anyone else who gets these visions in their sleep.
I'm not one who believes dreams have underlying meanings. I think these images are combinations of thoughts I've had and images I've seen during the day. These occur more often now that I'm painting because I view the world as one potential drawing or painting after another. However, I remember a number of times in past years when I wasn't actively painting or thinking about art when I would see images that were masterpieces (at least in my mind). At those times I woke up excited but then became disappointed that I either couldn't remember details or didn't feel confident I could actually paint them. I've since forgotten those images. I find it interesting that I woke so excited about what I had seen. That I saw them as actual paintings. They just popped into my mind at random times. I can't really explain why that happened. There have also been times when I've woken up and realized the image was not as good as I had felt it was when I was dreaming it.
Finally, I have done a little bit of study about lucid dreaming. The technique that you can use to manipulate yourself in dreams. There are times when you're not sure if you're in a dream. At this point, you do something that you know you couldn't do in real life, like lifting one leg, then lifting the other to find yourself floating. At this point, you will be able to do things, usually flying, passing through walls, or breathing under water. The dream unfolds without your total control. Usually you can't change the landscape or others in the dream.
I believe my knowledge of lucid dreaming helps me remember more of the images I see in my sleep, and I am able to wake myself long enough to file them into memory for later. A very handy tool.