Pittsburgh Artist Registry

John Dorinsky

John Dorinsky

Artistic Category artist
Career Level Professional
Experienced With Leading workshops, Lectures, Speaking engagements, Teaching engagements

“The dream is a little hidden door in the innermost secret recesses of the soul, opening into that cosmic night which was psyche long before there was any ego…”

— Carl Jung

Dream Drawings

Rudimentary materials; an oak table and chair, a bamboo stick and worn brush, india ink and rag paper allow me to penetrate the veil of consciousness to the “cosmic night” and navigate the paradoxes of space and time, darkness and light and material and spirit to create my dream drawings.

The territory that I am rendering is tenuous and ambiguous, more void than substantive.  My drawing technique emulates these qualities.  It is loose, suggestive and evocative.  Sharp and distinct images are often juxtaposed next to blurred and obscure ones.  Thought, feeling, and touch coincide in each moment of drawing.  The bamboo stick that I use is often a source of gestural accidents, which both provoke and guide me into unexpected directions.  The ink medium is unforgiving, so “mistakes” are improvised into the composition of each finished work.  In this fluid and dynamic process, I often reach a state of reverie.  I am no longer brushing or drawing ink on paper.  Rather, I am dreaming it on.

The sources of my imagery are varied.  I have fashioned and assembled an intimate iconography consisting of images gleaned from family photos and scenarios in my dream journals.  I combine this repertoire of images to create narratives which startle, contradict, and surprise.  They also refer to the archetypal themes that are described in the works of Carl Jung:  “The Persona”, the “Shadow” and the “Willing Sacrifice”.  The Unconscious, that vast labyrinth of enigmatic psychological forms, is the all-encompassing subject of my work.

John Dorinsky is a painter and a Raku ceramicist whose works are conceived through the interplay of dreams, accidents, and elemental forces.  John’s paintings, prints, and ceramics have been shown in museums and cultural centers throughout the United States.  Most notable are the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the New Jersey Center for Visual Arts and the Fine Arts Institute of San Bernardino County Museum in California.  In 2004, he exhibited his dream Rakus in the “Perchance to Dream” show at the Pittsburgh Society for Contemporary Craft.  He recently had a solo exhibit of his Raku art at the 2008 NCECA conference in Pittsburgh. Currently, John is doing Raku firings at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts where he continues to experiment and learn from this spontaneous and exhilarating process.



New Kensington, Pennsylvania 15068
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  • Craft
  • Drawing
  • Found object
  • Light
  • Mixed-media
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Video


  • Abstract
  • Black & white
  • Carving
  • Ceramic
  • Clay
  • Collage
  • Conceptual
  • Experimental
  • Expressionist
  • Figurative
  • Futurist
  • Gestural
  • Information visualization
  • Land/earth
  • Light
  • Minimalist
  • Modern
  • Narrative
  • Nature
  • Pen
  • Spiritual/Religious
  • Surreal
  • Wood