Once Upon A Dream…

I was thinking about what to draw next and took inspiration for this artwork whilst re-decorating my room. It all happened when I came across a dream catcher, which I felt the urge to add to my existing collection. (I’ve always been a fan of dream catchers and have often contemplated getting one tattooed on my skin). 

Dream catchers typically comprise of a wooden circle, covered by thread, which is woven in an intricate pattern and finished with precious items, such as beads and feathers hanging from the bottom of the circle. 

The Dream Catcher originated from native America and is thought to have been invented by a tribe, with the purpose of protecting it’s young from being harmed. The concept of the dream catcher became more prevalent, as tribes began to expand across the country and tribe leaders could no longer watch over the infants of the tribe. Consequently, in the absence of tribe warriors, dream catchers were woven by maternal figures, such as mothers and grandmothers and were hung above a cradle to protect infants from being harmed in their sleep. 

Originally, to make the dream catcher, two spider webs were woven into the circle of the dream catcher. Spider webs were used, since their properties are such that they tend to trap and take hold of anything that comes in their path. Using this logic, it was thought that the spider webs in the dream catcher would trap any harmful elements in the air and provide a form of protection. This explains why the thread pattern in modern dream catchers happen to look similar to that of a spider’s web. 

Also key to note, is the circular frame and how it represents the constant flow of life; through the way the sun and moon orbit the earth in a continuous loop. Similarly, the number of different points on the dream catcher are thought to symbolise different meanings. For example, a dream catcher with 5 points is thought to resemble a star, whereas a dream catcher with 13 points is thought to represent the 13 different phases of the moon. 

In modern times, the dream catcher is said to have the purpose of catching good dreams and filtering them through the feathers to the person below. This is in addition to protecting that person from incurring bad dreams, through the motion of catching them in the ‘spiders web’. Now dream catchers can be seen across a variety of items including jewellery, phone cases, home decor etc. and are made from various different materials.

About the art:
I decided to draw the classic dream catcher but with an added twist, through combining the semi-circle of the dream catcher with a floral pattern. I then added in some detail using lines and dotting (‘stippling’), to add shading and dimension. 

I was glad to find an excuse to use my new sketch pad and drew this only using a pencil and some fine liner pens (0.3, 0.8 and 1.0 thickness). I am pleased with the result; in hindsight the only thing that I would have changed is that I would have used a circular object to draw around for the outer ring of the dream catcher, instead of chancing it freestyle, as I did above.

~

What would you like me to draw next? Comment below 🙂🕷

241 thoughts on “Once Upon A Dream…

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to see and read about the art! ❤️ I took inspiration from my room decor and have always been a fan of the dream catcher, but I didn’t know of the story and symbolism until I chose to research on the topic for this blog post. We learn something new everyday! ✨

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks.

        The conscious mind processes like 40 bits of information per second. But the subconscious it’s like 40 million bits, you see!

        I do believe it’s the subconscious mind that truly knows the truth!

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  1. Indeed, Hannah Gandhi, there is also an element of symetrical beauty in the designs, not unlike a spider’s web which is quite alluring.
    On the subject of protective symbols, my oldest ancestors fixed skulls into the walls of their homes, the frightening bony cheeks and toothy grins warding against evil and the foulest elemental spirits.
    An interesting subject in a world of newer symbols and wards against evil which are mostly just those of the more successful religions now.
    Thanks for this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts! That’s a very valid point that hasn’t crossed my mind…these are very neat compared to the real spiders web. Oh wow, that’s interesting to hear of the different ways that our ancestors used to protect themselves. There’s some more obvious, such as the use of garlic and blacked out windows on Halloween and others that most of us won’t know of. Thanks again and I hope that you have a lovely day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment. It’s interesting that you say that, because that is the exact link that I used to base my research for this post ~ especially the part where I detailed about tribe grandmothers having woven the dream catcher from the spiders web to hang above the baby’s cradle 🙂❤️

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