The Dreamer

As one of 93 female artists invited to put a painting into the upcoming exhibition, ‘Eva Gore-Booth’, this is a little behind the work I did in response to a poem Eva wrote called The Dreamer.

‘All night I stumble through the fields of light,

And chase in dreams the starry rays divine…’

The Dreamer

By Eva Gore-Booth 1929


All night I stumble through the fields of light,

And chase in dreams the starry rays divine

That shine through soft folds of the robe of night,

Hung like a curtain round a sacred shrine.




When daylight dawns I leave the meadows sweet

And come back to the dark house built of clay,

Over the threshold pass with lagging feet,

Open the shutters and let in the day.



The gray lit day heavy with griefs and cares,

And many a dull desire and foolish whim,

Leans o’er my shoulder as I spread my wares

On dusty counters and at windows dim.



She gazes at me with her sunken eyes,

That never yet have looked on moonlit flowers,

And amid glaring deeds and noisy cries

Counts out her golden tale of lagging hours.



Over the shrine of life no curtain falls,

All men may enter at the open gate,

The very rats find refuge in her walls—

Her tedious prison walls of love and hate.



Yet when the twilight vails that dim abode

I bar the door and make the shutters fast,

And hurry down the shadowy western road,

To seek in dreams my starlit home and vast.


When I first read this poem, I immediately connected with it and instantly I had to record my own ideas, personal feelings and visual description of what I got from it into my notebook. It was just a quick written sketch so I could reference back to when painting.

‘Coming down from the hill of light and starry skies. Long sharp shadows and silhouettes of a gazing face in a eutrophic trance.  
The simplicity of a starry night sky, the complexity of the beyond..

The reality of impending death where we will all rejoin the stars.

A pull of darkness and light
Fear and euphoria,
The paradoxal mind of much awareness and granted freedom.
Give way, give way,
We are too small and too large all at the same time…’

I began ideas for this piece with some sketches and studies to come up with composition and try to create a dream-like atmosphere. In my experience of dreams they can often be vivid yet hazy where they feel real but with peripheral edges visually dulled out or too bright to see. Dreams can sometimes define us and try grasp what may be out of reach of in the waking world. They are an escape into the inner self which can be unpredictable, frightening and euphoric all at once.

Here are some of my studies

Study, Acrylic on cotton rag

It was an exciting piece to do and I referenced back to an older painting I did back in early 2019 titled ‘Lucid Dream’. It took several sketches and studies to finally come up with something tangible.

Sketch in charcoal

With the studies I tried to give a sense of flight as if an onlooker gazing down into a dream. The light of the stars come through scattered thin cloud of the night sky. It outlines edges of fields with shadows created between the gaps in the night sky of light and darkness.

Study in charcoal, pencil and pastel

Running and stumbling along the path of reflected light, she is free and ecstatic for a moment in time.

The Artist Statement..a fear

It is very hard to sit down and write ‘what my art is about’. I never really get it right! that’s true for years!.. So every now and again I try to re-write my artist statement with the hope I’m understood that bit better..

Oil on Canvas
80cm x 80cm x 4cm

Lots of things come to mind when I paint and for lots of reasons I have the need to paint. Making art is the best way for me to express what I can’t put into words or sometimes even understand.. We live in a small corner of a small planet in a tiny universe.. where there are infinite galaxies and beyond, beyond, beyond… space is continuously expanding too by the way..

In any case.. the link here is a small indication and the rest is up to you the viewer.

I want you to interpret my art your way because it is also for you! 🙂

Pushing Abstraction

My current new series is all about pushing abstraction more than I have ever done before. Responding to my surrounding landscape and being so passionate about nature, forests and the open landscape. The colours are influenced by the bright vibrant summer light that is being experienced here in Ireland lately.

This is only a short rough video idea on the current direction I am taking and I am very excited about it indeed!

Have a look here on my Instagram (… ) if you are interested to see more of my everyday visual diary and art in progress.

Into Abstraction



Photos and detail of current work in progress

Untitled 1 120x100cm

‘Yellow Field’ 40x40cm

IMG_4078 (1)
Yellow Field – Detail

Yellow Field – Detail

Untitled 2

Detail 2

Detail 2

Detail 2


A piece from VAI (Visual Artists Ireland) about my upcoming solo show in less than 2 weeks

Solace | Derval Freeman at Signal Arts Centre

27 February to 12 March

Opening Reception: Friday 3 March 7pm

Signal Arts Centre is delighted to present ‘Solace, an exhibition of paintings and photography by Derval Freeman.

Derval’s paintings are like pages from the visual diary of her thoughts, feelings and surroundings at a given time. She is drawn to nature and is preoccupied by the philosophy of time and the relevance of our existence. Her work focuses on details in the landscape that give a sense of fragility.

Derval is based in County Wicklow and finds that being surrounded by the forestry’s and vast open mountainous landscapes triggers a strong sense of place. It evokes a wonder that drifts between the relevance of humanity and the purpose of existence. In isolating herself in nature this way a dialogue emerges that has a strong influence on her while painting in the studio. Challenges are mind-based and how the environment is depicted presents an inner challenge to the artistic mind; the painting action is queried: balance, depth, weight and accentuation of each stroke is called into question, namely, ‘is this depiction what I actually want to represent – is it too abstract?’

‘Solace’ is a collection of Derval’s most recent paintings and photography. The work references the open landscape of the Wicklow Mountains and the forests that give her a sense of interior and protective shelter. All give her a sense of belonging and solace.

Signal Arts Centre, 1 Albert Avenue, Bray, Co. Wicklow.

T: 353 01 276 20 39