'I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream.' ~ Vincent Van Gogh
I would also add, 'I dream my life, and then I live my dream.'
I dream a lot, both sleeping and waking. When I wake up from a sleeping dream I'm aware that I am not just the dreamer but also the dream. The dream is me (it does not exist outside of me); I am the dreamer and the dream. And when I am 'awake' I realize I am not just the experiencer of life, but also life itself. My life is a reflection of me. In the same way, all paintings are self portraits of the artist.
The essence of the artist is in each painting.
I love how painting is such a metaphor for life!
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream....