Animals Dreaming feels like a culmination of all my painting that has come before. This series allows me to depict something that brings me great pleasure - watching animals sleeping - while at the same time opening up the background space to be virtually anything I, another animal, can dream up. I get to imagine what other animals are imagining, and I'm free from the constraints of physical reality and realism. My shadows don't have to make sense, my colors can be heightened, I can distort, change scale, and juxtapose impossibilities. In short, I'm embracing surrealism, the realm of the subconscious, mixing it up with magic realism, my rural Wisconsin regionalist sensibility, and my historical attraction to the ideas and work of the Chicago Imagists.