Wednesday, September 30, 2009

flower clouds

"the window" odilon redon

dreams represent for me a point of insight.
they articulate the deep clusters of knowing
that escape my literal experiencing and interpretation.

because of that,
i value those mornings when i wake up
and remember them!

they face me . . .
with their kaleidoscopic symbolic
ephemeral presence.

and sometimes stare me down,
and sometimes walk away.

for those dreams that survive the passage
into this strange world,
i spend time
unpacking their symbolism
as storied treasures from a place beyond my self.


through a similar embracing of the dream world,
came closer to articulating the deep mapping of purely creative expression
and its connection to the spiritual
than many of his contemporaries.

redon believed that there is “a divine germ in a little matter.”

how to share this understanding?

"like music", he declared,
"my drawings transport us to the ambiguous world of the indeterminate."

oh my!

redon invoked the ambiguity of the indeterminate
through the use
of symbolic referents
drawn from his dreams,
thereby fulfilling his desire to
"place the visible at the service of the invisible".
however, the viewer was cautioned,
"my drawings inspire, and are not to be defined".

"barque mystique" odilon redon

on a skiff i meet an honoured guest,
slowly, slowly it comes across the lake.
facing at the railing, we drink a cup of wine,
on all sides lotus flowers are in bloom.

"flower clouds" odilon redon

an amazing and insightful article about redon's symbolist thinking is provided here.


Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

I love this art, and I am not familiar with this artist - so thank you for the introduction to this magnificent art.

Unlike you Steven, I have always been afraid of trying to figure out, interrupt my dreams - afraid of the picture that the puzzle would put together. My dreams are always very strange and real, so very real that I wonder if I have visited another dimension. My mind is always at odds with the fact I can see people I have never seen, houses and places I have never been with so much detail.

Anyways, thank you for sharing this beautiful art and... beautiful thoughts.


P.S. Your daughter would love watching the puppies play - it is magical and healing to watch. :-)

Delwyn said...

Hi Steven

I do love the two boat paintings for their visuals and for their colourful titles...

I do think that we approach all art (and dreams for that matter) from a multidimensional viewpoint because we are multifaceted individuals...maybe we can't articulate our experience of the imagery on many levels but we can feel it...sense the contents can all be looked at as symbolic within that framework...

I like to think that dreams are from the deep lake of the unconscious in a language only partially understood by us and therefore their meanings will always be a little elusive , but over a period of time clarity and understanding may eventuate...

Happy dreams

Bee said...

I don't know Redon's work at all; this is one of the things that I absolutely LOVE about blogging! I seem to have fallen in with an artistically literate crowd who have introduced me to so many interesting things outside of the the scope of the usual Art History 101 class.

The progression from the window to the boat works so nicely in this post. Flower Clouds is breathtakingly gorgeous. How clever of you to find a poem that pairs with it so well.

You know, I often think of myself as someone who doesn't really dream. But then I recalled that I had a wonderfull ornate dream about one of my blogger friends last week. She was living on a floating city in the middle of the ocean!

Titus said...

Beautiful post steven - stunning images and thanks for the link. Lovely way to start the day!

steven said...

hello sixpence - i think there are a whole range of dreams including dreams where we do cross into a place free of space and time referents. in this way i can say that i have experienced events before they have happened in my dreams. i have experienced real events and been able to recall their details as having occured in a dream. there are the symbolic dreams that seem to make no sense but which open out nicely once you unpack one element of their organization. then there are the junk dreams - the ones that rehash the day's disasters!!!!! those puppies are so inexpressibly cute sixpence!!!!! have a lovely day. steven

steven said...

hi delwyn - i agree!!! dreams often become more understandable as events in this world lead your thinking into understanding of their symbolic makeup. it's funny but the only unhappy dreams i have are the junk dreams i mention in my reply to sixpence. the ones that have to do with relationships, work, and the mundanities of daily life. otherwise they are very cool!!!! have a lovely evening by the river delwyn. steven

steven said...

hello bee!!! thankyou for your nice comments. i sometimes wonder if we can visit each other in our dreams. not consciously of course but if we actually can meet in a different space during dreamtime. i think i'd like to live on a city in the middle of the ocean. have a peaceful day. steven

steven said...

hello titus!!! thanks for visiting and for your nice comment. it's nice to start the day with something new or different. steven

NanU said...

Beautiful post, steven! A lovely way to start the afternoon, with all these word images and vibrant colors.

willow said...

Odilon Redon is one of my faves!! In fact, we must be on the same brain wave, because I was just thinking of working up a post on him.

Now, I'm off to read the article...

Thanks, Steven! Hope you're having a great day. (Cool and rainy in these parts.)

Golden West said...

Thanks for introducing me to Odilon Redon, whose use of color, especially the yellow, is breathtaking.

Bee is so correct - blogging gives one a broad range of exposure to the tastes and sensibilities that would otherwise rarely be encountered.

Steven, you never disappoint!

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Steven: Thank you for this introduction to Redon - I love the works you feature here. They are dream-like.

Dreams are like mysterious visitations - gifts that are fun to open and examine. Dreams also do their work whether we analyze and understand them, however.

Thanks again, steven.

Reya Mellicker said...

At least Ellen and I have had very powerful dreams recently. Have you been dreaming, Steven?

Sweet dreams to you!

Friko said...

This artist is new to me but thank you so much for introducing me to him. The colours are wonderful.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely pictures Steven. Interesting about dreams - I dream every night - sometimes the dream stays with me all morning if it has been particularly vivid, but more often when I awake I find that I am at my most creative - I think it is when one's mind has been cleared and I think that is often what dreams do. Have a nice evening.

steven said...

ahhh nanu - yes and you're welcome!!!! steven

steven said...

hi willow - i had thought of writing about somone with lush vibrant painting. someone who stepped out of the box a little and there he was!!! redon. of course you're thinking about posting about his work. he's magic like you!!! have a lovely evening at the manor. steven

steven said...

hi golden west, thankyou for that very generous comment. i love visiting my bloggy chums to learn and see and read and find out about so much more than i can on my own. i write the blogs to make myself learn more as well!! thanks!!! steven

steven said...

bonnie - i'm intrigued by that idea that dreams do their work even if we don't analyze and understand them. i agree. what don't know is how that happens - how we move on and become more informed when we can't raise it to the conscious level. it's such a juicy topic!!! steven

steven said...

hi reya - there's a lot of downloading going on right now because i've opened myself to the future. i call it "making myself available" (without the barfly connotations) - and i'm welcoming whatever needs to come in and become. signs abound. dreams laden with symbols fill my nights. i wake and hoover coffee to draw my body into conscious awareness quickly so i can write. then i teach the day and come home and love up my children. sleep quickly. work. sleep early and dream. ellen's shipping me links to my next step. and there you are.!!! peace in dc. steven

steven said...

hello friko - and isn't that the best part of this whole blogging thing? newness!!! steven

steven said...

hello weaver - i dream in fits and starts - it all depends on what i am allowing to happen in my life. if i open myself up then in comes the information. if i close myself down then nothing!!!! have a lovely evening in the dale weaver! steven

Joanna said...

Steven, you've introduced me to yet another wondrous painter with this post. The "Flower Clouds" piece is so dramatic and ethereal at the same time. I like your comparison of dreams to downloading. I think we use them to both process and receive. Happy dreams to you.

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Hi Steven: I had this second comment all typed out, but it must have been a dream because suddenly it vanished, and nothing I am doing is bringing it back!! :)

Just to clarify re my previous comment and your response. You are absolutely right that a lot can be gained from remembering, thinking about, analyzing, understanding the symbology, and using what we learn from our dreams to direct or redirect our lives. And, as you said, that is a conscious process. Our conscious mind is so small, however, compared to our unconscious . . .

However, if we do not recall our dreams, at an unconscious level they are still releasing pent up energies, resolving inner unconscious conflicts, sorting and 'filing' information away for use, in proper categories - perhaps sorting what events need to be remembered and what are not so essential for recall, etc. etc. I would compare it to what the kidneys do in filtering what can nourish the body from what can be released, or perhaps the liver would be a better example.

Well I could go on, but won't, you get the idea.

Have a good evening and rest of the week!

Crafty Green Poet said...

the last painting especially is wonderful.....

I think dreams are intriguing and full of insights that too often seem to slip away or fade into purely puzzling residual memories...

steven said...

hi joanna - well fair's fair! you've introduced me to a whole area of amaerica that i have never seen before through your amazing travelogue!!! i like that you ssay we process and receive dreams. i have an idea that it is possible to send an understanding or an experience into the ether and that the person who needs that or to whom it connects receives it. i just have no way to explain how!!! sweet day on the road joanna! steven

steven said...

hi bonnie - i get the idea and it helps it make more sense to me for sure. i've long had this understanding of the deep mapping taking place in the unconscious while the conscious mind takes in more of the material here and now information. then i have a sense of the unconscious as also tapping into a metaunconscious - a collective - but that's a whole other post!!!! thanks for this so much bonnie. steven