art journal

A Progression

acrylic inks, gesso, image transfer on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

a procession, a progression, a passage
of pharoahs, of sun gods and goddesses
of noble men and women
carrying the wisdom and wealth of centuries

into the green wave of nature’s extravagence
not stopping to wonder
is this the right way?

acknowledging only the inevitable,
change and forward movement,
wedding past with all futures.

trudging past the dark door
noticing but not stopping
each carrying a staff
sacred symbol of immortality

a funeral procession to remind us
not to miss a single flutter
of butterfly wings

This art journaling process is all about allowing the instincts to drive the art.  So one picks images for reasons that are often beyond rational explanation.  And then writes about what one sees and possibly makes some connections that have personal meaning.  In this case, the image of the procession of pharoahs and the dark door appeared initially to be a strange one for me, especially on a beautiful spring afternoon spent with my wonderful Tuesday Muse Group friends.

But the next day the meaning became crystal clear as I was speaking with my 93 year old mother.  She stands bright in spirit yet fragile in body on the doorstep of the dark door, wondering how it will be opened to her, sharing her bewilderment and occasional glimpses of what is beyond.  As her daughter I stand these days looking over her shoulder, hoping to get a glimpse of this great mystery with her.

Travel By Collage

Collage and acrylic on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

On the white beach, palm fronds waving, I wiggle my toes in the fine warm sand and know I am here.  Or am I in a dream from which i may awake and realize I’m lost, stranded, with nothing but relentless blue skies each day.  How many times would I paint these these palms until I could not any more?  How many baskets and skirts would I weave from the fronds and grasses before I started to long for machine made clothing.  How many months could I live in a grass hut, eating shell fish and fruit before I longed for art museums and restaurants with big city fare.  Is this really the paradise I long for?

Recently I received an “invitation” by mail from National Geographic Expeditions for a 3 week trip to India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives by private jet.  A bargain really, at $60,000 per person double occupancy plus your air fare to London.  Do you get things like this in the mail, brochures which fuel the fire of longing to travel to exotic places?

Well, not being at a point in my life when I can do such trips even if I could afford them, I have discovered a (somewhat) satisfying way to enjoy the prospects of travel by collage.  That’s not a typo for college.  I mean collage, glueing a picture onto the page as if it were a photo taken on your recent trip There, and then painting out from the picture.  Travel by collage.  This one just saved me $60,000, not to mention all the shots and malaria pills, flight arrangements, wardrobe shopping, etc I would need to go there.  Not a bad deal I must say.

Paint the Word Obsession

acrylic, collage on w/c paper, 10 X 11″

In Saturday’s workshop we incorporated words into our painted and collages art pieces by starting with them, ending with them and inserting them into various layers.

In this demo I asked for a word and was given “obsession” so I wrote it into the wet paint beginning with a watercolor crayon (it got painted over, but the meaning persisted).

Can you tell what layer came next? and next?  What we get with all these layers of paint and collage and word is packed with meaning.  It’s a palimpsest, like the early manuscripts which were covered over so that successive entries could be made, it contains a history of the layers of creation. What do you think this suggests about the nature of obsession?

Painting Workshop This Weekend

What happens when you put paint and collage papers and words in the creative mixer?  That’s what we’ll be doing in this Saturday’s workshop.  There’s still space if you want to join in.  And don’t leave your zany wackiness at home.

read more from an earlier post here

For more information and to register for the Feb. 25 workshop click here.