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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Collage Therapy

Its been an exhausting, draining, demoralizing election season.
I have friends and family who made excellent arguments
for both (all) sides of the equation.  It was brutal.
While I am always optimistic, just processing the
last several months has taken so much energy.

And with depleted reserves I wasn't sure what I could concentrate on in the studio.  Voila!  I picked up an old favorite, Steal Like an Artist Journal,  and opened it up to this page:

So I had a plan to keep my hands busy while my mind wandered wherever it wanted to go.  I dug around and put the trash out on my table:

Then I got busy ripping, cutting and gluing....all therapeutic activities while waiting for the creativity muse to come by.

I turned this around by 90 degrees several times but clearly, it was too soon to get any real direction.

I kept pasting, sometimes aware of great frustration and other times mindlessly tacking things on.  I felt protective of the bee but realized that sort of defeated my original, freewheeling intention.

partial detail

I kept plodding along and then a word came to me - bam- just like that!  The word was "obfuscation."  Bingo.
Thats how I had felt all these months - obfuscated - and that was the confusing feeling I was getting right this minute from my unplanned collage.  The art was unclear, the paths were misleading and everything was made complex and disjointed.  Suddenly I had a bit of clarity.  I added my last piece, swept the remaining goodies back into the trash and stood up feeling much, much better.  This was no work of art but the block got moved, the feeling verbalized (or art-itized) and I am now ready to move forward.

trash collage, 7.75" x 7.75"

Whether the election went your way or not, I hope you agree with me that we should all be motivated to do what we can to improve the quality of life for each other and to continue to work on those issues we deem important.  Here's to no more obfuscation!

Thank you Austin Kleon,
p.s.  Click on his name for an interesting TED talk by him.

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