Women and Dreams

As a child, I made a name for myself as an artist. In 1984 I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. In 1990 I became a mother. My last painting until recent times was completed sometime before that seminal time in a woman’s life.

Beginning with motherhood and continuing during the years of our children’s growth, I was fascinated by the uncontrollable, devastating power of the weather. Despite living in an area that sees tornadoes infrequently, the prospect of one ripping into the veil of safety with which I tried to surrounded my loved ones terrified me and occupied my daily concerns and nighttime terrors. At night, I was plagued by recurring tornado dreams.

If you consult dream interpreters, a tornado portends a big, impending change.

A house dream, where new rooms are repeatedly discovered, means you have untapped potential. Maybe something was missing in my life. For 25 years, not only did tornadoes plague me, but dreams featuring new, glorious, gorgeous, opulent, elegant rooms in my home were revealed. Sometimes entire, new homes appeared, filled with incredible features and beauty!

I have come to believe these two, recurring dreams during the time of denying my artistic identity, were reminders from my self to not forget myself during the time of nurturing loved ones. It was surely inadvisable, but for me inescapable, that there was no room for the inward activities of art at this time, only the outward-looking focus on children and spouse, and the husbandry of this entity I co-created—the nuclear family.

But the dreams kept art on the back burner, and sometime around 2011 when our youngest graduated high school, I began creeping back to the artistic life. It was a difficult journey—so hard to even remember why I wanted to make art in the past, hard to feel the urge of inspiration. It was a part of me so unpracticed and rusty, I had pushed it away for so long. But when the time was ripe, intuition trumpeted something was missing (Many glorious rooms still to be discovered!) and I needed to do the work to make a significant change in my life (Bring on a tornado!). I did, and am still doing.