Colin and I were thrilled to be invited to create a piece for the Beautiful Bizarre curated show, “Lucid Dreaming,” at Copro Gallery this spring. This exhibition promises to be spectacular with over 60 participating artists.

The lucid dreaming theme inspired us in many directions. We wandered down several of these creative paths, ultimately choosing one that took a humorous approach to a topic that has long intrigued me. We creatives certainly engage in conversations with our muse, but sometimes our inner demons (or wolves of the mind) may have a thing or two to say as well.

Thou Art Demons

Many artists through the ages have used their respective mediums to give physical form to the inner doubts, worries and voices that taunt us. Here are a few of my favorites in this sometimes dark genre:

Eugène Thivier “L’incubo (Le Cauchemar)” is certainly the stuff of nightmares

John Henry Fuseli, “The Nightmare” has a similar feeling. I especially love the “Night Mare” in the background.

One of our favorites in our personal art collection, Bruno Lucchesi’s ceramic delight presents demons having a heated discussion with one apparently passed out on the table.

Eric Vanel’s “Demon Girl” (WIP) adds an intriguing element to the conversation wherein the demon on your back hides your self behind a mask.

Aedan Robert’s “Shackled” and “Creative Anxiety” from his “Inner Demons” series speak visually and viscerally to these experiences

Leap Frog: Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream

As a solid sense of humor can help us through the darkest of times, we took a decidedly more lighthearted approach to potential ways of dealing with inner demons. I asked myself, what would happen if, in the moment of a lucid dream, we had the power to actually laugh at some of the more absurd things that our minds throw at us?

As we began our sculpture on this very serious subject, we of course needed to do some (very serious) research.

For our sculpture, we wanted to create a sense of lightness and flight with a material that by its very nature wants only to slump into a pile on the ground. We’d never tried anything of this sort with water-based clay and really were not quite certain how it would all go, but as is our way, once more into the breach we went. This three minute time-lapse video shows a process overview of the creation of this sculpture.

Colin decided to add the oddest animal feet we’d ever seen (kangaroo) to the ogre. As I was sculpting the flowers in her hair, an image of a strange reptile kept popping into my mind. I googled “crazy lizard with wings around it head” (literally) and there he was! In keeping with the Australian theme, I added this frilled lizard to her hair. Meanwhile, Colin was creating a little impish critter of his own wrapping around the ogre’s right arm. As Colin says, “it started off as a possum and leapt the tracks midway through.”

This sculpture is, in a way, a love note to all the creatives out there who face and overcome inner demons all the time to bring their amazing vision into being. Here are a few lines we wrote about the piece.

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream (Dealings with Demons)

Last night I had the strangest dream
Somewhere betwixt awake and slumber
I skipped along a sun-strewn path
Bordered with blooms in wondrous number.

Then a shadow clouded the day
I looked around, still feeling jaunty
Surprised, I then saw what it was
My inner demons, here to taunt me.

“You’re not for real!” I cried at first
They jeered and scoffed with menacing smirks
“Deny at will,” they cawed aloud,
“You hear us fine – we know your quirks.”

Circling me, their heckling grew wild
“You’re not good enough!” they squealed with glee
It did not help, ignoring them
Their words were starting to get to me.

I tried fighting, they got stronger
“You’ll not make it – a failure, a fraud!”
I couldn’t escape this loathsome gang
My mind knew it true, this path well trod.

But then I turned to laugh at them
Stymied, they stopped to gape at me
I saw the folly that they are
And in that moment, I was free.

Lucid Dreaming

Beautiful Bizarre’s “Lucid Dreaming” opens April 24 and runs through May 15, 2021 at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, CA.

Over 60 artists’ works will be included from the genres of imaginative realism, hyper-realism, pop surrealism and low-brow, including Allen Williams, Chie Yoshii, Laurie Lee Brom, Calvin Laituri, Marc Burkhardt, Chris Austin, Forest Rogers, Philip Singer, Chris Guest, Andi Soto, Crystal Morey, Naoto Hattori and more. It promises to be an extraordinary show.

See the exhibition preview here:

A Tiny Little H*art to H*art Chat

While we have taken a lighthearted look at dealing with our inner demons in this sculpture, if ever yours seem to be getting the better of you, remember there is always help and someone to talk to. Friends in our creative community are willing to listen as most will have faced similar challenges at some point. And you can always call 1-800-662-HELP (4357) to reach a National Helpline.

Until next time, keep creating!