Paul Hartsuyker


"Impasse, the reluctance to change..." (mixed media & digital print, 4’ x 3’)

Paul Hartsuyker successively acquired two master’s degrees and a certificate degree in different domains -- initially, an M.F.A. in Fine Arts, then an M.A. in Art Therapy/Counseling, then a license and national registration as an Art Therapist. He also received special training in Play Therapy and Clinical Hypnotherapy, and has maintained a private practice with Dream Work as the primary focus since 1992. Prior to that he worked for two decades in inpatient and residential psychiatric programs.

Hartsuyker also holds a Certificate degree in Computer Applications and has maintained a freelance graphic design business for over a decade, using state of the art computer software, both 2D and 3D, as well as traditional fine art tools.

Artist Statement

I continue to maintain several different professional aspects in my life that are all influenced by dream understanding, while also creating art for personal understanding.

My personal images have always had the enigmatic dream like quality, as evidenced by the one included for this show.

I had a series of dreams during a period of transition and noted my reluctance to attend to some of the areas addressed by the dream images, and to make the changes that were suggested. Not surprised by this, but challenged, I felt the familiar compelling need to create an image, “pressing from within.” Using a technique that I have found profoundly helpful that I use for myself and teach in sessions and workshops, I proceeded as follows:

I start with a large blank sheet of paper 3’x 4’, then close my eyes and make an unplanned sprawling scribble. I then sit back and dialogue with the scribble, until images emerge, which I refine, using it as a “projection screen.” With this particular drawing I had completed the initial composition and some of the color overlays before deciding that what the image was asking for was a level of saturated color and detailed refinement that I felt could best create in the digital domain, so I scanned the large drawing in sections, “stitched” it together, then worked on the computer using a variety of professional software programs. The final image was then output at the same size on an Epson 9600, seven ink, wide gamut archival printer.

The title “Impasse, the reluctance to change” is linked to the dream themes that I was struggling with at the time and serves as a “condensation” snapshot of a dream. There are archetypal elements, of the hooded androgynous youthful figure, the fire and water juxtaposed, the moon and earth elements, and the crow, a totemic image that has always shown up in my dreams at key times and in my drawings since childhood.

Please note that there is a larger level integration of the whole picture with the figure of “Mother Nature” embedded. The pathways are her legs, the fire at her womb center, the path continues up her abdomen to include the two breasts with dark tree areoles, topped off with the cascade of cloud like hair, moon face and trees to imply shoulders and arms. The seated figure sits within nature, unaware (??) of the larger reality, at a crossroads, with choices to be made.

2005 IASD Dream Art Exhibition

22nd Annual Conference for the International Association for the Study of Dreams
June 24 - June 28, 2005
Berkeley, California

- 2005 -
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