How to create abstract art inspired by emotions, dreams and memories

How to create abstract art inspired by emotions, dreams and memories

When I stand before a blank canvas, I see more than just an empty space. I see an opportunity to transform my emotions, dreams, and memories into a visual language that speaks directly to the soul. Creating abstract art inspired by these deeply personal aspects of life can be incredibly rewarding and therapeutic. Today, I want to share how I approach this process, hoping it might inspire you to explore your own emotions, dreams, and memories through art.

Original abstract painting 'The Breeze and Sun' by Canadian artist, Claire Desjardins.

Connecting with Emotions

Emotions are a powerful source of inspiration. When I start a new piece, I often take a moment to reflect on what I'm feeling. Am I happy, sad, anxious, or excited? These emotions guide my color choices, brushstrokes, and overall composition.

For instance, if I'm feeling joyful, I might be drawn to vibrant, warm colors like yellows and oranges. My brushstrokes become energetic, creating dynamic patterns that convey a sense of movement and life. Conversely, during more introspective moments, I might lean towards cooler, subdued tones, allowing my brush to move more slowly and deliberately across the canvas.

'In a Mood' original abstract painting by Claire Desjardins

Tapping into Dreams

Dreams offer a rich tapestry of imagery and sensations that can be translated into abstract art. When I wake up from a particularly vivid dream, I jot down key elements and feelings associated with it. This practice helps me remember the essence of the dream, which I can later incorporate into my work.

Creating art from dreams often involves embracing the surreal and the unexpected. I let go of the need for logical structure and allow my imagination to guide me. Sometimes, this means blending unlikely colors together or layering shapes in unconventional ways. The result is often a piece that feels otherworldly, capturing the elusive nature of dreams.

'Dreams of You and Me' original abstract painting by Claire Desjardins

Embracing Memories

Memories, whether recent or distant, carry a wealth of emotional and sensory details. To draw from my memories, I spend time reflecting on significant moments in my life. What stands out? What colors, shapes, or textures come to mind?

I find it helpful to create a mental collage of these elements before starting to paint. For example, a memory of a seaside vacation might inspire shades of blue and green, with swirling patterns reminiscent of waves. The key is not to recreate the memory exactly but to distill its essence and express it through abstract forms.

Original abstract painting 'Sometime in June' by Canadian artist, Claire Desjardins.

Bringing It All Together

Combining emotions, dreams, and memories in a single piece can create a rich, layered work of art. Each element interacts with the others, adding depth and complexity. When I'm in the flow of creating, I often find that these sources of inspiration blend naturally, resulting in a piece that feels authentic and resonant.

To get started on your own journey, I recommend setting aside some time to connect with your inner world. Keep a journal of your emotions, dreams, and memories. Experiment with different techniques and materials, and don't be afraid to make bold choices. Remember, abstract art is about expressing what words cannot capture.

Creating art in this way is a deeply personal and fulfilling experience. It allows you to connect with yourself on a profound level and share a piece of your inner world with others. I hope these insights inspire you to explore your own emotions, dreams, and memories through the beautiful, boundless realm of abstract art.

'The Edge of Cerebral' original abstract painting by Claire Desjardins
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