Dreams and surrealism have the same origin:
Because of it they also have much in common:
the unreal, defamiliarized, encoded, mysterious.
Surreal pictures often remind of dream situations.
But dream situations hardly provide material for surreal pictures.
In the dream I experience this and that but mostly ephemeral, nothing tangible which could be painted .
Once I was able to write down a lovely word I had dreamt, and had succeeded to rescue it into the waking state.
It was only nonsense.
As a matter of fact dreams are not so "wonderful" .
If they seem wonderful to us, it is because in most cases our control system does not work properly when we sleep.
I don't know whether there are painters who see what they want to paint in their mind's eye.
For my part I must sit down with paper, pencil and eraser draw for a long time, try and try again until I find a sketch which is acceptable.
Most dreams are rather inconsequential, incoherent, remainders of some memories and unmastered things
from the events of the day.
"Great" dreams which have an impact and are bearers of important messages are rare and hardly ever suitable as models for a painting in spite of their impressive nature. This does not mean that they do not play a role in the artist's creative process. However it is very difficult to prove this and can only be surmised from case to case.