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The Pandemic and our Dreams

Updated: Dec 21, 2020

A lot of people are having bizarre, intense, colorful, vivid dreams as well as disturbing nightmares related to the pandemic. Experts say one reason that this phenomenon is true is because many people are finally getting enough sleep.

Since March, many people find themselves working from home and spending less time getting ready in the morning therefore setting the alarm later as they zoom in to work saving even more time while not having to face the gridlock and daily commute.

Other people are finding it hard to sleep as they watch the news and their minds race as they try to fight insomnia.

This piece is titled “Dreamscape” I painted it several years ago in my New York City Illustrator days as a commission for the cover of Cornell Alumni Magazine.

Looking back on this conceptual work I remember my goal was to capture both the sublime and the subconscious. I was inspired by the Surrealist and Symbolist painters such as Odilon Redon, Edvard Munch, Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali.

Surrealism as well as Symbolism were both movements in art and literature which sought to release the creative potential of the unconscious mind. In Surrealism, for example by the irrational juxtaposition of images. Symbolism suggested ideas through symbols and emphasized the meaning behind the forms, lines, shapes, and colors. 

“When we’re stressed, we tend to have more intense and unpleasant dreams, and this, in turn, can increase the chance of becoming aware that you’re dreaming. This is because you’re more activated and aware of what’s happening around you when you’re stressed, and so it’s easier to notice the kinds of anomalies within dreams that tip you off to the fact that you’re dreaming.”

– Denholm Aspy, Ph.D.

“If you’re a good visualizer, imagine yourself soaring aloft. If images don’t come easily to you, place a photo or other objects related to the topic on your nightstand to view as the last thing before turning off your light. Repeat to yourself what you want to dream about as you drift off to sleep. The technique makes for a pleasant experience as you’re falling asleep and greatly raises the odds that your dreaming mind will honor your request.”

– Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D.


by Deborah Lanino

Acrylic on board.

This piece is sold. If you are interested in a piece like it, just email me:

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