should look like not grey. When we do that the space is motley yet harmonious. The way it is in reality.

How does all of this relate to art? Historically the history of art is filled with stories like mine, artists who don’t fit because they respect their own individuality and uniqueness. Historically, these artists aren’t recognized until they die. It is then that we look back and see that perhaps their direction wasn’t so bad. Van Gogh, whom I have talked about recently, was one of those artists, Toulouse-Lautrec, a favorite, I repeat favorite artist of mine, was another. Dali, Picasso, Monet, to list a few were all like that, and they honored their unique selves.

So, as I move forward into the new year I am going to talk about abstraction and how it not only is part of art but also of science. I am going to talk about the environments in which many artists who were “different” handled their situation. They stories tell me it wasn’t easy. Perhaps, that is why we can’t all get along and respect each other because we want it to be easy.

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