Art can teach you things, if you let it. This Sorrow Collage project I’ve been doing recently has taught me a lot and has really helped me get through the past 10 days.
I’m an art “hoarder,” in that I can’t throw even the worst pieces I make away. I figure I can always cut it up, work over the top of it, fold it into a box….the possibilities are endless and sometimes the worst pieces make the best starts to these other projects. Over the past 5-6 years, I’ve done many small reject prints or paintings that are tucked away in a box or my flat file.
There is something about putting a stamp on them makes me now feel they are complete and need to be out of the box and into this collage collection where they now belong. Collage purists, I know many of these are not “true collages.” And, it is liberating to be going through this old art. I’m so so happy I still have the pieces.
They are original art by me, made into Sorrow Collages by adding the stamp, or more. My art, my rules! 🙂
One of the hardest things about collage (learning from someone else, teaching it to others) is that I think it is a very very unique thing that we touch on inside ourselves from which the way we combine images, colors and textures together is sourced. I see things in a completely different way than anyone else would. And while I love viewing collage by others, it is a slippery slope to start emulating/copying/appropriating someone else’s collage style. Like putting on a pair of ill-fitting shoes – it just won’t work. So I have my own collage voice, rhythm and style. And I’m starting to feel it taking stride.
If I ever questioned keeping things that I’ve done that didn’t quite work, I’m over that now. So so glad I tossed these into a “later” pile. Some are 10 years old, but it feels SO good to rework them. They just had to wait for my art competency to get to the point of being up to revisiting them.
In one week, I’ve made almost 100 collages (93 I think). Some are small, some are larger. Some took quite a bit of reworking, some only took a fleeting moment to add in a vintage French postage stamp. Either way, I’m happy with them all. Today I had more fun making collages using the collages, putting them with photos I’ve taken over the past few years too.
Making art makes me SO happy. I’m grateful that I found this outlet.
In general, I’m a grateful and happy person. I’m so lucky to have four amazing children and two beautiful grandchildren. My parents are healthy and happy. I’m healthy, and I have a good job that I love and a solid roof over my head. I drive a cute, but sensible little car and I’m surrounded by so many good and loving friends. I have plenty of art supplies and opportunities to make and view art.
But I’m sad, just chock-full of sorrow right now. Sometimes you think things are going to go a certain way – say, electing a new and female president, but no such luck. Then you think maybe the person who won will come to his senses. Oh how I wish!
This was a difficult weekend – processing so much Ugh. So I put myself in my studio and took a note from my friend Anna Corba who created a huge body of petite collages when she was going through something tough. I call mine Sorrow Collages. I did 63 by the time the weekend was over, then rushed home tonight after work and did 10 more. They are flying out of me. And I’m starting to feel better. Slowly, but surely.
See them all in a slideshow here. I’ll update this gallery every time I make some new collages, and I’ll keep making them as long as I feel this way.
It’s an interesting thing to only start writing your narrative at 57. Maybe I’m a late bloomer and it just took me this long to figure it out. It’s hard to see yourself through this microscope or lens. Much easier to ask people how THEY see you – how you show up in the world, but for my art-making it was essential to define it from the inside out: what makes me tick when it comes to creating.
Here’s a beautiful article published in My Art Fair magazine on this very subject. Thank you to Mimi Blue – Editor and My Art Fair for providing the lenses.
Here’s the whole magazine; these are snips of just my article.
Bowls. Sumptuous fabric bowls. Soft, forgiving, but with some structure. How can I express how much I love bowls and then to have them be fabric ones? Well, I just fell in love with them last week in a class I took.
I ran through all my base materials to make them, so I am waiting for my order to arrive via mail. I may just have to go to the fabric store and find more to bridge me over while I await the postal carrier. Can you say obsessed?
I have some beautiful Japanese fabrics that would be great to use. I’m envisioning making a whole place setting of my actual good dishes. Teacups. Oh my, the ideas just keep rolling it.
Buttons….lace….handmade fabrics….old quilts….hankerchiefs….yes….obsessed.