All posts filed under: Art

Becoming collage

Magnets and Distractions

My back is messed up. No use in going over why this happens to me periodically. I will accept that it is for me to deal with even though the initial cause was out of my control. Yes, I know what I am supposed to be doing to avoid a recurrence of this pain–yet it continues to plague me. I should avoid sitting for long periods of time in folding chairs. I should get up at least once an hour and walk around. I should not sit hunched over my computer for 6 hours straight. I should lose weight. I should practice yoga more consistently; the list goes on and on. I understand that other people deal with chronic pain and have much more intense experiences than the few weeks I am disabled by sciatica pain and random back spasms. Perhaps they have ways to deal with it other than the ice packs, ibuprofen, bedrest and stretching exercises I use as my main healing techniques. Mostly though, I wait and DISTRACT myself with work, sleep, …

Free Inspiration

  The best things in life, like inspiration, are free. I walk down a new street and chance to see a poem pasted to a wall. The words inspire me; the random discovery inspires me; the sense of the sublime presented in a crude, common way inspires me. Someone else before me has apparently been inspired to add a red heart on top of the words, their spontaneous red curving lines spilling out onto the wall itself. I take a photo and post it here on my blog because this public display of words and thoughts and art inspires me to post my writings in public too. The domino-effect could continue on and on, depending on who sees it, who values it, who sees something personal in it, who is moved to take creative action. The poem above speaks of dancing in the square (nella piazza), and I visualize the dancers, eyes locked to one another, performing the tango for anyone who wants to watch. Was the poem inspired by a real dance? I am …

Introspection and the Collage Process

I have made paper collages since I was very young, maybe 4 or 5 years old. One of the first pieces I remember making was a butterfly. I used the image of a carrot as the body of the butterfly, but I do not remember what I used for the wings. I wish I could see it again. I do recall that I had to use “baby scissors”. They had small thin embossed metal blades that had little rounded tips so I could not cut myself. I was also given a bottle of mucilage, a plant-based non-toxic glue, which I don’t think they even sell any more. (That kind of adhesive is not very useful in the long run as it turns yellow or brown with age. So, even if I still had that butterfly piece today it would probably look like a monochrome moth now.) I now follow a more introspective practice, using slightly more dangerous tools. I will outline my process here as I have found it to be a very relaxing, contemplative and often …

Heartfelt Tokens – Miniature Collages

I have not blogged much about the visual art I enjoy creating. For this first month of 2017, I thought I would start out the year by posting one of my favorite projects–I call them “Heartfelt Tokens” because these small tags are personal one-of-a-kind collages that are really creatively satisfying to make and fun to give as gifts. If you are intrigued, and think you might also enjoy making them for your friends, family, and unexpectedly kind “strangers”, instructions and supplies are listed below. In general, I find it very relaxing and meditative to create collages of all sizes. In the future I hope to  write more about some of the creativity classes I used to teach that made use of this accessible art form. It’s great to have tokens already prepared for quick gift giving or timely thank you. I like to take them on trips because they fit easily in my carry-on and are a personal way to acknowledge a unexpected birthday or other occasion, or to thank someone for a kindness.   …

If I Had a Dog

I am not really a “dog-person”. Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs, I just never owned one myself. As a child we had a dog in the house, but he belonged to my brother and I never really bonded to him (the dog that is, my brother was cool). But, if I could have a dog, if I lived somewhere that had a large yard, or place for a dog to play and generally live a happy life, then I would choose a Bull Terrier. Yes, that would be the one I would get, because to me they are the most wonderful dogs on the planet. Everyone in my family is aware of this affection I have for the breed, and when we pass a Bull Terrier on the street, or see one on television, someone always says: “Look! There’s your dog!” I think my yearning for a Bull Terrier is due to a couple of factors: 1. when I was about 4 or 5 years old I spent the day with a Brooklyn family that had a …

Alice Pasquini – Street Enhancements

One of the most wonderful things about staying in the San Lorenzo area of Rome was the amazing street art and “graffiti” that I did not expect to see so much of. Terrific stuff! On my first visit there I was walking near my B&B and came across an embellished utility box on the side of a building.  A little girl about to kiss her black kitten.  I took out my little camera; it was one of the first photos I stopped to take on that trip because I was so excited to see this little gem. I discovered later that it was painted by Alice Pasquini. Here is another one, a little girl looking up with her fluffy puppy by her side.  I tried to frame her as best I could in the photo (as she was surrounded by a less than pristine pavement, parked cars and bits of debris) and I ultimately used some filters on it so the focus could be on her. Thank you Alice, these small street art pieces were a joy to see, and made …