Tag Archives: assemblage

Tracings

 

Click on photos to enlarge and see commentaries made about some during earlier postings.

Children are the parts of themselves that parents leave  behind when they die—actual physical tracings that will last for as long as their line reproduces. Yet, they have no control over what the children add to their genes to pass on down through time. Each generation melds together with the genes of other families to create a new assemblage composed of bits and pieces of the physical and mental characteristics gleaned from each side of the family to form a new identity.

Childless, I have only what I create to carry me forward into the far future—my poems, stories and books as well as the found object collages that I have created over the past eighteen years. In them I leave the tracery of my life—the long trailings of where I have been, whom I have known, what I have thought. But unlike children, they are glued down, painted, securely fastened to stay as I have intended them to be.

Vestiges of my entire  life story  are stored in them:  moments happy, sad, delirious, tedious, exciting, passionate, depressed, thoughtful, nostalgic. They are souvenirs of travel, heartbreak, reading, lost loves, found adventures.  I have no idea where they will eventually end up. In a trash heap?  On a table or shelf or in a box stored on a shelf? Or will they travel as I once did? Will the box that records Andy’s death end up back in Africa? Will that record of my early childhood school days wind up back in my prairie town?  Will some quantum miracle bring all of the items back to their origins by a force stronger than the one that bonded them together? Will the pieces fly apart, each going in its own direction?

Perhaps this is what happens to all of us at our death—subatomic particles flying back to some prehistoric origin, ready to start their journeys outward once again. Our whole lives are assemblages. Each of us assembles a life as much by our choice of what we draw into it as by what we are given by nature and by birth. Every life is, in a larger sense, a work of art; and how it is recorded—by human genes or by pinning it down on a board or in an assemblage or sculpture or representationally in a book or on canvas—is our choice.

Prompt words today are tracery, delirious, assemblage and identity.
https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/rdp-saturday-tracery/
https://fivedotoh.com/2019/03/23/fowc-with-fandango-delirious/
https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/your-daily-word-prompt-assemblage-march-23-2019/
https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2019/03/23/identity/

Egg Carton Posies

 

I had friends over to make these recycled flowers yesterday.  We still have at least one more  day to go, but these are the ones I stayed up all night last night finishing…Fun.

Click on any photo to enlarge all:

 

If you are curious about the process, this is what we did. You need egg cartons or dividers for the flowers, toilet paper rolls or other thin cardboard for leaves and stems and vines,  large sharp scissors, a glue gun or white glue, paint, paper towels and patience.

For Cee’s FOTD.  An addendum: https://ceenphotography.com/2019/01/11/fotd-january-12-2019-daffodil/

Experimenting with Art: Word Press Photo Prompt

The fun in art lies, for me, in being experimental.  Here are a few of the areas I’ve played around with. Different genres, materials and techniques.  Art is a way to never grow up. (Click on any photo to enlarge all.)

For, the Daily Post Photo Challenge: Experimental

Circus

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This is a piece I did a few years ago entitled “The Circus.”  It deals with that part of us that wants to run away and join the circus.  The porcelain doll has my mother’s face superimposed on it.  Over my mother’s face, I put several layers of Frida Kahlo’s face, peeled off in varying degrees.  Over Frida’s face is a miniature antique paste mask that can be pulled aside or allowed to fall into place.  In her hands are a tiny pair of silver scissors and around her waist is a tiny bag woven of morning glory vines.  She rises out of a toy chest decorated with Loteria cards.  On the chair to her left is a small clown figure with wings.  He is painting a portrait of Frida. Many discarded portraits of her lie crumpled and discarded on the floor. They are all the same. Below him are circus animals and a juggler who have spilled from the pages of a tiny journal that has a story written inside about creativity, sides of the brain, intuition vs. reason and imitation vs. unique inspiration. The overall piece is about the importance of coming from a unique place in ourselves rather than depending upon judgement and imitation. For me, the purpose of art is that experience of going into new realms of ourselves—to allow ourselves to do what most of us couldn’t do when we were young—to run away to join the circus!

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/circus/

Dream Jobs

                                                                        Dream Jobs

I have been lucky enough to have several “dream jobs” in my lifetime.  First of all, I was a teacher. I loved teaching kids and enjoyed the other people I worked with.  My first teaching jobs were in Australia and Ethiopia, which additionally gave me the chance to travel and live in “strange” environments–things I had wanted to do since very small.

I taught for ten years before finally deciding I needed to change my life to enable me to find time to write.  I then moved to Orange County, California, to live with a dear friend and spent two years studying a number of areas I felt had been neglected in my earlier education.  I would go to the library with lists of topics I wanted to know more about: art, artists, places, concepts, psychology, philosophy.

The writing of Carl Jung was of special interest and I allowed synchronicity and the unconscious to guide my life.  This took me to Los Angeles and into film school at U.C.L.A., an apprenticeship at a Hollywood agency and eventually to a job working in p.r. and publicity for Bob Hope’s production company.  It was a job where I was laid off for 5 months of each year, between shows, and this enabled me to write and travel.

After three years of working here, I married and moved northwards to the Santa Cruz area where I became a silversmith and paper maker.  For fourteen years, I traveled and did art shows with my husband.  This was as close to working for a traveling circus as I would ever come, and I loved both the studio work and the traveling.  The people we would meet in various locations across the U.S. became our friends and we slept in our motor home or van in convention center parking lots from California to Ann Arbor to Boston.

As the area of our travels narrowed to the west coast, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Colorado, I accepted a “job” as the curator of a new art center in the San Lorenzo Valley near Santa Cruz.  Although this was a volunteer position, it was both time-consuming and extremely gratifying as I met and worked with artists throughout the Santa Cruz area.  I loved coordinating and hanging eight shows a year as well as teaching classes and handling show themes, admissions, publicity and openings.  It was practically a full time job in itself,  but we continued to handle a full show schedule ourselves.  By then, in addition to my making silver and copper jewelry, Bob and I were making art lamps together. He did the stone and wood work and some of the framework for the sail like shades whereas I made the handmade washi  paper and some of the framework for shades and covered the shades.

I’ve been lucky my entire life to always have a job I enjoyed and believed in and this continues to this very day as retirement has brought time to write more and to shift my focus from jewelry and lamps to mixed media assemblage, which I continue to this day.  While at the beach, I concentrate on collages of found objects from the beach and city streets. It also gives me time to write this blog which consumes an ever-increasing amount of my time.

Here is a gallery of shots that capture, I hope, my process in  collecting, assembling and mounting found objects into my assemblages.  If you click on the first picture, it will enlarge the photos and show them to you one by one:

Prompt: Describe your dream job. https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/money-for-nothing/

No Rest for the Wicked

No Rest for the Wicked

Now that the art walk is finished and I no longer have to maintain a pristine home, I’ve hauled out my art materials as well as the things I’ve collected from the beach and I’m planning a few dozen new pieces. This is the fun part, with the shells and wood and other elements laid out all over the kitchen and dining room and pushing and shoving into place.  Not glued down or even fully planned, just getting the pieces assembled.

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Why We Believe

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Why We Believe

I think the reason why I believe is probably at the root of it the reason why we all believe in something.  It is just such a miracle that anything exists and that I get to be a part of it. What are the chances out of the entire universe that I would be born  at all, let alone born to the time and place and parents that I was? And what are the chances that I would be healthy and have the benefit of an education and that I would find the courage to live the life I want to and continue to have that courage into my sixties and I hope my seventies and eighties and nineties.

I can understand why it would be hard to continue to believe in the magic of life if one were ill or abused or confined or physically handicapped, yet people do continue to hold onto every scrap of existence.  Life is such an incredible thing and to not appreciate it when we have every reason to appreciate it is such a waste.

There is so much cruelty and oppression and greed and poverty and disease and sadness in this world.  Yes, we do what we can to fight it, but an additional and very important way to fight it is to be as productive and happy as we can be.  Polarity demands its opposite and the world changes for the good by holding onto as much of the positive as we can.  Living it.  Promoting it in others.  Helping each other.  Good mothers and fathers do this every minute of every day and those of use who don’t have children can do it by trying to be surrogates for those children and those adults who need our care and help.  This help may be given in an organized fashion by volunteering and donating or by the way we treat others in our every day life.  We can be observant. We can be helpful.  We can be as kind to each other as possible, given that we are human and feel anger, fatigue, frustration and hopelessness.

At the end of the day–even the worst day–we get to choose whether to give up or to continue to believe, and even if the choice is to give up, we have one more chance.  I think dreams are messages and reminders we send to ourselves–little boosts encouraging us to listen to that deep part of ourselves that will always believe, even if it has to go on without the support of our conscious minds.  It is the part we get to when we write or draw or paint or dance or sing or play an instrument.  That is the importance of the arts.  They connect us to our beliefs.

So when I find myself floundering, whatever time of the day or night, my easiest way to find a reason to keep going is to do what I’m doing now.  To write. Or to make art out of whatever I find around me.  For in this aspect, art imitates life.  It is simply looking around for what we can find around us and making the best of it.  Someone once says “It is the job of the artist to take the detritus that the world creates and to hand it back to the world as art.”  That is exactly what I do in my “found art” collages.  And this, at the end of the day, is enough for me to believe in.

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Click on any one of the images to enlarge and enter gallery.  Can you find “Lord Love a Duck,” a pheasant, frigate birds, the ballerina, puffin, a seal, a sea bird, wild pig or “Found Heart?”  I just realized I left out my favorite, so I’m going to add it below.

DSCF1949 (1)

 

The Prompt: In Reason to Believe, Bruce Springsteen sings, “At the end of every hard-earned day / people find some reason to believe.” What’s your reason to believe?