Electric Dreams

Special Dream Art Exhibit - Process: Transforming Dreams into Art -Notes from the Granny Gallery

Nancy Richter Brzeski 

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Brzeski, Nancy Richter (1997 February). Special Dream Art Exhibit - Process: Transforming Dreams into Art -Notes from the Granny Gallery. Electric Dreams 4(2). Retrieved July 26, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams  

Last Christmas (1995), I had an important dream.

There was a lot of bright Christmas red in it. (It is unusual for me to see color in my dreams.) One of the settings was a fancy Indian restaurant which my mother, grandmother and I wanted to enter. (See my actual mother and grandmother in upper right-hand corner. The little girl with the white Persian cat is me, eight years old. In the dream there was a little girl in a fancy dress, who was talking to her cat while I was begging her to help me find my family.) I recognized it as Gaylord's at Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco, a place where we often took our children on special occasions; a place we all liked.

One Saturday when my husband and I were walking around on Fisherman's Wharf, I was looking for a large colored photo of Gaylord's to use in a collage. Perhaps I already had the idea of making a collage based on this dream. After searching in vain, I found the photo at home.

The other setting in the dream had something to do with Tunisia. I actually heard the word clearly. I had no idea what Tunisia looked like, so I leafed through a lot of old National Geographics until I found an illustrated article. I cut out a few of the pictures. (Lower left and lower center of collage. The dead-looking tress are photos I took in South Africa, at the end of their winder. I thought they were dead; but our guide told me they would all be green soon, when the rainy season began.)

I needed another central image, a very frightened girl or woman, since I felt very threatened in the dream. In the second scene, I found myself alone at night in the narrow, Casaba-like, with a few seedy, strange-looking characters slinking around in the dark. I found a photo of a terrified Afghani girl on the cover of one of my _National Geographics_. But she was much too young, so I aged her using oil pastels. I made her look more like me. (See central image under red-violet cellophane. The purple tissue-paper "hand" just happened.

I found a large board to work on. Foam core, thick cardboard, or canvas board. I played around with all these materials, moving them around tentatively, having fun trying out different arrangements. Then I glued them. But you can transform your dreams in a much freer way if you like. The choice of colors creates a mood. Also the materials you use, as I used Christmas wrapping paper and tinsel for a Christmas dream. You don't have to be as literal as I am. Using the actual photos of myself and my family makes it more *real* for me, than crude attempts to draw or paint them. I also enjoy using photos that I have taken

The bottom line is this.

I knew that dreams are important guides to living if we understand them, and I love to make collages, paintings, and sculptures. You can do it too! If you like it, it's good. I will be happy to hear about your adventures with Dream Art.

Stop by my dream inspired art site, the Granny Gallery


and experience my other dream inspired pieces of art. Be sure to make comments and send me email at


- Nancy