Tag 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.

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.

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.

What a psychic said

We’ve all been victim to the innocuously made comment, bland in endorsement, challenging in ambiguity.

Such as: I see you’ve gotten your hair cut.

Another example said to me years ago by a psychic: “you’re in good shape, considering what you’ve been through.”

Okay… I’m sure she meant to be encouraging but the fact that I’ve never forgotten her words kinda suggests otherwise.

These three scraps of paper, from the top down: 1) an aerial view of a lake in Colorado; 2) antique linens beautifully cared for; 3) a young impoverished girl sunk in a wading pool, somehow managing to look both defiant and defeated.

This is more of a time line than a depiction of ‘above, center and below’ as prompted by Acey* in Prompt #24:

Above/Below/Within — Tell a 3 piece story about who you are in relation to the sacred directions

Reading from bottom to top — the girl represents what I was given (not literally, I grew up comfortably middle class), the linens represent the mediating power of creativity, the clouds and lake, call forth the bigger picture, the place of transformation.

With a birthday on the horizon, it’s an opportunity to think about the archetype of The Water Bearer. To me, the lake and clouds suggest Aquarius. They reference the sign’s reputation for having concerns about humanity generally (as opposed to singular people), and for taking an airy intellectual approach. Sometimes the cool mental ways associated with Aquarius strike me as ‘less than’ — no heart-centered earth mother here!

Without intending to so do, this collage reveals the strength and beauty of such an approach.

The collage below also came together this morning — similar in structure, but more grounded, specific and joyful.

The fact that the points along the linen’s edge form a row of houses is just perfect.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

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

And from last night, another slide show made, in part, while sleepless last night. We were away this weekend, so I hope to catch up by Wednesday.

Indigo cloth dyed by me at Rebellion Farm, SC during Donna Hardy’s weekend workshop; gateway view from a barracoon on the coast of Africa, photo probably from Smithsonian Magazine; a collage I made ages ago; the cemetery is in Charleston, SC and the magnolias too; Angel Oak from Johns Island, SC; a river scene from Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant, SC and finally, cabins at the fairly recently refurbished McLeod Plantation on James Island near Charleston, SC.

Home, prison, companions

Continuing with Collage Month.* Sort of.

Prompt #22: Breathe deeply and visualize a place that you love. Send it a Valentine.

It may be trite to say that home is a place I love, but it truly is. What follows is a little bit more of a meditation than a valentine — one that includes ‘home’ as well as intellectual/heart preoccupations that have taken place within its walls. Maybe a valentine is to follow.

The nest: a classic symbol of home. My nest is empty now, but it hasn’t t always been.

I put the photo of the prison work force picking cotton behind the nest as a way of saying that from the comfort of my home (and my white privilege), I’ve been able to delve into the darkest period of our nation’s history — a history that some would say hasn’t really ended because ‘slavery didn’t disappear, it evolved’ — unpaid or barely paid prison work forces who are disproportionately black standing as one piece of evidence.

When I noticed what looks like tufts of cotton in the bird’s nest, I thought, “how appropriate,” offering symbolic testament to how the comforts and ease of my life are facilitated by the color of my skin, purchased with black sweat and suffering.

It is my belief that once you truly internalize this, you cannot help but support reparations. (See the Atlantic Article on sidebar).

Home (below), from this morning.

BTW, that first shot is not a double exposure but created by shooting the glass case of a cabinet.

Then I went to find a companion for the tree as directed by Acey in Prompt 21, only to discover I’d already inserted one.

Before discovering Stag Boy already glued in, I’d had the impulse to add a fabulous couple, clipped from Vogue or Elle ages ago. It is the only SoulCollage card I’ve ever made with a single clipped image. I love them so much.

But then my printer went wonky and even after replacing the color cartridge, produced some bizarre and intriguing results.

It’s weird how the stripes continued the reference to prisons.

Prison vs home.


And then, because it came up, here’s an old SoulCollage card about America. You’ll recognize the lead from True Blood.

Not sure you can see, but there is a tear falling down her cheek.

Okay, one more. A less literal more Feeling State card about America.

*

Acey’s Collage Month.

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