Astral Projection.
Oil on canvas, 100 H x 70 W cm / 39.4 H x 27.6 W in
Created by Ofir Hirsh under the Caminante identity in 2017.

Initially, I wanted to dedicate this post to my old dear friend: The Night. However, quite soon after I began writing, I found myself describing the influence of astral projection (out of body experience) and lucid dreams, on my work.
I love the night because it is more relaxed. I love to paint at night because it is silent, no one disturbs my isolation and it is easier to get lost in the dark. The lack of light, or the different lightening, ignites the brain to reconstruct and imagine. During the day, I open my eyes wide in order to absorb the colorful reality, and at night time I find myself more concentrated in my inner visions.
The night always bring some mysterious thoughts with it, and this mystery triggers a set of brain activities. During my night painting sessions, I often find myself unintentionally practicing astral projection techniques.
In 1999, in Maui, Hawaii, in the same thrift shop where I found the “Brief History of time”, I found a practical guide book to: “Astral Projection and Lucid Dreams“. After almost 20 years of practice, and being conscious about these phenomena, my main conclusion is that the efforts paid off. I wasn’t born a medium, or a natural leaving the body guru, however, having those ideas in the back of my mind for such a long time, practicing and experimenting, have had a significant accrued effect on my daily routine, on how I view the universe, and obviously on my artistic practices.
Although the idea of a potential ability to travel outside of my body fascinated me, it seemed to me it’s getting too close to crossing the border of insanity. However, the subject of Lucid Dreams entirely made sense to me. When I read that book for the first time I already knew what lucid dreams are, because I experienced them before on a regular basis and experimented with them.
My plan was to learn and practice astral projection, to improve my lucid dreaming skills, and later on, to utilize them for the benefit of my art.
My art is about digging out of myself the most I can. And if my subconscious hides tremendous treasures, it is my responsibility to dive deep and discover them.
I did improve my lucid dreaming skills, and I utilized lucid dreams and self guided imagery to practice astral projection, and enjoyed it a lot. I imagined myself leaving my body hundreds of times. Sometimes, I flew back to my childhood home, and in other times I traveled to remote planets. But I never managed to show proof of my trips. Maybe it’s because I’m not a natural born “Astral Traveler”, and maybe it’s because I never believed that these kind of travels are possible, except for in our imagination, and that was good enough for me.
Lucid dreaming, the ability to intervene in your dreams, being their screenwriter and director, remembering places, scenes, images and compositions which appeared in your dreams, altogether have an invaluable potential for an artist.
So yes, basically, I can wake up from a dream, enter my studio and paint what I saw. I usually paint just a part of it, because dreams are too long and complicated, so I can choose to concentrate on the composition, the atmosphere, or the emotional story etc.
While I paint at night in the studio, my mind can travel to other imaginary universes, then my hand paints what I see there. Until I’m proven otherwise, I will keep believing that those universes do not exist in reality, but only inside of me. They are the side effects of my brain activity, which I choose to document with oil paint on my canvas. If you have any other interesting explanations, please let me know.