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January 2020

day 28 - results



My response for today's prompt references a truly gorgeous never-forgotten dream I had when I was 14 or 15.  Hadn't thought of it until I was focused on working with a very different seed representation/color palette.  While looking for something else I found some of my very first deli paper prints.  Both examples in the above's background layer reference one of the dream's key visual elements.  So does the lovely white marble sculpture, the shape and scale of the seed, and the Florentine mirror.

For the moment this collage is serving as an art journal place-marker.   Have three or four different ideas of what to superimpose on the mirror.  at this point I believe any additional layers - beyond that mirror - will be made with ink and ink-on-ink  OR ink and designer's gouache.  

As the challenge winds down I've begun wondering what I'll choose to share here on this blog once I re-calibrate on the other side of this thing I apparently did during the month of January.  I have a lot of options, really...

Day 27 - results


Today, for a change, I woke up with an idea from the night before which didn't re-invent itself before during or after I made the  collage above.  I've been responding to all the prompts that don't fit the narrative of my Bee allegory booklet within a catch-all art journal.  So I'm pretty sure there will be an additional layer or two of line work using ink and super fine-line paint pens.  Will also connect the free-floating coral-pink negative ions and sentience bubbles in what I hope will be a very cool way.  As usual there doesn't seem to be a lot of grey area.  It'll either work or it won't.  The freeform paste paper cut-outs represent wild rose thickets.   I'll add many more small free-cut stones and maybe some moss.

Although this isn't a realistic rendering of the landscape where it's located my collage is a tribute to my actual gaia altar.  I've kept one for two decades now:  a sacred place to reverently return plant matter used to prepare tinctures, glycerites, flower essences with too many components to successfully return them to the base of each plant where I was guided in my bloom selections. The coarse scrim I use to strain therapeutic oils free of plant matter every late-autumn/early winter  has a few months to weather itself apart before nest-lining birds descend to pluck up every thread. 

The rock is understated and seemingly unremarkable.  We are a likely and lucky alliance.


Back at the spiffy first-spark of the New Millenium I read Jim Green's FANTASTIC herbal medicine making handbook cover to cover twice in a row.  It's still a favorite of mine to recommend for far too many reasons to encapsulate in this context.   He stressed the belief/philosophy that any tincture, tea, or oil we prepare needs to have its maceration remnants returned to the earth before the herbal healing properties are fully released into the mind and body. Green attributed this equation of reciprocity to "ancient cultures" or possibly some types of shamanism as I recall.  Not sure of the ultimate provenance but I will say that maintaining this practice and being diligent about working with its energy mindfully has also taught me how to plant and harvest and plan in a way that is equally beneficial for All.

If you've not yet seen my group-tribute collage it's right here.

Day 26 -results


"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.


Day 26 - results

My ultimate idea for this prompt might be awesome but I have a very stiff neck.  It's fine for a lot of things but movin' and groovin' in collage-brain flow isn't one of them.   Stretching in gentle increments and that includes coming up with something doable that speaks to this prompt while satisfying my creative spirit.

If these remarks are what post this afternoon it means I didn't succeed.  And/or perhaps I took a hot-to-cool shower, a muscle relaxer, and am currently napping. 


Day 25 - results


Here are the Just Because pieces that gathered for me.   But.  I couldn't get into the groove immediately like I've been doing for a lot of this challenge because the cumulative clutter explosion on my workspace looked like this:


and in the process of pulling it together to look like this so that my visual brain doesn't likewise explode before the end of the challenge:

Today's desk

I made this instead.


just. because.

(p.s.  I have hoarded all my paper source catalogs because they have the BEST (non-slick/non-smear) pages to use for glue-sticking surface protectors.  Having the catalogs to use avoids me putting glue/smears where I don't want them on the collage, art journal page, etc.)

Day 25 morning post

Prompt #25

(otherwise known as the just-because prompt)

Select a few pieces that keep catching your eye. 

bonus points if you choose some things you've been mentally pairing off and on throughout the challenge but they've had no direct or even tangential relationship to the prompt of the day.

do that thing.  make THAT collage.




Day 24 - results

Personal tryptich

When I woke up this morning I knew the biggest challenge I could set myself was to do this prompt with human examples rather than personifying myself as flowers and birds.  Thought:  I probably don't even have enough pictures of relevant humans to find the images I need.

Subsequently came up to the studio and located everything necessary within fifteen minutes - including the time it took me to eat some yogurt and stare around at the paper-oriented chaos.   It's a good and thorough mess but the space hasn't recently felt as consistently alive and bouncing off its own walls as it has in these last few weeks.  I have all of you to thank for that.   The way each participant has moved deeper into themselves and their unique 'collage brain' has encouraged me to do the same.   That's not something I imagined happening and it's been an amazing gift to receive from your singular and combined creative energies.

I picked my Within card first because I'd set the image aside for something else I was going to do this morning.

has been clear to me for decades that my Yang side/animus is a surfer dude.  I carry him around in my solar plexus and he in turn carries me around in the outer world.  Like it's no big thing.  Just chillax, Acey ... we've got this.

(and, at a deeper level of belief system(s) - My life/spiritual philosophy strongly suggests that our most important inner Be-ing is the balancing nature of polarity. )

Above - as my highest self and also open vessel for Divine energy to fill as needed - I am a mindful and diligent sower of seeds.

Below - I am simply myself without adornment or shame.  Equal parts awake and dreaming. 

From the earth I rose and to it I will return: equally awake and dreaming.

[J. took the Below picture two years ago.  Is kind of an underworld image here in the present tense so that's an unintentional layer of meaning for both the choice and expanded interpretation of 'below'.  I weighed forty pounds more and was fairly ill in an iatrogenic sense from very toxic immune-suppressant drugs I took for nearly four years.  The last thing I wanted was a picture of myself but I was taking the year long art journaling class and our technique for the month was stenciling.  We were supposed to take moody deliberately self-flattering selfies in high contrast lighting/clothing/hair situations and then make selfie-stencils for the theme of Re-birth.  This was the best I could muster.  And it's probably an accurate portrait of how I look/feel about our current world and whatever we do or do not "really" know about such things. ]


half dreaming and half awake.  I really don't know how to handle our planet's human-driven current events any other way.