Collage has always been a comfortable process for me, so when I received email about a workshop on creating collages and writing about them interpretively, I thought it might get me out of my thoroughly enjoyable but somewhat technical approach to choosing images for my work. The workshop was led by Jennifer Martin and was held in the lovely studio room at the Mind Science Foundation. Jennifer had a son who was one of my dearest students – he died far too young, and she and I share a love for him, although it had been far too long since I had seen her – it was a “meant-to-be” reunion when I saw her at the workshop.
My friend Pat Semmes went with me. Pat is a math genius but professes not to be an artist, so it was interesting to watch her become totally absorbed in her collage, and then, at the end , express its meaning in an absolutely lyrical stream-of-consciousness poem. I’ll post both her collage and the poem in the near future. She did amazing work.
My own collage was not as personal as I would have liked, and I don’t know why, but I was pleased at the way it looked and I tried to do some different things. I rarely use photos from current magazines in my work, and did a bit of self-analysis while I chose the pictures. The main book on which the workshop premise was based is called “Collage for the Soul.” I had just ordered it for myself, and later found out that another friend, an art therapist, is using it with her clients. That book is showing up everywhere! I like it especially because it is a good mix of philosophy and great technique.
At the top, you can see a portion of my own collage, and a photo of Pat listening to the interpretations of others in the workshop. It was an inspiring morning – and I think it’s planted some ideas that may lead to future workshops and new work for me.