Category Archives: Collage

Spray paint, gifts, and rain

When I removed the house shapes after spray painting, I was reminded of Jennifer Coyne Qudeen’s work. She uses house silhouettes with marvelous invention.

The house silhouettes combined with images from the NYTimes Travel section with fantastic result (below). Even the tears make me swoon.

About to settle in for second Zoom writing class of the week, the one I’ve been part of for many years. This one I get to listen more.

Here’s a quick tour of my writing space on this rainy Thursday.

My son didn’t pack Jude’s strays and (ahem) I didn’t remind him. Someday soon, I’ll pop them in the mail to California.

Day SEVEN of HOME CONTAINMENT. I like that phrase better than self-quarantine or isolation. How’s it going with you all?

It was nice to come down to a ready pot of coffee but weird to hear a conference call about technical appendices going on. Fortunately, K didn’t have his camera on because when I walked in front of his screen his colleagues would’ve seen an old bird with weird hair who looked like she just woke up.

Spaciousness

“In the midst of fear, kindness is needed, even just a little, so that the panic, restlessness, and angst don’t completely take over. We can simply ask ourselves if even in the midst of contraction and tension spaciousness is available as well.”

The Magnanimous Heart
Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation, by Narayan Helen Liebensen

I’ve been though so many states of mind since yesterday, it feels like days instead of hours since I last typed here.

Rather than explain, I will barrel forward.

An old photo of D (top), as I think of all the parents home with children. Next, a little shell/insect combo, revealing how much I am missing paper play.

This collage, made in 1980 while I was living in SF, used copies made on one of the first color Xerox machines. How I loved that ‘color shift’ dial! Now my niece is sheltering in place just across the bay from where I once lived.

I lived in that duplex during my senior year in college in Northampton, Mass. Look how themes stay with us!

Meanwhile, plans have formed to use my sister’s cardboard collection after revisiting this book below.

An early decision will be how to attach the house/pages to each other. Artists in the book use various means: ribbons, wire, hemp, rick rack.

500. That’s how many words I deleted this morning. But today it doesn’t satisfy, because my hunch is that the trimmed chapters need to go in their entirety. More decisions.

Where are you finding spaciousness?

Clippings, ripping, and coronavirus

Last weekend I found another cache of images collected by my sister, small enough to save. There was the usual pile of cut up Kleenex boxes, too. Because this might be the last of them, I kept a few for the same reason she so industriously cut and collected them — as sturdy bases for future collage. I think the activity made her feel useful and maybe even, hopeful. But the number of times I opened a bag or box to find another stack of cardboard cut outs might amaze you. It stunned me, even knowing her habits.

Here, I combined a Noreen-clipped face (sleeping dark man) with a ripped up page from Collage Month (below).

The magazine page in the Collage Book didn’t lie flat so I scored the bubbles open and then, using the beautiful pens given to me by Ginny (thank you, Cousin!), applied a matte finish. It didn’t help.

So I ripped it up. This torn remnant interests me. And the rearranged strips do, too.

I’m gonna sew them together. But not today. The upstairs machine is threaded with pink and I want black. The pink stays to finish constructing C’s quilt.

In other news, K has a terrible cold which based on not much (belligerent denial?), he insists is not corona virus. He made three trips to China since the outbreak. His entire office is sick. But hey, I’m hysterical.

Have I said too much?

He’s probably right. But get this. We are a couple that delays and waits and discusses and delays and waits some more before getting a trip on the calendar. I don’t know why. That’s why it was somewhat amazing when we recently finalized a trip to Italy with little fanfare. Airline miles applied – BAM. Two Airbnb’s reserved — BAM.

Ah, now the rub.

Guess what European nation ranks third worldwide in corona virus cases? Guess what country now ranks having a big red dot on the Johns Hopkins tracking map? Is undergoing an outbreak bad enough for several cities to cancel school, shut down trains, and cancel big events?

Well, Italy of course.

In Milan, Ralph Lauren’s models walked the runway in an empty room. The Carnival in Venice has been cancelled. Trains going over the northern border are being stopped, temperatures taken. Between last night and this morning, 50 new cases erupted.

So, Savannah, anyone? Montgomery?

Stepping stones

The last prompt response to Acey’s collage Month* is big, perhaps 15 inches tall. I may not glue it down.

Stepping stones was the prompt. “Imagine our challenge experience has been a literal path with a stepping stone for each person.” I haven’t attempted to represent others here, but rather the sense of collective opening and movement.

The big rock arch formation giving passage to the sea represents one opening, the shell and bay window represent two more. The computer is a rather literal nod to how we connect, while the shoe stands in as metaphor for continuing on… stepping on more stones on more paths winding out ahead of us.

The melon’s bounteous seeds represent the fertility of the imagination, particularly when held in a collective vessel, here, the rind. I wanted to bring wings back in, so the cranes took pride of place.

I might not have been drawn to that shoe, but for what Grace said about how much she appreciated the gender-fluid quality of many of my images. The shoe itself mixes things up, but then, too, the laces touch the very female image of the melon, suggesting relationship.

It’s a sunny day here. Kids play with exuberance at the neighboring elementary school. Finn relaxes in the sun. It’s clean-the-bathrooms day, so I’ll do that and I want to make a meatloaf later. But otherwise, it’s back to SC 1738, with occasional peeks at how the Iowa caucuses are going.

*

Go to sparklinglotusink.com for more info on the collage challenge.

A seed a finale

Collage month final prompt.* The “seed collage” here on the left is not a seed and not a collage either but there you have it. It’s the last page of the sketchbook.

It looks like a peaceful scene, a couple (perhaps the man has retired?) looking out over the ocean. It’s a place of repose, regeneration, and beauty. The couple comes here often in between doing other things and going other places.

So a big thank you to Acey for vibrant and energized leadership through a month of well-timed and created prompts. She made a nest we could all climb in and fly out of repeatedly. There was a lot of excitement, connection with others, and discovery.

I haven’t finished yet, though. You didn’t think I had, did you? Many blank pages remain in my sketchbook and many loosely laid images have yet to be glued. Stay tuned. Below are some of the pages I either glued up yesterday or hadn’t yet photographed.

This week I made some survival decisions: I shall resume a meditation practice. I shall get on my exercise bike frequently. I shall listen to new music (I felt unbearably OLD watching the Grammys this year).

And, as a starter activity, I resumed writing postcards. Right now: to Florida registered Dems to inform them that they can vote by mail. It’s easy, it’s concrete, and it might make a difference.

Go to postcardstovoters to sign up. There’s a little bit of a screening process mostly to do with handwriting and the ability to follow directions, but then it’s easy. I get addresses by texting.

Corrupt-genius just expanded the Muslim ban to six more countries. The first time he pulled this shit, lawyers flooded the airports. Protests broke out all over the country. I took part in a well-attended rally in Copley Square THE VERY NEXT DAY. And today?

Something like shell shock. One friend said she didn’t think she could feel worse than she did on Election Day but does. I get it.

One of the newly banned countries is Nigeria, the most populated country in Africa, aka a “shithole country.”

Given the catastrophic recent events and the worse events sure to follow, how do you plan to take care of yourself? What concrete steps will you be taking to get a Democrat in the WH come fall?

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

Tribute to Gaia

One of the final prompts for collage month.* Oldie on the left, used elsewhere with Dervishes, and used again as a frame for today’s tribute to Mother Earth on the right.

The other side of this primate pair was too darling not to capture, at least digitally.

Where did such design come from? Such coordinations of cells within the river of time? The elegance of math, the variety of flora… our capacity (thus far) to survive.

Meanwhile I ran out of thread for the crib quilt commission and am glad for the intermission because my hands are not as strong as they used to be. Even using gripper gloves, stippling is a strain.

We are anticipating the GOP’s failure to hold this president accountable, aren’t we? It feels like bracing for a really bad storm. Even though it’s hard to imagine how much more above the law one man can feel, it’s predictable that he will be even more emboldened.

The tweets that are saying, “enjoy the last 36 hours of democracy,” have a ring of truth to them.

And besides his dictatorial tendencies, there is his well-documented dementia. How long do they think we won’t notice? I’m expecting at least one grimace, one jerking motion, and one misfired attempt to say an ordinary word at the SOTU.

What are you expecting?

It’d be nice if the Dems simply didn’t show.

I HAVE NO IDEA WTF WORDPRESS IS DOING. FIRST DELETING COMMENT CAPACITY. NOW COLORED FONTS?!

If this is the beginning of a Saturn Pluto transit over the Capricorn corner of my Grand Cross, I’m seriously gonna have to hunker down.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.

Last days of collage month

Prompt #26

Consider aspects of working style you’ve grown to admire about each of your virtual collage table-mates

See what you can come up with that pays tribute/serves as an active homage to as many admired aspects as you can manage.

This is a nod to Grace, bringing in her themes

in particular, her consistent awareness of the sanctity of all life (trees, trees, trees, flowers, children, our ape cousins) and her awareness of the CRISIS part of “climate crisis” (changing Arctic landscape, upper left)

and her method of ripped edges too. I like how they add a sense of urgency.

The wonderful themes and methods of other participants have not gone unnoticed and I look forward to trying out new things later this year.

Acey and her organic layering of paper and meaning, using time as an element in composition, too, by walking away and coming back. Also, she makes her subjects from marked papers and doesn’t rely wholesale (as I do) on pre-existing images. I want to try that.

Joanne inspires me with her courageous mark-making, on top of already stellar compositions, no less! I’ve gotten out my oil pastels and ordered some gouache paints.

PS Joanne knows this but others don’t. I try to leave a comment on her blog roughly three times a week and they never “take.” So we email and it ends up being private.

Liz’s inclusion of words and personal ephemera is going to have me rethinking what papers I collect. Also maybe using the light box for pix, something I have yet to do.

Prompt 25: The desert coast landscape and the kite-children on the beach have been on the table since day one. I’ve picked both up many times and for whatever reason, rejected them. So here they are.

Prompt #25 (the just-because prompt)

Select a few pieces that keep catching your eye.  

bonus points if you choose some things you’ve been mentally pairing off and on throughout the challenge but they’ve had no direct or even tangential relationship to the prompt of the day. make THAT collage.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

See also my Flickr album, SoulCollage, and the tags for SoulCollage and collage here on the blog.