Pat Giacomini‘s free formed essay captures the interplay between the creative mind (the child who wants to play) and the critic/editor (the adult who is concerned for us but overly cautious to the point we stop ourselves.) Pat said she was terrified of painting, but she went ahead and let herself explore this medium, creating the beautiful picture above.
Just have fun today. Don’t be afraid to try the PAINT!!! But I’m terrified of painting. I’m scared of the smudge .. smudge the creative process .. ooops .. a smudge .. see? .. rats .. start over again??? No time, oh never mind .. But not today! I’m going to give it a try today.
It’s Fall and the colors are coming. Every day more and more and more intense .. Oh I have to capture that view with the sun shining thru the leaves and creating the aura of vibrancy that nothing else can give! Snap the photo .. rats .. nope that’s not it; didn’t capture the beauty of the light playing with the leaves as the colors emerge as they prepare to fall; prepare to give a few more weeks of stunning beauty before the long sleep. I wish I could capture the stunning shades and glow that my eyes see, that my heart breathes … a quiet smile that lifts my spirits. The camera just doesn’t do it – nothing like how my eye brings it all into the beautiful dimension that is the perfect merge of eye and light and brain and heart … Ohhh, I love that!!!
Maybe today I can try to paint that … hmmm … maybe not. Hmmmmm … Let’s see what happens…
No fear today! Well, maybe just a little, but I’m gonna give it a try … got my life line on the side .. OK .. try the color, pick a brush, splash some water and splotch the lifeline paper … OK, breathe (…); ok, I can do this … swipe with water; that way if it’s bad it will be fainter … blue my safe color … OK, its faint, kinda safe, not scary. Swipe a path of water, follow with more color … yep, its quite a bit fainter, hmmm is that a problem? … faint but still there … but wait … not bad … I like the color … hey! Try another … head back to the lifeline and try another color combination … Oooo I like the red with the orange … yes, let’s do a little here … oooh ok that works. But it’s too single dimension … I want a little stipple of the rain that we just had … ooh yes! this brush let’s me do that … back to the lifeline for courage … ok, taptaptap under the broad strokes; nice outline and a bit of a rain cloud, but not too much …
Pat then used a plate to create a 3-D collage sculpture. Buzz Lightyear was the catalyst. Her essay concludes:
To infinity and beyond! Buzz Lightyear what a flash to the fanciful years of my kids leaping off chairs hollering the slogan at the top of their lungs .. echoing in my heart as I whisper it to myself .. infinity and beyond … falling with style … you’ve got a friend in me … What a comfort in such simple assurances.
Dee Dee Lawton said she was terrified to come to the workshop because art was something she has felt blocked about all of her life. Her 3-D collage expresses her buoyant personality…she has a joyful presence…and her love of music. She called her work “chaotic,” and we talked about how chaotic is not a bad thing. Notice how she combined painting, collage, and sculpture. We thought she was brave to paint a self-portrait on her first artist adventure.
I wrote a poem to go with my collage. I used the back of the clipboard I had made a collage on for the first class. I tried to work on a different canvas, but the clipboard finally called to me…it wanted to be covered front and back.
What You Seek Is What You Are Going To Get
Their faces are so vulnerable, wide-eyed, the innocents of the world,
too young to know to take the ripe fruit or that their true treasure is inside,
laying deep in dark oceans in the kingdom of strange animals
who will ultimately love them.
My eyes seek all the fruit, even the rotting grapes. I have so many faces,
vanity in old age, soft angel skinned children. Faith and trust have not informed
my body. I have not known to love my strangeness, my treasure
in the soft dark sea.
Masks hide my fear, but inside my monkey’s paw the children
beg that my tight grip open. Use your vulnerable eyes, they whisper.
Unlock your heart. Let go of the thread of the woman
writing her story.
My heart beats in red floral breaths. I open to imperfection,
and pledge to find my innocence, my treasure, and to eat
sweet pears and grapes, to love my ugly masks, my large eyes,
a new thread of my animal body.
Fran Ransley’s work developed into symbolic layers.
The image of the calla lilly became important as she discussed her collage with us. We knew it was a lily but none of us could remember the “calla” part. This is what she discovered about the flower’s meaning:
“The calla lily was by the Romans in association with the winter solstice. The lilies were forced to bloom indoors during the darkest time of year to celebrate the preservation of the light and bringing the light indoors. Calla lilies were often associated with funerals, only later to become a popular wedding flower.
The lily was a sacred flower to the Minoans and also prized among the ancient Jews. In Christian iconography, the flower came to represent purity and chastity. In contrast with this, the flower’s large spadix, a phallic flower stalk containing many male (pistillate) and female flowers, was symbolic of lust and sexuality among the Romans. As mentioned above, calla lilies have been viewed as a symbol of death and associated with funerals. In this capacity, they have been placed on the graves of youth who have suffered untimely deaths.”
Finally, Patti Jahsman collage reflected the interplay of outward and inward strength.
Her work inspired this lovely poem. The intensity of bittersweetness of last line has stayed with me since Saturday.
Freedom of Light
How can “I” know
what to “no”?
What is True heart hearing of
Who am ‘I’ to resist
being a moth to the light?
by not blocking the heart.
No ‘one’ is immune from
conditional pain, the
of losing ALL
to universal fire light.
P.S. Here is an image that Pat and Dee Dee made with an Art Studio map on my iPad Mini: