Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Create an Abstract Dreamscape

In this activity, you will create an art piece inspired by the work of Bernice Bing. 

Download the activity packet in the sidebar for instructions.

Intrigued by the theories of psychologist Carl Jung, Bernice Bing (American, 1936–1998) sought to explore her dreams and subconscious through her art. She was also inspired by her surroundings; her move to Mayacamas Vineyard in Napa led her to produce many abstract landscape paintings that include dream-like imagery.

Look at the Bernice Bing paintings in the image gallery — what words would you use to describe them? What makes them dream-like?


  1. Paper
  2. Markers, Colored Pencils, Crayons, other coloring utensils


  1. Think about some of your most memorable dreams.

  2. 2  On a sheet of paper, brainstorm a list of symbols and images that appear in your dreams most often.

  3. 3  On the other side of your sheet of paper, use a pencil to lightly sketch a draft of your dreamscape. Figure out where you want your images to be placed and woven together. You can start with one of the images or symbols from your dream and try the following:

    1. Repeat it in different areas of the paper

    2. Distort it by changing its form, size, or texture

    3. Add marks and shapes that express your feelings about that image or symbol

    4. Add other symbols or images from your initial brainstorming and try steps a.-c. with them.

  4. Think about the colors that can express the various emotions of your dream(s). Are there different shades of the same color that might convey your feelings more clearly? Shouldsome colors be smeared or faded while others are sharp and intense?

  5.  Use your materials to complete your abstract dreamscape.