"In the midst of the madness in our world
hearts are breaking open, people are
blossoming, and the golden soul of humanity is
rising up. Never doubt it for an instant
Seek it out and nurture it"
Rivera Sun (am assuming from The Dandelion Insurrection)
In the center of my group-tribute collage is the above quote. It arrived yesterday afternoon in a package from Avena Botanicals. As soon as I read it I knew it would be the center of this collage; thereby scrapping my original intention. I loved that idea - based loosely on a collage Joanne made last week or the week before. But then I saw grace's lovely parsed creation and thought it was a better fit for the slow and easy way I needed to build these pages while my neck and shoulder continue to heal. So let's start at six o'clock.
It's hard to see but the pink damask overprinted with antique alphabets is flanked by two old books and part of a ruler. This reminded me of Liz's flair for combining a love of her family's history with brilliantly on-point piecing techniques and a well-nourished/incurable love of type fonts and alphabets more generally. I included a design motif that mimics a rising sun because I know her collage journey is just dawning.
The thick blue-bookmarked tome with the expressive face represents the marvelous packed-full posts that Nancy created to share her collages. They contained so much more it almost felt like we were opening a personal inspiration journal and I loved that feeling immensely.
The gold starburst backed by the deep-earth red fire flames of St. Brigid is a tribute to Marti's wonderfully personal collages as well as her love of Ireland and female majesty. I found her various invocations and declarations blooming in all of our blog comments to be a truly golden star/light.
(before moving upwards - lets look at the pale flowers blooming from dark foliage. They represent Jaime and E. - a friend of mine who collages for a living (or part of it) "but not like this".
Joanne's up there in the corner lighting any number of creative fires with her killer design chops. I outlined the flower buds with pale pink oil pastel. It doesn't show up well but it gave a nice whoosh of depth the background layer of pre-applied gold gesso .At the end of pasting things down I further warmed-up the background's depth with more pale pink whoosh marks.
Decided the single layer of pastel color was too simple. Used a dark olive color to dot-spin the tip in a suggestion of seeds.
The assertive straight upright flower growing at the top represents Me-Ml. I can't express how much she gave all of us by giving mySELF back to me - while reading her comment following something I now understand at both technical and deductive levels but it needn't sully our waters further. The point is that comment of hers was basically my anger translator. Not sure if that will make sense to anybody but it's a reference to a prominent recurring comedic character who fills/filled that role for our former president Barack Obama.
Up at the top we have the timeless mystery and majesty that is our grace. Her various discoveries and revelations have resulted in simple and simply stunning pairings. She's in the overview of the project because she's the one that asked a question that lead to me describe a collage lab that was very different from this project. That lead Liz (at the root) to wish for this project. I first thought how great the unique, super-generous, and beyond soulful free 30 day challenge Wendy Brightbill offered last year had been in relation to opening a variety of painting doors for me. I thought I know enough about collage and leadership to do something similar but super lo-fi on a tiny intimate scale.
And so there are the watchers. I speak here of friendly folks who are interested without inclination to show themselves or otherwise directly engage with those at the virtual collage table. Who will always be welcome with respectful and respected inclusion in relation to anything I would elect to instigate.
Beth's ongoing energetic presence and occasional twinkling comments seemed compatible with the beautiful painted bunting.
A mug of something comforting and favored - shared by all of us, I'd wager, as we read each others blogs and contemplated what we'd create. A symbol of the fellowship that's grown tangible because of something we did together.
Pattern! Outrage! and botanical candids printed as reverse negatives! Dee's decision to engage with this challenge was thrilling for me. Considering all she's doing otherwise, I'm agog at the number of spell-binding posts and videos she was moved to share with us. They enriched all of our design perceptions as well as flabbergasting our eyes.
And there is the little cluster of heart-pink colored things including pomegranates, some leaves and stick and something that for all I know is a tiny little eco dye pot. Community. Simple and Unassuming and BRIGHT.