The Dream Drawing (Part One)…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s colours are: Rubicon red, vilification violet, black bear black, pork pink, crackpot cream and buffoon beige.

It was one of those early morning dreams.
‘Was it an anxiety dream Dave?’
No, not really, but it might have been a slightly stressed one.
I sometimes dream that I am having trouble designing and building a set for an impending theatre production. I used to do that occasionally, just for the chance of being creative, and for the bit of money at the end of it of course; I don’t really like theatre very much, films are generally more worthwhile than plays, a bad film is often better than a good play – that’s just my opinion of course – sorry!
Designing and building scenery is I suppose quite stressful. I would only have three or four weeks before the opening night; starting with nothing (quite often the writing of the script wouldn’t even be finished – often no-one knew how the thing was going to finish!) and ending up with a stage full of painted plywood which apparently looked ‘fucking wonderful’ under the lights.
Of course, during that three or four weeks the director and actors would regularly change their minds about what they wanted; sometimes you’d spend two days building something only to have it instantly cut from the show – ‘Oh, sorry Dave, it just wasn’t working plot-wise…’ So, it is no wonder that these things still occasionally bubble up from the depths to torment me in the early hours…
In this dream, I was aware of the presence of a stressed red-eyed director and his/her jolly band of cocky, but self-absorbed actors, but they were just lurking, masked by black gauze, in the background of the dream. What was in front of me, and occupying my mind, was a wobbly disc of thin plywood (‘skin ply’ as we ‘theatricals’ call it), it was a couple of feet across.
I was holding a large pair of compasses and marking out circles on the ply with them – they didn’t have a pencil attached, but both of the legs had sharp metal points, in fact they were a pair of ‘dividers’. I was trying to scrape the curves into the ply with one of the points, but as the disc was covered in wet grey paint it was a pretty messy job, and I was making one or two mistakes.
The circles were arranged inside a larger circle, in a sort of hexagonal arrangement. When I had more or less finished the long job, I stood back and realised that the quality of the work didn’t really matter anyway, for two reasons: 1) I knew it would be painted over later with beige Rosco scene paint, and 2) as this was ‘theatre’ it wasn’t important anyway, and it was all just silliness… I felt a lot more calm at this point.
When I finally escaped into the reality of pink dawn peeking through my bedroom curtains, with birds cheeping cheerily outside, I decided to do a quick sketch of my piece of nocturnal art on my little bedside notepad – do you have a bedside notepad dear reader? Everyone should have one of those! Yes, I thought that I might even do a real and full size version of the thing on paper – it might… or it might not, be interesting…
Yesterday I took the sketch with me to the cafe to work out the size and geometry of the design – let me tell you, it was a lot easier in the dream! That’s the little bedside sketch next to the napkin.
I hope to do the Dream Drawing this afternoon, and show you it tomorrow – this the first time I have done a post with a ‘part two’. Gosh, I hope the drawing turns out alright – it, of course, could turn out to be a really boring one… I’m nervous already…

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
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6 Responses to The Dream Drawing (Part One)…

  1. Jheron Bash says:

    Oh, I can’t wait for part two! You little tease …

  2. You have a napkin at breakfast! No wonder dulltown has become City of Culture.

  3. Oh yes, I always keep a journal beside me for “dream journalling” as its called in trendy social circles. I write it out, and check out what Jung would make of it. But I’m looking forward to seeing what your dream design will look like!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      I’ll bet you (and the world) are on tenterhooks waiting to see what the drawing is like.
      Actually I have just this minute finished it – at least I think it’s finished… hm… it might look a bit too ‘nice’…

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