Category Archives: Art Collage

Finding Art Along the Way: Art Walk Prelude

These are some of the pieces I’ll be showing in the La Manzanilla Art Walk on January 28.  I have another entire body of work–wall pieces where a part detaches to be worn as a brooch–that I’ll show you in a day or two. These pieces were all made by materials found on the beach at La Manzanilla or La Ribera in Baja:

Click on first image to enlarge all.




Simplicity is something that I rarely do.
Why have only one of something when you could have two?
It takes a lot of veggies to come up with a stew,
and we’d do a lot of limping if confined to just one shoe.

Multiples are awesome. Multiples are grand.
Look how many fingers we have upon each hand.
One finger could not do the job. Neither could two or three.
Simple cannot form a hand, did not form you or me.

Simplicity’s much touted but I think it is absurd.
Who ever heard of stories comprised of just one word?
With a single raindrop, the world could not get wetter.
Sparsity may be more chic, but I like clutter better.

I don’t get minimalism. I’m a hoarder to the core.
When I ran out of wall room, I put art upon my door.
There are no piles in hallways. Hoarding need not be a sin.
I’ve built three rooms onto my house just to store things in.

With so many lovely things in life, collecting is a joy.
With life’s manifold choices, why be niggardly or coy?
At the ice cream parlor, why does one have to choose?
You need not always limit yourself just to ones and twos.

Have a scoop of strawberry and pineapple and mint.
Green tea is delicious and tequila’s heaven sent.
Load your dish with raspberry and coconut and mango.
Why do the simple two step when you could do the fandango?

In short, I am a gatherer. I have too many things.
I like to make the choices that a complex lifestyle brings.
When it comes to writing, a stuffed-full mind is fine!
Reach into words and shake them out and string them on a line.

A solitary animal will never make a zoo.
One grain of dirt, one drop of water cannot create goo.
A single cannon fired will not execute a coup.
The world just is not simple, nor am I and nor are you!


I’m having a yard sale of left-over words.  Below is the “free box.” Take what you will (please note that some of these items have been recently used, but all have been laundered and are ready for a new user):

coy ploy toy bore core 
simplicity complicity duplicity felicity
ooze booze cruise who’s whose choose lose blues news pews poos cues ruse sues twos views woos youse 
doozie floozie twozie
boo  goo hue loo moo new poo queue rue sue soo sioux too to you view woo you


Right in line with the theme of the poem, below are way too many photos.  If you want to see the details, you know what to do, right?  If you don’t, I’ll tell you.  Just click on the first photo and click on arrows to proceed through the photo gallery.  To come back here afterwards, click on the X in the upper left corner.

Beach Walk

We still love La Manzanilla, don't we? We know that all will soon be back to normal, the laguna once more sealed off, the crocodiles sealed off from the beaches and coastline, and the beaches and water once more inviting to human habitation.
It was 35 years ago that I first ran away from home to go live at the beach.  For the past 15 years, I have never lived more than 4 hours away from the ocean, and for 20 years before that, I was within 20 miles of it. During these years, I have written hundreds of pages of poems and stories about the the beach, and as I sat here for two hours today, reworking what perhaps was one of the first poems I ever wrote as I spent a year going to the beach every day to write, it suddenly occurred to me that I would rather be doing art, using the boxes of material collected on the beach during the two months I spent there this year, than writing about the experience. I’ve already done that, and here is where you can find it:

That URL will get you to the most recent beach poems. (You’ll need to scroll down past this one once you’ve clicked on the URL above.)  To see earlier ones, go to the archives (near the bottom of the scroll next to a poem entitled “flip flop”)  and select November, 2014 or December, 2014 for older poems.

Please join me in beach combing by taking a walk backwards—as far as you choose to go—through three years of beach poems—reading and looking at what you wish. Some poems you may just walk by or pick up in your hands and then cast away. Others you may examine closely, reading them in their entirety. And some, I hope, you will choose to store away on the shelf of your mind to remind you that you came from the sea and it is always there for you to go back to.

Now, for the rest of the day, I’m going to do what I’ve wanted to do for a month and a half now—unpack some of the boxes of shells, stones, bones, sand, corroded metal, driftwood and assorted beach trash found on the beach as well as uncompleted “found” sculptures begun in January and February. Then, I’ll  “do” for a day instead of writing about it.

Please enjoy your beach combing today as I’ll enjoy mine.


Beach Combing

IMG_3577“Beach Sunset” bone, shell, wood, coral, sponge, beach scrub and acrylic paint, 3.5 x 11 inches, Mixed media assemblage by Judy Dykstra-Brown, March, 2016

Beach Combing

I gave nothing to the sea, so she gave nothing back.
It was as though she looked and thought, “There’s nothing that you lack.”
It’s true that I have all I need of food and friends and fun,
and yet I still lack something that’s waiting to be won.

It isn’t gained by medals, by prizes or by fame,
for it is some other thing, bereft of rank or name.
There is some magic in the world that I go looking for
that has no set place where it lives, no windowpanes or door.

I’ve found it once or twice before, in places far afield
by accident, for if you try to force it, it won’t yield.
It isn’t found at parties, a fiesta nor a fete.
If you go looking for it, the magic will abate.

It’s found in how you do things, in what manner, at what pace.
If you reach too quickly, it will vanish with no trace.
I can’t tell you how to gain it, for I fear that I don’t know.
I just know that when I found it was when I was going slow.