Is Looking Through Someone Really Looking Through Yourself?

LOOKING THRU YOU JOURNAL

I’M LOOKING THROUGH YOU – Collage

Change is the only constant in life. How often have you pondered this quote? We welcome change when we feel we are moving in a direction that is good for us. We resist when we are uncertain of what a change hold for our future.

“Looking” is the theme of the Journal sent to me as part of a round-robin Journal exchange. When it arrived, it was like opening a jeweled treasure. The completed pages were incredible, glowing with colour, vision and creativity.

I knew the Journal was on the way to me. Prompted by the theme, The Beatles song, “I’m Looking Through You” kept playing in my mind. The lyrics tell the story of Paul McCartney’s relationship with actress Jane Asher. At the time, they were growing apart, each following their own path. They didn’t see eye to eye on how the relationship was to move forward.

The substrate for the page is heavy white paper. Working my way through a few fashion magazines I had at hand, ripping out photos I liked, I arbitrarily glued them down to the Journal page. My Muse was with me, and everything just seemed to “fit”. I got out an alphabet rubber stamp set in a font I really like. With indigo coloured ink, I randomly stamped the lyrics to the song. Stenciling metallic acrylic paint over the glued images completed the page.

Change. When we become aware of a transformation in others, doesn’t it mirror a shift we are experiencing in ourselves? For good or bad, change will always be with us. How do you recognize the winds of change?

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Are You That Woman?

Strong Women

Strong Women Collage – Tag

On March 8th every year we celebrate International Women’s Day. With this event in mind, the March Tag Swap I joined was a celebration of women…in all our glory!

“Make it Happen” is the 2015 theme, encouraging effective action for the advancement and recognition of women in all walks of life. I am delighted to see that purple is the official colour…in commemoration of the Women’s Suffrage Movement for which I have a deep appreciation.

In my life, the strongest women I know are the ones who elevate other women to be the best they can be.  They are the supportive, nurturing souls who are there to catch you when you fall and lift you up to greater heights in celebration of your victories. I am sure you have them in your life as well.

As I started working on the Tag I came across a photo two women seated together. I wondered…could they have been as enamoured of the Suffragettes as I am?

The substrate for the Tag is illustration board. The background is Citra-Solv paper from a magazine article about women. I added the vintage photo, a doily, a blossoming flower, wax infused paper, text clipped from a magazine, and finished off with sponged and stencilled metallic acrylic paint in various colours. It is now on its way to a new home in California.

As artists, we can “make it happen”…not only through our work, but by being that strong woman we adore having in our lives. So, my question is…Are you “that” woman?

Where is Your “World Tour” Taking You?

A Nile Journey

A Nile Journey – Digital Collage

Although February is so cold and blustery here in the Eastern United States, there is a convivial, scarlet heart that beats the rhythm of love in this dead of Winter month.

With this in mind, Lunagirl Moonbeam’s next challenge is…RED. Looking through her incredible collection of images my eye kept coming back to a woman pensively looking over her shoulder. What could she be looking for…or thinking about?

I then spotted the beautiful frame in Lunagirl’s collection. It was just what I was looking for…gold, crimson, and beautiful.

As I travelled to the world of the “Lady in Red” the collage quickly fell into place. I could imagine her “World Tour”, when  voyaging was a real adventure. With her felucca sailing away, there she is, having her photo taken as she disembarked on the banks of the Nile. And the memento of the occasion, safely enclosed in the frame, is her gift to her beloved.

From my own digital ephemera collection I started the piece with a nebula background…a fitting base for the star-crossed lovers.  I added the postcard and stamp, because a “World Tour” just isn’t the same without correspondence to mark the journey. I finished the piece with a romantic full red rose.

Today – February 5th, fellow Collage Artists, is the anniversary of the birth of Dada. In 1916 the Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich opened to a standing room only crowd. Do you think the Cabaret Voltaire would be our Lady’s next port of call?

As we all take our own World Tour, where will it lead you and who will join you on your voyage?

What Brings Spice To Your Life?

Spice of Life. Collage. Pay It Forward

Spice of Life. Collage. Pay It Forward

Some time ago I signed up to participate in the “Pay It Forward” exchange. The idea is to produce a small work of art and exchange it with another participant.

As I was looking through my box of ephemera, I found a line of type I had cut out of a book. It listed spices..cinnamon, pepper, sesame, anise… In the same envelope was a reproduction of  a painting of a woman. Languorously reclining amid a bed of roses, she wistfully smiled. As the year drew to a close, I could imagine being her presence surrounded with a heady scent of roses and the piquant quality of spices in the air from her Holiday cooking.

And it made me think…what is the Spice of Life? Is it variety as the popular saying suggests? Or is it something deeper, more personal and divine? Is it what makes each one of us unique and brings passion to everything we do? Is “spice” just another name for the magical quality we strive for in our work as artists?

The substrate for the postcard is illustration board. I covered both sides of the card with gesso. I sponged the background with a selection of metallic acrylic paint. The woman, the line of type, a wax infused doily, tea bag paper, painted gauze, art and vintage papers complete the card. And off it went to its destination in Washington State.

As the New Year begins we all have a chance to build a new recipe for ourselves. What will spice up your life in 2015?

What Does Your Art Say About You?

Paris Dance

The Can-Can – ATC

I love France. I love the French. The country and their people intrigued me from the time I was a child. I guess you could say I was born a Francophile.

Before I learned to read, my Mom and I would walk to the Brooklyn Public Library six days a week. And there in the children’s section, was my treasure trove. I would run to the books with the opening lines that set my imagination free… “In an old house in Paris, that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines… the smallest one was Madeline.” How I adored Ludwig Bemelmans’ Madeline series!

And that was just the beginning. I dreamed of France…of seeing for myself the beautiful streets described in Bemelmans’ books. I wanted to experience the art, the culture, the sights, the smells, the food of that wonderful country.

All those feeling came rushing back to me when looking through my collection of ATCs. I found my homage to the dance I performed  at our “Christmas Around the World” school play. Ah…The Can-Can! At last! The play that year was my chance to experience Art Nouveau Paris and The Moulin Rouge. Visions of Lautrec danced in my mind!

It was years later when living in England that I made my pilgrimage France. With that first trip my feet were finally planted in the country of my childhood dreams. And everything was even better than I had hoped. The French could be “difficult”, I was warned, especially in Paris. I had also heard that about my home city, New York. I knew it wasn’t true about New York…could it be the same for the City of Light?

With my extremely basic hold on their lyrical language, I ventured into the streets of Paris. I found a small bistro off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées and did my best to order an omelette without the sausage. The waiter was patient and wonderfully helpful. And he responded to me in his equally basic English. What arrived at my table, honestly, was the greatest meal of my life. Imagine my surprise when the waiter said if I didn’t like it the chef could make me something else!

This exchange set the tone of my first trip and for all the ones after. Regardless of national origin, we are all the same…sharing the same hopes, dreams, and desires. The French say it perfectly…joie de vivre…a philosophy of life.

I used a standard manila ATC card for the substrate . Text from travel brochures, and dictionary pages were added.  I found a vintage image of the dancers and finished the card with rubber stamped images and acrylic paint.

As artists we have the unique opportunity to bridge the gap we sometimes feel when taking a journey to somewhere new. Everyone, everywhere, wants to be treated with respect. We all want to feel that we do matter. Our work says more about us than words can ever convey. What does your work say about you?

Where Do Your Steps Take You?

Create Envelope 3

CREATE – Mail Art

Working on Mail Art feeds my soul. I have always been the person who eagerly awaited the arrival of the mail every day. Holding an envelope in my hands gave permission to my imagination to meander. Who wrote the letter? How far did it travel? Where did it stop along the way? Did anyone else wonder about this letter as I did?

So being a part of a Mail Art Challenge was exciting for me. I enjoyed producing and giving away the Art as well as experiencing the anticipation of receiving beautiful Art in my mailbox.

I found this quote torn from a magazine:

“Art is a Journey. Embrace Each Step.”

It was perfect for the Challenge. I thought of how Art has shaped my life. From childhood to the present, Art and Life have intermingled…so much so that I can’t separate one from the other. Nor would I want to. Art has opened door to possibilities I never dreamed were available to me. Art has welcomed so many wonderful people, with so many distinctive points of view, into my life. It has made it richer, more enjoyable, and at times, incredibly challenging. But Art has, most of all, allowed me to be my authentic self…to accept each step along the way to becoming the Artist I am today.

Again, the substrate is a craft envelope. I surrounded the image of the woman with art and handmade paper, wax infused paper which I rubber stamped, postage stamp, clippings from magazines, and joss paper. I finished the envelope by rubber stamping and stenciling with acrylic metallic paint. Then off to the Post Office it went with my hopes that the recipient would be intrigued when it landed in her mailbox.

Are you like me…putting one foot in front of the other passionately following the steps wherever they may lead? Where have your steps taken you?

Old Time is still a-flying…

CREATE Mai Art

CREATE Mail Art

I love Pre-Raphaelite Art. I love the compositions rich with detail, colour, and realism. I love the poetic line and form. I love their intertwining romance and rebellion. After all, what is Art without rebellion?

My second envelope for the Mail Art swap drew from the poem ‘To The Virgins, To Make Much of Time” by Robert Herrick and painting “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May” by John William Waterhouse.

I see the leaves whisking past my studio window on this blustery day. And Time is flying. As we enter the fourth quarter of 2014, I have to ask…where did this year go?

The substrate is a craft envelope. In addition to the woman from the Waterhouse painting I added art and handmade paper, joss paper. I finished the envelope by adding rubber stamped and stencilled acrylic metallic paint. It was then sent on its way…

So…gather your rosebuds today. And share them with the people you cherish in your life.

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