Magical Roadmaps

Philip Koch,  Northland Birches, oil on canvas, 40 x 32 inches, 2021

Have you ever had a one of those dreams that seemed magical, that when you awakened left you with unusual energy and optimism?

Most likely we all have. Last night I had one- a fable of swimming beneath the water to make remarkable discoveries. What these dreams mean matters less than that we enjoy and value them. They speak to us through a parade of images and shifting emotions. Sometimes with real power.

Art has this in common with dreams.

If you look at fifty paintings there will be one or two special ones that strike a chord within you. They're the ones you want to go back and look at again. Just what it is about these paintings that gives them this enchanting quality is nearly impossible to put into words. Yet the feeling they give us is unmistakeable. 

When you're struck by one of those exceptional paintings I believe it mirrors a part of our unconscious side that we normally can't see clearly. It's as if a hidden lens has unexpectedly turned and brought things into focus. 

We will never fully understand these things. Rather just savor these experiences. There is something of value here. Let the feeling they cast over you linger awhile.


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