Rise Above

Rise Above

Rise Above

This is the companion to the collage I showed last week. I worked on them at the same time, and they have many of the same elements, like the lace, a piece from the boiled book, and a strong black line of ribbon with gold highlights.

One of the ladies in my local mixed media group asked me what the paper in the upper left came from. It is a warm brown with a light pattern. I tore a piece off the bag from fresh baked French bread that I bought at Food 4 Less.

A few weeks ago, one of the other group members asked me, “What do you throw away?”, after I had mentioned some other odd item on a collage I had made. I thought for a few seconds and said “The butter paper.” I know it should be used to grease up a casserole, but I rarely need to do that at the time I put out a new butter quarter.

I do keep a lot of things other people discard because they might be just what I need someday. My friend, Robert, tells me about once a month, that when I can no longer live here, my sons will come in and put my whole collection of junk in a dumpster. That’s fine, I won’t need it then.

On a more serious note, what I did differently on these two collages than I usually do, was to lay them on my work table side by side, and try out different arrangements of the items I thought I would use in the second layer. The first layer had already been completed and can be see in the Oct. 17 blog titled “Shifting Gears.”

When I had arrangements I thought I liked, I left them on the table into the next day, and looked at them again several times as I passed by the table. I was not in a hurry to finish them until I had a settled feeling about them. Then, I glued the loose pieces in place and put them under weights for about two days. The lace part took a long time to dry. After they were dry, I mounted them on heavy cardboard and weighted them again.

I had a good feeling about these collages. The best description I can give you is that I’ve felt like I’m out in the woods trying to find the trail that takes me out of the trees. I’ve tried some paths that looked promising, but didn’t go anywhere. Now, I feel like I’ve stepped onto the beginning of the trail that leads to the destination I have in mind.

To stay on this trail I will have to “Rise Above” my old habits. Like wanting to get something put together quickly. Like trying to squeeze the work in between house and yard chores. I need to tune out of the noise of our contentious culture and listen for the voice of my inner being, until I feel that sense of “Yes, this works.”

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