Sunday, January 24, 2010

Creating visual odes

Ginko - Ashland - 2009
7 x 5 mixed media on mat board
by Miki Willa
Lately, I have been creating small collages to commemorate times and places that have become important to me. I love the ode as a written expression of praise. I have decided to call these pieces visual odes.
This piece reminds me of a three day retreat I took to Ashland Oregon last summer with a wonderful friend. We spent time wandering into shops, creating art, and seeing a play. We found great inspiration everywhere we went. We went into a Tibetan import shop. I found a wonderful shirt and pants there, as well as the prayer flags I have been wanting for a long time. We saw beautiful art, yummy yarn, delightful jewelery. We tasted fantastic food. We walked in the park. Along the way, I picked up these ginkgo leaves from the sidewalk. I pressed them and have been waiting to use them in a collage.
For this collage, I used pages from my extremely old and well used Norton's Anthology of English Literature. I have had this since early college days. I used a variety of other papers, including a round disc I found on the driveway in a rain storm. I wanted to try the cruciform layout as a starting place. I didn't know I was going to use the ginkgo leaves until I realized this was the perfect place for them.
I am also working on a deck of inspiration. I will share the first few on my next post. Another name I have for it is the Creative Freedom Manifesto. Curious? I will tell you more next time.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Return to blogging

Refiner's Fire
6 in by 9 in mixed media on mat board
by Miki Willa
One of my intentions for the new year is to get back to regular blogging. It is one of the things that got put on the back burner when time got scarce. I have increased the time I spend watching my granddaughter; I have started a new career in my advancing age; and I have not been really good at managing my time. I am working on prioritizing my time to include more creative time and art related activities, like blogging.
This collage is one of my more recent creations. If you have followed my blog at all, you know that I am fascinated by glass art and the ways in which it is created. I have done a series of pastels on this subject, and one of them inspired me to try and convey my interest using mixed media collage. The oven used to heat the glass as it becomes art is referred to as a glory hole. The fire inside is very hot and very intense. When I am staring into one of these incredible fires, I am often reminded of a spiritual song called Refiner's Fire. Thus the title. For this piece, I used handmade paper, scrapbooking paper, and gold acrylic paint. I used a piece of mat board waste from the framing studio in the garage as the base.
One of the things I am finding so great about my new emphasis on collage is the reusing of materials that would have ended up in the rubbish. I use much of the cardboard I find in cereal boxes, shipping boxes, and more as bases. I am aware that they are not acid free, but that is fairly easily remedied. I use junk mail to create interesting textures and surfaces when I am building up the collage base. I have a wonderful collection of bottle and jar lids to use as stamps. I don't know about where you live, but here they only want the bottle in the recycling, not the lids. I have even begun to pick up interesting looking detritus along the road - mostly paper of some form. I am on the lookout for paper wasp nests whenever I am out - abandoned ones only - ever since I found how great they work as color and texture in a collage. This was an unexpected aspect of this art form for me. It makes me very happy.
Hopefully, I will be posting at least once a week for a while, increasing as I get better with my time. Belated joy filled New Year to everyone.