Not long ago my friend Pam and I were talking about winter evenings and watching less TV. I got to thinking about things that would be easy and fun to do and remembered an artist friend challenging herself to put glue to paper (collage) every day for a year. She didn't commit to making a collage every day but she would glue two pieces together. Once I remembered that, I thought I could do that for the 90 days of winter ahead.
Every day I'm glueing 2 or 3 pieces of paper together. My rule is no more than 3 pieces each day. I also don't spend more than 10 minutes on the finished piece: deciding, cutting or tearing, and glueing. (If I want a big art project, I go into my studio and work.)
Am I making art? Yes. Am I making sellable art? No. Copyright issues with magazine photos are really problematic. But am I having fun? You bet. And I'm starting to see landscape in a very different way.
Willing to take the Glue to Paper Challenge? Send me one of your efforts and I'll include some in my upcoming newsletters. Happy cutting and glueing!
Taking on Making in the New Year
Spend much time around me and you'll hear me talking about how I believe everyone should make art most days of their lives. Not sell art necessarily or give up their day job but make something, create something. It might be cooking up new recipes or creating a beautiful garden or designing doll clothes for a grandchild. Or it could be putting glue to paper every day for 90 days.
Something wonderful happens to us when we make stuff. I started making art just after I got sober in 1990. I had a lot of restless time on my hands, and coloring (my first venture into art making) soothed something in me. Playing with color and paper still soothes me. And it's an integral part of my spiritual practice as well. It helps me get quiet, get centered, get focused.
So this year instead of resolving not to do unhealthy things, how about resolving to make art every day or every week? You'll be amazed at what happens to all parts of your life if you do this.
Holiday Generosity from a Weaver
When weaver Wanda Milwee heard about my donation of 30 paintings to the Letty Owings House for Women last year, she emailed me about gifting the women with scarves. At the time, she had 12 scarves to donate, and I told her that was a bit problematic as 29 women are in residence at Letty Owings at a time.
"No problem," said Wanda. "I'll make more and I'll donate them next Christmas."
True to her word, Wanda mailed me two boxes of beautiful scarves right after Thanksgiving. I wrapped and ribboned them and delivered them on December 3.Pictured above is one of the scarves she sent.
Wanda Talks about Weaving
After a lifetime of knitting, I began weaving on my 50th birthday. The first loom I bought was a table loom but I quickly added a floor loom, and then another and another. My first gallery show was at the former Greystone Gallery on Hawthorne in Portland. It was a tremendous success for me and opened the door for other weavers to show and sell there.
I love color above all else, with texture coming in second. Chenille scarves in rich reds and wine colors are always satisfying to work with, as are other jewel tones. Black sets off other colors brilliantly. And I enjoy space-dyeing rayon chenille to create weavings with movement of color. My current fixation is adding colors to my stash of cottons. My promise to myself for artistic growth is to return to more complex weave structures using cottons and silk.
Every day opens a new window of creativity. Each of us has the choice of whether to crawl through that window. Sometimes the other side is stormy with impediments; other days give more inspiration than one can follow at one time. I believe that we can be creative every day of our lives. If or when the day comes when I can no longer operate a loom, I will still create with fiber in other ways.
Intention:Making art every day in gratitude for the colors of life Mission: Establishing creative self-expression as a key ingredient for recovery Motto: Make art and heal the heart
Frannie insisted on participating in the photo shoot of Wanda's scarf but refused to look into the camera. Her tail is one of her more extravagant features although she doesn't get to wrap it around her neck.
My Sober Truths Blog
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