A Dream within a Dream

A Dream within a Dream

8″ x 8″ (20 x 20 cm) oil on gessobord panel. To bid on this painting click here.

The painting was slow in coming, and I am not all sure why it took so long. I started it before Christmas. So OK, there was Christmas with all its Christmasy chores, then there was the New Year and a pressure to party, then Shelly went on her epic Israeli trip. Where did the time go…

I am doing a small series under a working title Reflections. The idea is to connect memories with  images reflecting in a mirror. I am working on another painting along these lines that is nearly finished.

In this one I hoped to connect to my former country. I tried to work out the anger I still feel even now, almost a quarter of century since I left. When I try to be rational I can come up with things that were good back then, 25 years ago, but list is rather short. I remember being young was fun, ahh… good times we had! Love Russian art,  poetry, and music. Hmmm… love how mathematics was taught… Love my memories of hiking, sailing and amazing natural beauty. That’s about it. My other list – the “angry” one – is long and ugly, full of injustice, KGB and empty grocery stores.

The credit for the title of this painting goes to my daughter Shelly. Thank you, Shelly, it was brilliant!


19 thoughts on “A Dream within a Dream

  1. Oh Alex, for you, your own sake, to be free. I mean really free, you must let all that anger go. You are a beautiful person with many talents. Now is now, yesterday is only a memory that can not be changed….My thoughts are going to be with you now for some time to come.

    You painting. I think I’m going to say what I always say….Beautiful! You work makes my mouth drop. My husbands look at me looking at the pc screen and tell me I’m going to catch a fly….Really, Alex, you work is just stunning!
    Hugs xx

    • Appreciate the thought, Deb! And thank you for your support. I don’t think this anger will go away, nor do I think it should, for things that we had to live through should not be forgotten. However, I do not dwell on it, and in fact rarely think about it. It’s just recently I was invited to speak at my daughter’s university about dissident movement in the former USSR and that stirred things up and back to the surface.

      • I see, then that is different. I had misunderstood you, and thought you were dwelling and getting angry, hurting you. I can understand that the speaking of it would stir things up for a time.
        Thank you for you comment on my Pink Rose…Much appreciated, Alex!

  2. Your paintings are stunning! Whether it is your suppressed anger or the beautiful and happy memories that make you paint like this, don’t let them fade. Just make sure that the anger does not spill over into the rest of your life.

    • Oh no, my anger is not suppressed, :lol:! Everyone involved back then got to be pretty aware of my anger – long story, LOL. But it is over and done with. Thank you for commenting on my painting, Balaji!

  3. Hi Alex, another beautiful painting. I am struck by the vibrant colors you use in your work. The black of the nesting dolls and the gold of the vase. And the reflections in the vase and the table. How do you do this? Do you work from photos as well as real life. You must have to do a meticulous drawing first. Can you tell me the steps?

    Hope Shelly enjoys Israel. Is she doing a birthright trip? No matter, I hope she has a wonderful time there.

    • Hey, girlfriend! Good to see you visit! My not posting for so long created a no comment from you, hahaha, is this even English? So glad you like the painting! It is a great idea to come up with steps, I will work on it and publish in the next post. I promise it will be soon – the next painting is almost done.

      Yes, it was Birthright trip Shelly went to. It was amazing, she is super excited about it.

  4. It was birthright! And I had a Fabulous time. This painting is lovely. But you didnt give me credit for coming up with the title 😦

    • Ah! The famous Shelly! A co-worker went to Israel recently on a birthright trip. I want to go. Apparently I am too old and not the right religion. Bah! 🙂

      good work on naming your mom’s piece. Keep an eye on her and make sure she keeps painting.

  5. Hi Alex! I was so excited to see this – what a beautiful set of nesting dolls – so intricate and beautifully captured in paint. I love how the outer-most doll’s face is shown in the reflecting ground. Coincidentally, I just received my set of nesting dolls from Amazon – have an idea in mind for a still life using them. Would love to get your thoughts when finished, I’ll send it to you.
    I so love your work – I know it’s time consuming so your posts are less frequent than some, but always well worth the wait – such a treat to see your newest! Thanks again for sharing yet another stunner. ♥

    • Hi Karen! Thank you for the comment! I can’t wait to see what you will do with your matreshka nesting dolls. It wasn’t all that easy to set up the composition I liked with mine, so I am very curious to see your solution. I went to see your blog, I don’t believe I visited before, I only know your work from DPW. DPW is great, but in absence of face-to-face blog-to-blog is more personal… don’t you think? oh what a strange new e-world… 😀

      • Yes, I agree (especially about the world being strange). 🙂
        I’ve just posted my matryoshka painting – had a terrible time setting it up, it rolled all over the place – so my compo is not anywhere near as interesting as yours, nor is the painting as beautifully intricate. But from one matryoshka fan to another, they are a fun subject and I really enjoyed painting them!
        ps – thanks for the good advice on ink drawing. I’ll give it a go sometime.

        • Thanks for letting know about your matryoshka painting, Karen! I left a comment on your post. I sometimes use kneaded eraser to settle and stabilize round/unstable objects in my setups.

  6. Your art is so beautiful, Alex!! This is hard for me to even wrap my brain around (being able to do it, that is). It’s incredible!! Whenever your anger rises to the top and you need to de-stress, just come by my blog for a giggle. 🙂

    • Awww, Beth… thank you! It is really just the tenacity… I want to get down what I see in my mind, so it is just the matter of time until I get right. Although it does take a long time :lol:!

  7. Also the dolls are mine. But I am happy to lend them to you Mama for such an amazing work of art.

    Carol, Birthright was a dream! if theres any sort of peer trip to Israel you can find you should do it. That country is unbelievably culturally rich and beautiful. The people are the kindest you will ever meet. It is an amazing experience.

  8. The depth in this is incredible, Alex. You are so good! I have a trushka doll very similar to this one. She is made up of ten dolls. My Granddaughter has played for hours with her over the past three years and I will be gifting it to her. No one else in the family cared about her much. She makes a beautiful subject, here, with the composition you set to canvas. Excellent, excellent reflections and I wish my tabletops were that clean!

    • My tabletop is not that clean, Leslie! You made me laugh with this comment :lol:! It is just painting a layer of dust is much more difficult than painting clear reflections :). I think matreshka dolls are incredible in their symbolism of layers hidden within. 10 inclosed dolls must make one large outer doll, the one in my painting is made of only 5. Thank you for the comment!

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