Discovering my life Beautiful…one drawing at a time!

The Stuff of Dreams




Last night I dreamed I was a dancer still. My hair was peppered as it is now. But my body was lithe and moving in ways it used to thirty-some years ago. The interesting thing is that my dream was not of a recital or a performance. I was in the studio. Hand on the barre, trying not to grip it too tightly. Perspiration running down my forehead. Piano music I’ve heard so many times. Lengthened spine. Turned out hips and feet. Worn leotard and tights. The smell of a dance studio. The barre exercises. The floor exercises.

Plie, tendu, ronde-de-jambe, repeat.

Glissade, assemble, pas-de-chat, repeat.

So many years from childhood to young adult spent in wood-floored, mirror-walled rooms. So many memories. So many hours. I remember only a few performances. But the studio work is as vibrant in my memory as if it were yesterday. I woke from my dream amazed at how real it was. And I thought:

At the end of our days, perhaps it is not the accolades, performances, exhibits or published work which will stand out in our minds. Perhaps it will be the daily practice, the rehearsals, the sketching and drawing, the trials and errors, the repetitive work of being creative. In the wee hours of early morning light, I thought that this is what I want in 2014: to show up to the page, the sketchbook, the drawing table, the needles and hook. I want to have my hand on the barre every day, and try not to grip it too tightly. I want to perspire in the effort of practice for practice sake. I want to revel in the music, smells, and movement all around me. I want to take it all in moving gracefully through my days.  I want to be disciplined in and to enjoy the repetition of everyday life, of practice, of good work. I want to trust that this work I do in the studio will prepare me for the challenge ahead.

Here’s to 2014–A Year to Dance in the Studio!

Plie, tendu, ronde-de-jambe, repeat.

Glissade, assemble, pas-de-chat, repeat.

 Note on the above painting: There is a way of using watercolor almost straight out of the tube. I learned this from Skip Lawrence at a workshop years ago in Boone at Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. Very fun technique!


Author: jenpedwards

I love drawcumenting my days, splashing on some watercolor, knitting up things to wear, and crocheting in-between! It's all Life, and it's all good!

16 thoughts on “The Stuff of Dreams

  1. I weep with joy and tremble with excitement at the challenge. Ah, the discipline of a dancer!

  2. Wonderful description – what a beautiful dream. And a very expressive painting.

    So beautifully said, and I can totally relate although it might be counter-intuitive as I am a middle-aged man who has never danced. But I love your words: “this is what I want in 2014: to show up to the page, the sketchbook, the drawing table, the needles and hook. I want to have my hand on the barre every day, and try not to grip it too tightly..” This reflects what I want for 2014. I want to be at the easel and drafting table in a mindful state. I do not want to be excessively focused on the results.

    A Happy and Healthy New Year!!!

  3. I have felt this dream many times. I began ballet when I was 3 1/2 and danced for over 20 years – 6 were professional. Not a day goes by that I do not remember or think about those days in some way. I loved performing on stage – there is nothing like it and I have not experienced a moment like it since. and dance class – i loved dance class. I still have my 8′ portable dance barre i bought when i believed in NYC.

    By the way – your painting up above is simply lovely. I would frame this. I love the lines. Stunning.

    • Oh thank you for commenting and sharing your story! I would imagine you DO have many amazing memories of your years dancing! May you continue to dance in your creative ventures now as well! Thank you for sharing!

  4. a very light painting, great technique.

  5. I love, love, love this painting. It’s so full of the movement and the blur of a dance. I too hope to show up to the page or project more this year. Dreams often tell us what our subconscious wants us to take note of when we are busy thinking other things.

  6. the movement in this is gorgeous!!

  7. Incredibly insightful post! Love it and will be taking it to heart. Thanks.

  8. superb painting, Jennifer.. I love the movement of the ballerina in the painting.

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