Electric Dreams

 Epic Dewfall Interview: Man Against Eternity Tour

Richard Catlett Wilkerson

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Wilkerson, Richard Catlett (1997 January). Epic Dewfall Interview: Man Against Eternity Tour. Electric Dreams 4(1). Retrieved July 26, 2000 on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

"I think you'll need a calendar that holds the
heavens hues and all the clocks that time forgot
and the hourglasses too and start them all at once
to time my love for you..."
From Tic Talk

Epic's art work really speaks for itself, and the wonderful world that he creates is impleached with poetry and text that expresses itself in a way I haven't read since Henry Miller's _Into the Night Life_. I was immediately struck by the art's ability to express a particular balance of tension and revelation that I often have with dreams and especially lucid dreams. I kept saying to myself, "I'm on a sea of..." but could never verbalize the sea. Perhaps this is due to the flow of a transpersonal element I experience in the work that never stops to become calcified, but just touches the essential and move continual onward.

"I get ideas for my paintings from lucid dreams. About once a month when I'm dreaming, I will realize I'm dreaming, and when I do, I then walk around in the dream looking at art on the walls. I usually find many paintings on every wall. By the time one of these lucid dreams ends, I usually have one or two good paintings memorized. I always recreate them in pastel on 12 by 18 inch paper. I've been doing this as a hobby since 1986." Epic Dewfall

Richard C Wilkerson (RCW): Epic, you mentioned that this work has been going on now for over a decade. Did you have lucid dreams before this process started? Were there any particularly significant ones that you could share?

ED: My first lucid dream was on the job. I would fall asleep on the job and in my desperate struggles to stay awake I was having false awakenings. This was 12 years ago and before I ever read about lucid dreaming. Soon after I read LUCID DREAMING by Stephen Laberge. Ph.D. Then I was able to tell people what was happening with proper names for the phenomenon.

RCW: Do you have favorite dream books or influences?

ED: I listened to a book on audio cassette once about Edgar Cayce and Dreams. Everything other than that I've ever tried to read has never held my attention. But I've always learned a lot from books just with fragmented, random openings.

RCW: Isabelle Allende says that in dreams she would sometimes see her grandmother writing and look over her shoulder and read the text. But she doesn't remember it as clearly as you recall the paintings. Do you always find the art on *walls* in your lucid dreams?

ED: No not always. 85% or so of them are from the walls of my dreams as art hanging in traditional fashion within rooms of strange houses and buildings and just as often the familiar rooms of my home. But when a painting presents itself in other ways I am lucid enough to know not to dismiss them. I once rummaged thought pile of loose unframed art on a table outside a building and came across #39 SLICED UP MOUNTAINS. #57 CANOES ON TOP OF MONOLITHS was being held up by an easel. #93 A HORSE FLOWER WANTING TO TOUCH A WOMAN was from a book.

RCW: Many people who practice lucid control struggle with the ability to stay lucid. Castaneda suggests looking at one's hands, Laberge suggests spinning around. Do you have a special techniques or advice for increasing the time you are lucid?

ED: Just keep moving. A remarkable good coincidence with getting art this way is that when I have found a painting I really like I will wake up after I look at it for about 6 seconds. I suspect this is because I have stopped moving from painting to painting and my stillness wakes me up. But this is really more of a terrific benefit than a problem. It allows me to wake up with a very clear vision in my memory. If I were to keep lucid dreaming for another four minutes, the painting I liked so much would have disappeared from memory or at least not be so clear. Its quite a useful coincidence.

RCW: There is an internal consistency in your work, yet each piece you do seems so fresh. Your poetry also has a fresh flow. What artists & poets have inspired you over the years?

ED: I like a painting by Dali called METAMORPHOSE DE NARCISSE, and the first four lines of a Blake poem called AUGURIES OF INNOCENCE. My energy goes more to finding beginners I like more than masters.

RCW: Jung and others have said that bringing dreams into material form, especially art forms, is very transformative both spiritually and psychologically. Have you noticed changes in you personal, social or spiritual life over the span of your creative decade that could be attributed to this process?

ED: Most definitely. My early works are very filled with unhappiness and disparity. I don't put them on the web site because they are like old bandages and better left for the historians to deal with. At first I made some paintings from traditional inspiration but they are different. When I made them up myself without the aid of dreams they were extreme with ether too much unhappiness or too much happiness. But when I stick to art from lucid dream inspirations they never hit either of those two awkward extremes but show a balance between the two. I think this activity has acted like a directional beacon for me to follow toward health.

RCW: Stephen King recently said that he used dreams in writing to express things that he wouldn't want to just come right out and say. Jung however, thought the best part of symbolic imagery was its ability to express that which could not be expressed any other way. Would you say your work falls more under a preference to silence, or best possible expression?

ED: I think its all about perspective. Within two seconds you can have one thought. It's like a brick. You don't know where you put it until a dream shows you the whole building. A symbol has a silent feeling to it because you're just too far back to see the words.

RCW: Do you have any suggestions for those who would like to explore dream inspired art but need a little encouragement?

ED: I use Stephen LaBerge's Mild method but I add the words "and look at art" to its incubation statement. Don't add the words "and look for art". Because you would end up looking for art instead of at art.

RCW: So what's on the planning table for your gallery next year?

ED: I'll soon have to split the main page and turn the site into a two page tour as I add new paintings and poems. Other than that nothing will change. But I'm probably wrong. I've learned that things must change. Things like electronic devices couldn't work without it. I might get up the courage to display some graphs of Usenet news love hate statistics, I've done that prove a theory of mine that the slanted trees and slanted row boats in my lucid dream art are graphically showing us what the number pi looks like when you turn it into a percentage and then show that percentage as an angle within 90 degrees. This is not to likely though because mostly I just want to maintain the sites quiet strength.

You can view about one third of Epic Dewfall's collection at