Collage of Ideas -Blog

New Prayer Flags

New Prayer Flags

Detail of new Prayer flags seen from the yard.

On the first of August, my local mixed media group made prayer flags. Our hostess had cut out rectangles of fabric for us to work on so they would all be the same size. Our group has a custom of making these flags when one of our members needs our prayerful support, and give them to her to enjoy.

The first time I made prayer flags at home I used a fairly heavy fabric, probably about twelve inches by fifteen inches, and strung them on a thick cord so I could hang them in my yard between trees.

The next summer, when I was in the mountains with the basket makers, one of the members brought supplies and even a sewing machine so we all could make flags out of silk. We painted them with Dye-na-Flow fabric dye, working outdoors under the towering trees. We painted a ten inch strip about forty inches across. When they were dry, we sewed bias tape across the top so they could be hung up when we got home. We made three cuts in the painted silk fabric, upward from the free side to the bias tape, so they would flap in the breeze.

I hung mine across the beam on my carport, just outside my kitchen window, where I see them every day. After about two years they began to shred in the winter storms. I retrieved the pieces to use in collage.

Two years ago when I visited my son and my three granddaughters, I took acrylic paint and silk fabric with me and we painted prayer flags outdoors. The girls hung them in their bedroom windows. I brought mine home and replaced the old ones which were nearly gone.

The rains this past spring trashed what was left of those flags. I had already put “New Prayer Flags” on my summer to-do list, so last week I got out some odd fabric and made another set. I’m not sure where my silk fabric is, and didn’t want to search for it. This fabric is dressy, probably a polyester, in a pale pastel orange, with a woven pattern. These are also a longer length than the previous ones I made.

I never quite know what to paint on the flags, and the dye is somewhat tricky to control, since I don’t use it often. I decided to try some stencils. I was pleased that the dye worked well with the stencils. I attached an extra long length of bias tape across the top so I could hang a bell on each side of the flags. I only made two cuts this time because I didn’t plan where the cuts would go before I painted. When the Delta Breeze is blowing, I sometimes here the bells ring.

Prayer Flags seen from my kitchen window.

Once I got my new flags installed, I got started on the rest of my to-do list. I’m in the process of a reorganization of the closet and cupboard spaces. I’ve been trying on garments I no longer wear, many of which no longer fit well because my body has changed shape. My feet no longer like most of the shoes I have enjoyed wearing for years.

The rest of this week is supposed to be very hot, so I won’t be doing much outside. From what I hear on the radio, much of the nation is having a hot summer.

I’m still working with my shell collection, going through family by family, trying to correctly identify each shell and updating both the handwritten log and the digital record.

And I may even get to some collage making. Stay cool and make some art!

 

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Seven Weeks without Writing

Seven Weeks without Writing

Beginning of collage using map from a day trip along the Columbia River near Portland

I can hardly believe it has been two months since I wrote anything here. No excuses – I just haven’t felt I had anything much to say. When I wrote on June 5th, I talked about managing my energy, and I’m still working on that.

The week after my last blog I was getting ready for a cross country trip to the Conchologists of America convention on Captiva Island, Florida. I was gathering together things I wanted to take, a few each day, which turned out to be a really good thing. The day before I left, I heard yard-work noise in my next door neighbor’s yard. When I checked, I saw that a man was pulling vegetation off the low hanging wires that run behind both of our houses.

I had been fretting about this vine growing in the neighbor’s yard that had somehow gotten up into these wires years ago. Each year the mass of vines got larger and was advancing westward to where they now were about six feet into my back lot line, climbing into the tree in the yard behind mine which was hanging over the fence and beginning to touch the roof of my storage shed. Fortunately, I was able to get the man to remove the mess from my yard for a small amount of money.

Shortly after he left, another man came by to discuss the problems I am having with some of the sprinklers in the yard. I was very glad I had almost finished packing the day before.

In the June 5 blog I also talked about how driving seemed more difficult than I was used to. I may have discovered the reason. In December last year I got new glasses and contacts. I was frustrated with the new contacts but couldn’t figure out why and decided that maybe it was just a getting older thing. If I was in a familiar place, like the grocery I go to most of the time, things seemed okay except that I noticed I was more comfortable wearing my prescription sunglasses while in the store. But if I went into a store I didn’t know, I was having trouble finding things. Everything looked fuzzy and I was just more comfortable staying at home. And at home I couldn’t read what I was writing on my desktop computer unless I leaned way over the desk.

I arrived in Florida after dark, got in an unfamiliar rental car, and started the forty mile drive to the resort on Captiva Island. I had a simple map with the main roads on it, but needed to make the correct turns to reach the causeway to the islands. On the roads that had large well lighted overhead signs I was doing okay, but the local signs on the side of the road were not readable until I was right next to them.

I did make the correct turn and located the road to the causeway. As I was driving, I remembered that my old contacts from last year were now my spare ones and were in my suitcase. In the morning I put those on and I could see a lot better. Since I’ve been home I’ve been seeing my eye doctor as he tries to figure out what is off with the new lenses. This is still a work in progress.

I have a number of other situations going on that seem to require numerous steps to resolve and need the help of other people, so nothing is happening quickly, and the issues hang out in the back of my mind.

My yard, being a mini fruit farm, takes a lot of time in early summer. First were the apricots in May. It is always a game of how long can I leave the fruit on the tree to ripen and still get some of it before the squirrels take them all. They managed to eat all the early crop of figs before any of them ripened. With the pleasant weather we had in June, I was picking strawberries and blackberries every day, and so were the birds.

When I saw how fast the white nectarines were disappearing from the tree, I picked the largest ones, and the next day the tree was completely empty. I guess squirrels don’t like plums as much as other fruits because there were more than enough for both of us. Of course it helped that the tree hadn’t been trimmed the last two years.

So a week ago my son, Chris, and grandson, Vinnie, came to Stockton and we trimmed all the fruit trees, and other growth hanging over the fence, which had grown too big and too high for me to reach. We moved an amazing amount of foliage out of my yard.

I started a collage on July 13 using items from my April trip to Camas, Washington. (See photo at top of blog.) I worked on it three days in a row, and then couldn’t get back to it until last weekend, when it was too hot to be outside. I’m not one of those artists who can do ten minutes a day and come up with wonderful work. But I think I’m about finished with it now.

Remembering the fun I had with my son Dave

For the rest of the summer – August and September – I have ivy to cut back the full length of my yard on the west side, and drawers and closets to clean out of things I don’t use. My shell collector self wants to continue organizing the collection every day, while my inner teenager wants to sit around reading, with ice tea and ice cream. I hope you are enjoying your summer.

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A Change of Mind

A Change of Mind

On Friday last week, I washed my dirty car and filled the gas tank because I was planning to attend the Bay Area Basket Makers (BABM) meeting the next day. I searched thorough my supplies of cord and wire, beads, and tools I might need for the looping project they were doing this month.

Looped Suncatcher

I have done looping, sometimes called knotless netting, several times before, so I got out a piece I did years ago using wire and beads with some wisteria vine as an example of what could be done. Last year in a workshop, I did a small amount of looping with wire on a piece of jewelry, so I stuck that in my bag as well.

Looped wire over beads

I put my comfortable old lawn chair in the car. I hard-boiled an egg and made egg salad sandwich filling before I went to bed. I wanted to get to bed a little early, but as usual I was doing something interesting, and time sped by.

When my alarm went off at 6:30, I turned over and snuggled in for a few more minutes of rest. When I got up at 6:47, I contemplated the 75 mile drive into Oakland where the meeting is held. Anymore, it’s not the distance so much as the amount of traffic on the interstates, and the cutting in and out by drivers going over the speed limit significantly more than I am.

I used to enjoy the distant views of Mt. Diablo, and the hills on the Altamont. This time of year there is usually a flock of sheep working a field in Tracy. I can’t even glance at these sights anymore. The other cars on the road now require my complete attention, and it is more tiring than enjoyable to drive into the Bay Area.

I have begun to think about how much energy my various activities consume, and I find myself planning what I will do each day on how much energy I feel I have to work with, and how important I think the planned activities are.

Even though I felt some sadness that I would not see some friends, I decided to go back to bed for another hour.

After breakfast and reading the newspaper, I unpacked my supplies and sat down at my work table to see what I could do with them. I had picked out some Rat-tail, a shiny, slippery, polyester cord. I tried tying it to a piece of driftwood, and after two rows of looping, determined that it was not going to turn out well.

But while working with the material, I wondered how it would work on a twinned project like the ChapStick holders I like to make. I used the strips of Rat-tail I had undone from the driftwood. It was difficult to get the holder started because of the slickness, but I liked how the cord was to work with after I had several rounds completed.

Rat-tail cording in half finished ChapStick holder

When I got hungry for lunch I made the egg salad sandwich I had planned to take to the meeting. After eating, I took care of a few little chores I had been putting off all week. At that point I became aware that I had some indigestion, and I was glad I wasn’t in Oakland needing to drive all the way home to Stockton.

A bit of peppermint soothed my stomach, and a nap seemed like a good idea. I can tell you that I know six hours of sleep at night is not enough for me anymore. But, as a life-long night owl, I haven’t mastered getting myself into bed early enough when I want to be somewhere in the morning.

Sometimes a hesitation and change of plans, even when it feels like laziness, is the best option for that particular day.

 

 

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Palm Bark and Handmade Paper Series

Palm Bark and Handmade Paper Series

Close up of palm bark hanging with an inchie

In a watercolor class about four years ago the instructor was demonstrating working in a series. If I had heard this idea before, the concept and reasoning had not lodged in my brain. She explained that if you worked on three paintings at a time they would likely have some similar colors and perhaps some similar content, which would look good, grouped together in an exhibit.

Woven chenille fabric with driftwood
Woven chenille fabric with driftwood.

Since then, I keep hearing the word “series” from all sorts of artists, in reviews, in workshops, and technique books.  Thinking back, I did some limited series when I was weaving chenille fabric and draping it around driftwood, and when I was weaving baskets out of kelp.

If you are working with specific materials using requisite tools, it makes sense to make several items at a time using those materials and tools.

One of my goals for rainy weather this last winter was to work with the palm bark that comes off my neighbor’s two towering palm trees. This is the stuff that is flexible like a fabric, but also sheds little scraps all over when you handle it.

One day I picked up so much of this in my yard that I spread it across my drawing board to dry out. I never put it away, and one week I finally sat down with some colored cord called gimp, a needle, some beads, and a stack of handmade paper.

Work table with spools of gimp, handmade paper and palm bark

I started shaping the bark and adding a sheet of the paper, stitching them together, making a loop on the backside for hanging. Once the two surfaces were attached, I left hanging threads for adding beads.

Palm bark with handmade yellow paper

I made seven of these over two or three days. To some I added a feather or two. I find a lot of feathers in my yard from the jays, doves, and other birds. And then they sat on my drawing board waiting for . . .?  I didn’t know what else to do with them. They needed something to be a focal point.

The leader of my local art group was all enthused about making “inchies” at that time. An inchie is a one inch square painting on paper, usually abstract and colorful, which can be used in a mosaic of some sort, or to cover an ugly box.

Ah- ha! I had some inchies left from the last time we did this. I rummaged through them and selected a few to complement the colors of my bark and paper constructions. Those tiny bits of color made all difference.

Palm bark, feathers, beads, and inchies.
Bark, paper, feather, and inchie
Palm bark, paper, inchies, with beads

 

Now we are headed for summer, I hope, and my bark and paper series is hanging next to my drawing board, or still laying on it, waiting for me to decide what to do with these somewhat fragile creations.

 

I’ve learned the hard way that this type of hanging does not survive well for a show if it has to be packed up, moved from place to place, and handled by others. I need to find a place in my house where I can hang them for awhile, until I gift them to my friends.

 

Working in a series is fun, generates new ideas, and may produce a volume of work more quickly than doing one piece at a time.

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Springtime Here and There

Springtime Here and There

Tulips in garden before my trip

Early in April my garden woke up, and I was seeing clumps of bright tulips everywhere. My grandson, Vinnie, helped me plant them probably six years ago. I was surprised to see four to six blooms for each bulb we had planted. They seemed especially bright and happy with all the rain we had this winter.

My iris plants started to bloom the middle of the month as I was getting ready to fly to Portland to visit my son and three granddaughters who live just across the river. I was hoping they would still be blooming when I got back.

This trip was a nice change of pace for me without my usual “to do” list. We all went to dinner together on Sunday evening, and I met their two new kitties, Chester, a black long-hair, and Chuck, a shy, black short-hair. The two oldest girls are in high school and college who are either gone all day, or in and out every few hours. My youngest granddaughter is living with her mother.

My son and I had a lot of time to talk, which is such a gift when I don’t see him every year. Tuesday I had an appointment in Portland, after which we did a quick tour of Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano that is now a park in the midst of neighborhoods.

Wednesday, when asked what I wanted to do, I said I wanted to see the Columbia River Gorge that I keep reading about from time to time. I had mentioned that I wanted to do some walking while I was there.

Trillium along the trail

My son knew about a mostly flat, short, hike to a river overlook on the Washington side. When we arrived at the river, another hiker was digging up huge dandelions just above the retaining wall. He said he wanted to give the native plants a chance to fill in the area.

Columbia River from Washington side looking east

After we walked back to the car, my son drove back the way we came and went over the bridge to Oregon. We rode up the original road US 30 along the river going east. We stopped at Vista House, a round stone building, built in 1916, where we could take photos looking up the river.

Vista House
View of the Gorge looking east

He pointed out the hillsides where the Camp Fire had burned last summer. We had some lunch before crossing back to Washington over the Bridge of The Gods. We saw the Bonneville Dam which provides the electric power for the Portland area.

Riding through wooded, hilly, windy roads all week was so beautiful. The fruit trees were blooming, as well as the dogwoods.

I got back to my Stockton home at 2:17 am on Friday morning due to a rescheduled flight. Later that afternoon, I was delighted to see that the irises in my garden were taking their time to come into full bloom.

Marilyn’s Iris garden

My rose bushes did their first “rush” to bloom while I was gone, and are now ready for some dead-heading. It’s nice to go away, but I really love and enjoy my own garden.

Iris in Marilyn’s garden
Close up of Iris
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Does Making Collage Help Organize Your Mind?

Does Making Collage Help Organize Your Mind?

Shortly before the beginning of March, the leader for my local art group sent us an email asking for ideas for projects for the next meeting or two. I reminded her about the time our group had fun making collage by starting a piece, and then passing it to the person on our right, who would add some elements until time was called, and the piece moved again to the right.

I provided 11” x 11” watercolor paper for the substrate, and brought an assortment of printed papers, old book pages, maps, corrugated cardboard pieces, and fabric scraps. Members were told to bring scissors and glue of some kind.

Several of our new members had never done collage before, but quickly got the hang of adding a scrap of color here and there before passing it on. We did this until we got our own piece back, with a chance to add some finishing touches.  I should have taken a photo of the collage I came home with, but I didn’t think of it until after I added a few more pieces.

Orange 3-D fan shape

I had started out with some large pieces of aqua colored paper sprinkled with white star shapes, and a page from a foreign language book. When it came back to me, someone had added a 3-D orange fan shape out of some stiff vellum, a small dark red shape topped with a yellow button, and a good size purple bird shape made of crumpled tissue paper. Someone added a fairly large piece of purple netting. Another member had found my name on one of the papers I brought, cut it into pieces and scattered them about.

Crushed tissue paper bird

At home, I sat it up on the end of my work table for several days, so I could glance at it through the day. What could I do with all these bits of color and shape so it didn’t look like the world was flying apart?  Eventually, I added a few dark pieces along parts of three edges, as well as a layer of green tissue paper over two sections to try and “pull things together”, which allowed the purple bird to be the main focal point.

Everybody added something collage

I must admit there are some days when my mind feels like this collage!

Two weeks later, our group met again and we each worked on our own collage. Some members had thought about what they wanted to make, and had brought papers to create their vision.

I didn’t plan ahead. I rummaged through papers when I got to the group and selected them mainly on colors that appealed at that moment. I paired them with some of my yellow handmade paper, torn into shapes to go with the large pieces. The paper substrate I was working on had a few black lines someone had painted long ago. I decided to let them show between the pieces I added.

Once I had the main elements pasted down, I couldn’t decide what to add next. Someone in the group encouraged us to use some tissue paper she had painted with watercolors. Adding a random piece to connect my larger shapes produced a really exciting element. After I got home, I added a small rust colored image about one third down the left side. Up close it is a set of keys tossed on a small tray.

March 2019  – Where Is Spring?

By April, our leader was full of new ideas for the group. Perhaps working with collage has an organizing effect on the mind.

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Decisional Conflict

Decisional Conflict

One of the companies making premium art mediums is Golden. They have Reps who give demos of their products to groups of artists at stores that sell their stuff. I’ve actually been to two of these, but it was some years back. The Rep talks about each medium, showing on a canvass board, what it is designed to do. This sample is then passed around the room while she demos another product.

By the end of the presentation the audience has oh-d and awed at the beautiful colors, the creamy gels, and special effects that can be produced. What we don’t see is how to integrate these products into a complete work of art.

I have a drawer of different gels in matte and gloss, with beads, will crackle, make a raised image with a stencil, or shine a different color in a certain light. I have papers, canvas, brushes, stencils, stamps, and almost anything else you can think of, but I rarely know with any certainty what to use to get the effect I have in mind.

During our rainy winter, I began reading a book about using these mediums and paints which is written like a workshop, so you can follow along step by step with the author. She started by covering her work surface with a variety of papers to provide texture, such as a page from an old book, a photo copy, corrugated cardboard, and crumpled rice paper. She also added some stencil images.

Section of collage showing title

I rummaged through my scrap box for similar items. I found some pages from a psych-nurse’s pocket guide, one of which was titled “Decisional Conflict” which in normal language means the person can’t decide between two or more options. I experience this quite often in my studio. I also found some corrugated paper from a cookie box, a strip of rice paper I could crumple, and a single Tarot card. They didn’t look like what was in the book, but close enough.

Arranging them on the paper was easy now that I have been doing a lot of collage.

The next step was to add paint. The book’s finished collage was crimson and orange with white and black accents. I had paint, just not the colors she was using. So I used what I had that I thought might be close to hers. Didn’t quite work the same way. The red color was close, but the yellow was too intense. She used a transparent yellow color which I didn’t have. The white paint she added to lighten up some areas was zinc white, which I also didn’t have, so I used an Iridescent Pearl.

Section of collage showing crumpled rice paper

One of my goals is to use up the acrylic paint I have so I can get some new paint. Of course, the colors I really like are pretty much gone. I rarely use reds and yellows, preferring greens and blues.

The yellow paint over the dark photo copy and the black on the Tarot card turned a green shade. I liked how that went with the red and yellow, so I added some paint in a lime shade here and there.

Completed collage “Decisional Conflict

Over all, I was pleased with the finished product. Looking ahead to the next project in the book, I saw that the author continues to use the zinc white and transparent yellow. In order to alleviate some of my “Decisional Conflict”, I have ordered them online because they are not available in Stockton.

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Spring in California

Spring in California

View of backyard as seen from my studio

This week Monday was the first day this year I haven’t felt cold. As in, wearing my boots cold. We usually have a week of spring-like weather in mid-February, but not this year. Even days with some sun have been rare.

The pink plant in the upper center of the photo above is a Fringe bush, which has been blooming since late in January.

The nectarine, peach, and plum trees are finishing their bloom and showing green tips on their branches. Likewise, the blackberry bushes are waking up.

My garden has been getting ready to put on its annual show, and over last weekend could wait no longer.

Tiny blue wildflowers

Given the tremendous amount of rain we have had, the wild flowers can’t grow fast enough. Tiny blue flowers are dotting the parts of the yard without grass. The little red flowers are starting to appear and will be like a carpet in a week or so.

Red wildflowers in the strawberry patch

In the back of the yard behind the garage where I store yard equipment, I already have a carpet of green plants that have a circular disk on top of the stem with tiny white flowers in the center of the circle. I don’t know their name, but at the first hot day they will burn up and collapse.

Wildflowers behind my garage

I’ve been outside every day in the last two weeks unless it has been showering or extremely windy. Field Madder is an invasive weed that was covering the strawberry bed, and I wanted to dig it out before it could bloom. It has a root that is about one and a half inches long and it just lays itself over the ground like a rug. The strawberry bed took five days to clean up.

I’ve cut back ivy on the fence behind the fruit trees before they leaf out. This is especially difficult where the huge fig tree comes over the fence. While cutting back the Pyracantha on the west side of the house, I found peeling paint on the house which needed to be repaired.

Close up of red-orange flowers in planter

In the planter next to the fountain are flowers that look orange in the photo at the top of this blog, but in the close-up the camera made them red. I bought one plant of this, years ago, and it grew and put down more roots, filling the planter.

These yellow flowers are a variety of what we used to call Freeway Daisy.

Freeway Daisy in the bed beyond the planter

So, for the time being, making art is on hold except for the group I attend every other Thursday. I’m so thankful to be where I am, with this wonderful display of color.

I hope you have a beautiful spring whenever it arrives.

 

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Time Management

Time Management

This is a topic we would all rather not think about. When we have a young family and a job, managing to get everything done can be a huge headache, and we long for the time when we will have time to do the things we love and enjoy. Once we reach that place, it can be a wonderful time if we are healthy and have enough income to meet our needs.

But there comes a time when many things take longer to do than they once did, and require more creativity in how to do them safely. We try to simplify our chores or find someone else to do them. We get engrossed in a project and can’t believe the day is over so soon. Managing our time becomes important once again.

Work table with spools of gimp

At the moment I have three projects on my three work tables. Last week, I worked with the palm bark I have been picking up in my yard all winter, stitching pieces together to make a shape, or combining the bark with circles of hand made paper. I’m using gimp thread to sew them together. This is a shiny round cord, probably rayon with some kind of center string. I remember my mother crocheting handbags out of this stuff. This isn’t her leftovers, I found it in south Stockton some years ago, in tan, blue, green, black, brown, and yellow.

Two pieces palm bark sewn together

After I make a few more, I will add feathers and beads to the cords. My other two projects are barely started.

Palm bark with hand made yellow paper

Even though we are still having winter storms, spring is proceeding in my yard. The apricot tree has finished blooming. The plum is in full bloom and the peach and nectarines are starting to come out. Weeds are popping up everywhere. The trick is to do the weeding and cleanup whenever we have a dry day, which makes every day’s plans tentative. I managed to get the iris bed cleaned up last week. This week is focused on the strawberry bed, because one of the weeds that invaded last year is just days away from starting to bloom.

As I wrote at the end of January, I have begun working on my shell collection. The shells are arranged in drawers by family, but many of them have not been identified as to their species. I print out my electronic record for a family, and check off each shell number. I also have shells in the drawer, that are not on the list. I have to figure out where the shell’s data is and move it on the computer to it’s correct place in the list.

Scallop shells to be identified

There are shells that I collected fifty years ago that clearly do not belong to this family. Many of the older shells are not in plastic bags, but scattered about in several drawers if it’s a large family. This has become a fascinating endeavor in my evenings, recalling the beaches where they were found. I get caught up in the process, and needless to say, I’m not getting to bed when I should.

Where all of this is leading is that I must make choices in using my time. I have come to the point where I don’t have new art to write about every week, and if I want to make better work, I need to let things develop on their own schedule. Spring and early summer in the garden always means more to do than time and energy available. I also have two out of state trips between now and the end of June.

I have been writing blogs each week for almost two years, and the time has come to write less often. I don’t have any particular schedule in mind, but when I have something to show I’ll post it. If you already get my posts in your email, they will show up there. If they don’t come to your email, sign up in the form on the lower right side of this page.

Palm bark with hand made pink paper
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Walk-by Mixed Media

Walk-by Mixed Media

This began with a zipper style sandwich bag, containing a small slice of French bread, being left on top of a toaster oven. I needed some extra counter space one day and tossed it up there. Later that evening, someone else didn’t notice it and used the oven, resulting in a lamination of sorts. I was able to carefully peel the bag off the oven top, and immediately decided it would be included in an experiment of mixed media art.

Laminated plastic bag

Over the last week we have had a few days without rain and I have been busy finishing up winter chores outdoors. Since my studio is in an open room right off the kitchen, I saw the toasted bag every time I walked past my work table. Knowing I wouldn’t have time to begin another extensive art project, I thought about how I might use this bag. I went looking for a base that already had something I started but never used. I found an 11” x15” cardboard with a black surface on which I had made a textured shape of a starfish using white plaster.

I put this on the work table next to the bag. After numerous trips past it, I got up one morning and decided to paint the plastered part with some Golden Ultramarine Violet acrylic. After more walk-by’s, I added some Golden Interference Blue to highlight the purple shape. To the left side of the starfish, I added a narrow tag board rectangle that I had painted last summer with gesso and a bit of paint which covers an ad.

Painted starfish
In this condition, it sat on my table for a day or two as I went in and out of the house walking past it uncounted times. It needed something else before I added the bag, but what could I do quickly that would pull things together?

Going in and out of the yard, and looking out my kitchen window, I watch my silk prayer flags flying in the wind all day. They have been shredded by the many windy days this winter. I’ve been picking up the shreds and bringing them inside to use in something.

By laying some pieces over the board, I could guess how they might look. I was hoping the starfish would show through somewhat. Three scraps were glued on with acrylic medium, which goes right through the fabric, so I just dabbed it onto the fabric as it lay over the plaster and the rest of the board. I covered it with wax paper and weighted it to dry overnight. 

I was somewhat disappointed that I couldn’t see most of the starfish the next morning, because the paint on the fabric was dense enough to block the purple. I added a hint of the Interference where I knew the plaster was. Then I glued on the cooked plastic bag with soft gel, weighted it again, and let it dry.

I set the piece up so I could view it from a distance. I thought it still needed a little something. I considered a thin white strip on the right edge to kind of balance the white on the left side. That would draw too much attention, so I added some scribble with colored pencils.

Plastic Ocean

“Plastic Ocean” had no design plan other than to use the damaged bag. It evolved as I walked by it many times a day asking “What if …?”  This doesn’t make great art, but keeps the mind working.   Art therapy indeed.

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