“Your desire to make art – beautiful or meaningful or emotive art – is integral to your sense of who you are. Life and Art, once intertwined, can quickly become inseparable; at age ninety Frank Lloyd Wright was still designing, Imogen Cunningham still photographing, Stravinsky still composing, Picasso still painting. But if making art gives substance to your sense of self, the corresponding fear is that you’re not up to the task. . .making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be and what you fear you might be.”
“Operating manual for not quitting: Make friends with others who make art, and share your in-progress work with each other and frequently.”
To paraphrase a story from the book, a young pianist began studies with a Master. After a few months’ practice, he lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get it out of my fingers.” To which the Master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes.” The lesson – vision is always ahead of execution – and should be.
When my friend Pat Semmes attended the Epiphany collage and journaling workshop with me, she had not been involved in many hands-on art activities, but she had an instinctive feel for images and color, as you can see in her collage on the left. The original measures abour 12×21″ and is mounted to stand like a tryptich screen on the desk in her office. She also wrote a poem, below, that impressed and moved the group as much as her images did. You can read more about the workshop in this previous post.
Every Bird has his Day
by Pat Semmes
The lilies form patterns like Monet
On the lake of happiness.
Penguin beak up to the sky
Asking God’s grace
Through the ice and snow of life.
Life’s pattern is a circle –
Figures go round and round
In perpetual motion
As sun rise and sun set.
Under water comfort.
The tree of life
Giving and taking and stretching out
Over ground nestled in ferns near its felled self.
Upside down images flowing
Like incense from the glass vase.
Circle of shapes –
Protect us on life’s journey
A Water Lily Lives …
This is an accidental discovery – I was masking off an area to apply some gold leaf when I realized that the tape was cooler than the area the leaf stuck to. So I made some gold-leafed masking tape – it’s a great collage embellishment. Here’s how – tape strips of masking tape to waxed paper, spray it all lightly with 3M adhesive, apply the gold leaf, then let dry. You can strip it off cut it and trim it, and just stick it on any place. It ends up being a heck of a lot more expensive than regular masking tape, so don’t wrap packages with it!
Born into the royal family of Angkor, Jayavarman settled in the Champa kingdom (present-day central Vietnam) in his young adulthood and engaged in military campaigns. In his late fifties he led his people in a struggle for independence after their subjugation by the Cham. He was crowned king of a reconstituted Khmer empire at 61. He ruled more than 30 years and brought the empire to its zenith in terms both of territorial extent and of royal architecture and construction. Champa, southern Laos, and portions of the Malay Peninsula and Myanmar (Burma) came under his control. He built temples, hospitals, and rest houses, and rebuilt the city of Angkor (now called Angkor Thom). His dedication to both the spiritual and physical needs of the people has made him a national hero to modern Cambodians.
I’ve included some photos of the two works in progress. You can see the finished journal/Kindle covers on my Etsy website.
I thought of today’s technique while I was out walking and enjoying the full pre-dawn moon. The craters looked like cells on a sponge, so when I got back to the studio, I made a stamped “moon” using an old cellulose sponge cut with a paper cutter to make a flat surface. I applied white stamp pad ink and stamped through a circular template – aha – a moon! Probably not original, but entertaining 🙂 And it reminds me of the early morning moon.
From A.Word.A.Day with Anu Garg
1. An inventor.
2. A craftsperson.
3. A mechanic in the armed forces.
From Latin artificium (craftsmanship, art), from art + facere (to make).