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  • December 11th, 2009 | 12:28 PM
Friday Five - The Art Edition

There's so much to say I could do two editions but I think I will focus on art today.

1. I've now gone to three sessions of what I am going to call art workshop though our fearless leader Lori Krein bills it as a collage class. It's exactly what I needed, a slightly structured, caring and nurturing artistic environment. The group is small, I think there are seven of us, just about right for introverted me. We come to class to work on a variety of collage, decoupage or assemblage projects. I am almost finished with my first landscape. (My art leader Lori has an assemblage in this art contest sponsored by Michael's. She's trying to win a trip to New York. Maybe you could help her out by voting? Thanks!)

2. At the retreat I went to last month I talked to my friend Deborah Nourse Lattimore (who is a brilliant artist by the way) about introducing art into my life. This was before I found the collage class. She stressed the importance of playing with art without trying to "make" art. Play is hard for me. I've never been very good at it. But I am trying. And I know the art play will help my writing play. I think I love collage because it reminds me of playing in mud. I don't want to wear gloves - I want to feel the matte medium sliding between my fingers. It makes me feel like a little kid again. And now, everywhere I go, I look at things as a potential canvas, or potential items to use for an assemblage. I used to collect odds and ends like this before, rocks and twigs and pieces of nature that intrigued me. I saved them and saved them and then suddenly, they were gone. I think I had been saving with the intent of having "enough" to do something "perfect" and when I realized that would never happen, I threw them all away. So I am collecting again but hopefully with a different attitude.

3. I've been reorganizing the old craft supplies I have and buying a few new ones, like my first set of watercolor pencils and watercolor crayons, a bottle of Gesso, some acrylic paint (yikes) and even a couple of big canvases (only because they were on sale). Most of that is for some ideas I have on creative art journals. Some people do a vision board, I am doing a vision journal, or perhaps a series of small vision boards for various aspects of my life. I got the big canvases so I can try my hand at some larger collage landscapes at home. I've been looking at the handmade paper on this site, trying to narrow the purchase down to a reasonable amount. Ha! I've also been going through my stash of magazines again. I do this a lot anyway, usually cutting out words to use when teaching poetry classes, but now I've added a stack of words just for me and pictures that speak to me that I might want to journal.

4. newport2newport has blogged a lot lately about the creative journaling that she is doing. She turned me on to a wonderful video that I think is worth a watch if you are a newbie considering such a project. (The woman in the video has an extensive website and series of YouTube videos.) And Shrinking Violets is talking about creating visions for your coming year too.

5. What does all this have to do with writing? So much more than I can put into a Friday Five. I have lived too much of my life bound by constraints of what I shouldn't do, what I was or wasn't good at, what was expected of me. A constrained life can lead to constrained writing. If playing with art can free me to play with words, it is worth it at just about any price.

The biggest lesson for me to learn is that art is not math. There is no right answer. If I can learn this in art I hope to apply it to my writing.
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There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 7 comments — Leave comment )
December 11th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
YAY! See you Monday! I've collected magazine stuff/photos/words. I hope you won't judge me too harshly - I'm not artsy at all (don't know where C gets it). But i'm excited to try!
December 11th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I'm in no position to judge anyone at all and I'm so frozen when it comes to taking chances with this stuff. We'll be two newbies wading into it together. Watch the short video I linked to in #4. I got so excited when I saw that!
December 12th, 2009 04:11 am (UTC)
Looks easy enough to me. I think it is good to every once in a while to something new keeps everything new and exciting otherwise we can get bogged down with too much everyday stuff as well as with writing and that's what makes it more difficult than what it needs to be. I am not artistic at all but I watched the video and seems to me even if you made a mistake no one would notice anyway. Looks like fun wish I was closer. Guess it is back to my attempt at writing for me. for now. Going back to Toastmasters soon an extrovert thing to do. Also by the way the more we try to make something perfect the more we will definitely hate it in Paragraph No: 2

-Anne McKenna
December 18th, 2009 06:49 am (UTC)
Anne I'm glad to hear you are going back to Toastmasters. I think it will be good for you.

Making art isn't easy for me at all because I have to let go of my perfectionist mindset. But I'm trying.
(Deleted comment)
December 18th, 2009 06:51 am (UTC)
Laura, I thought I wrote this but I guess only in my head. I have to admit that I love that I can go to Lori's studio and work for a few hours and then come home. I'm planning on working on the biggest, messiest stuff there and the journals at home or away from home in coffee shops and stuff.

Maybe this is something that you could do with your girls?

I found a new terminology that made me feel more comfortable about it all, instead of "art journals" they are "glue books."
December 15th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)
I have lived too much of my life bound by constraints of what I shouldn't do, what I was or wasn't good at, what was expected of me. A constrained life can lead to constrained writing. If playing with art can free me to play with words, it is worth it at just about any price.

Amen to that!

As always, you inspire me.
December 18th, 2009 06:59 am (UTC)
Thank you. I hope you find the chance to play, even just a little bit, outside any box you might be in.
( 7 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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