Monday, August 22, 2011

The Collage Collaborative & Creative Verve

This is a collage started by Gigi from my Collage Collaborative Group. Each member of the group begins a collage and then it is sent on to 3-4 other members to make additions, and then it comes home to live with the originator. Each of us makes a few additions along the way, leaving room for others to add items as well.

Creating as a group to complete a project is wonderful for the creative "verve" in all of us. As we work to make our own additions to each collage, we take into consideration the story being woven by both the originator and also each of the contributors.

This group was started by an amazing assemblage artist from Ohio, Nikki Soppelsa. If you have a chance visit her website through the link I have provided on this page. You will not be disappointed!

This collage came to me with the monarch butterfly in front of a beautiful sky. I have added the frog, the earth being held in the palm of two hands, and a butterfly held by the frog. As I worked on the images to add to this collage I thought about the hundreds of frogs and toads we saw at the cottage this summer, and that scientists tell us these are a sign of a healthy ecosystem. I chose the image of the earth being held in the palm of human hands because humanity is responsible for the balance or imbalance in our ecosystem and we must be attentive to it each and every day. Monarchs travel great distances and see a good deal of our earth in their migrations. They are a wonderful indicator to us all of both the delicacy and the strength of our natural world. 

In working on this collage my heart soared like a hawk with creative verve. Images flashed in my mind as I searched for the correct size and design I wanted to include in this collage. It has been a wonderful gift to be able to complete it. As it moves through the group and has additions made by two more artists, I will post the results here.

I spent a great deal of time this weekend unpacking my "travel studio supplies" from when we were at the cottage. It feels good to be settled back into the grotto studio in our basement again. In the coming weeks I will be preparing two slates for inscription cutting as well as continuing to line pages for my manuscript Book of Common Prayer-Morning Prayer artist's book. I have three more signatures to line and then I will be ready to begin the lettering process of the work. I also have several blank journal books punched and ready to bind. The sewing frames are set up and ready to use, and my binding needles are sharpened.

As I prepare for the change in the season, I am reminded of the subtle changes that take place in my studio work as I shift from cottage creative space to the grotto here at home. It takes me several days to once again find balance and peace in this wonderful creative space where I will spend the majority of my time over the cool fall days and the months of white winter that is fast approaching. My studio is my nest, and it is here that I will bring forth the eggs of my creations and warm them, nurturing them, until they crack out of their shell and begin a life of their own.

Being aware of the changes in the natural world around me and reveling in the remarkable grace of nature as it moves through the seasons heightens my creative verve. I am continually aware of the presence of God in our world and the subtleties and strength illustrated by the creative way in which spirit moves through the seasons. We humans need to not only be aware of those changes, but also respect them and be more attuned to the impact we have on this glorious earth as we move through our lives.

As I prepare for the production of new work, with an eye towards the grace of God's world around me in the changing seasons, my heart it certain that All will be well, and All will be well, and with the grace and wisdom of God in our natural world, All will be well.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Studio Progress & Wooden Book Covers

View of the back of the studio.
 My husband has been very busy building me a new art studio at our lake house in Quebec these past few weeks! As you can see by the photos here, the rafters are in for the roof. All the windows and skylights are "roughed in" now, except for the gable ends. He will be working on those this week. He is planing on being able to "sheathe" the exterior, including the roof, this week, and then start to put the shingles on and close up the structure for the winter.
View of the front of the studio, facing the lake.

We most likely will not be able to get the skylights and windows installed until next summer. We also still need to get an exterior screen door.

I am so very thrilled with how this is all coming together! I also love the fact that I got all the windows FREE on Craig's list a few years ago in Cambridge. They are brand new, in the package, vinyl replacement windows!!!!

Working on drilling wooden bookcovers, Tobie is watching!
While Fran├žois is busy building, and coming back to himself in the open air, I am working on wooden book covers for small books. This is a silly photo-Fran├žois picked Tobie up and put her on the workbench while I was drilling!

I am loving my Dremel tools a lot this summer! The drill press is marvelous for drilling exactly placed holes for Coptic book binding using these panels. When I have the books complete I will post more photos.

Being able to be at our Lake House for 4 weeks is such a blessing. The weather has been beautiful, the peace and quiet amazing. I have fully recovered from shingles and am thankful to no longer be falling asleep at the drop of a hat! Surrounded by nature, with chipmunks, loons, moths, butterflies, humming birds and even a fox visiting us almost nightly has been amazing! The abundance of the natural world around us heals our bodies as well as our souls.

Each morning when I wake and watch the glory of sun kiss the lake surface and surrounding trees, I am reminded on how thankful I am to God for all the abundance in our lives. My heart soars like a hawk when I feel the breeze come through the trees and my creative verve is well nourished by the peace and quiet of God's creation around us each and every day.

All will be well, and all will be well, and with the beauty and grace of God's wisdom of creation, all will be well.