As I Walk Among the Papers and the Paints



I am fascinated by paper and paint. Where did they come from? In whose grey cells did they first originate?  What inspired the invention of paper?  It occurs to me that paper was invented because of human relationships and out of a desire to communicate and  to share.  And Paint?  Paint was also born out of a need to communicate and  to express something. And the union of the two together? It speaks of the deep innate human need to express and to share thoughts and ideas. In this technological age when computers do it all and never a pen is lifted or a brush dipped, these ancient images are powerful to me.   Consider all the stages, choices, errors and triumphs which must have occurred before paper was a solid sheet, rather than a pile of mush.  I wonder if the people who looked on at the inventors of paper thought they were wasting their time playing in the mud!   I wonder about the first natives who dipped their fingers or sticks in a bowl of berry juice and drew a picture.  Did their family think they were a little crazy? And yet a spark of the divine inspired these two priceless inventions.


As a collage artist I have found myself as a citizen in the world of paper and paint.  It is almost like a parallel world.  This is a place where I can travel, refresh, take inspiration, receive wisdom and be healed. It is a form of meditation for me.  My whole body  is drawn into this meditation and it becomes a part of me.  All my senses, thoughts and prayers are given a new perspective as I walk among the papers and the paints.



And then we add the spirit of color! Color is another world all to itself.  It goes on and on to the heights and depths.  Where man, gravity, heat, cold, sound, light and water cannot go…color goes on. I believe that color is a powerful , silent force in our world and that most of us are missing the point. Color invites us in and its message is that life is deeper, eternal and joyful.



A subject of recent interest to me is the area of handwritten letters and how they symbolize the “more gentle age” in which I grew up.  A time when people were not all in a hurry, but were willing to take the time to sit and write a letter to friends and loved ones.  I enjoy incorporating pieces of these letters in some of my works in honor of their wholesome beauty.

Occupational Hazards of Collage

I have always thought that art was sort of a safe pastime.  I realize that many of our human pastimes have unseen dangers in them but I always thought that art was an exception.  Boy, was I wrong.  In my last post I mentioned that my creative juices were flowing and I was having a wonderful time creating in new and different ways.  This has been going on for several months now.  Last week I was surprised to see that I was cutting collage papers in the kitchen while I waited for the soup to thicken or the water to boil.

Then, a few days later, the inevitable happens:

“Mom, you won’t believe this but there is a collage paper in my soup”

and the very next day another child exclaims:

“Mom, you won’t believe this but I just found one or your collage papers in my casserole!”

Actually, I was only mildly surprised! Art can be dangerous!

It is not good to let a passionate artist cook you dinner and it is even worse to let them drive your car!!! As I am innocently driving my car,  through the woods, suddenly I will see a color or texture which captures my imagination.  And I mean “Captures”.  I find myself planning collages, the woods become splintered in several different pieces of paper, the colors start to roll and swirl though my mind, the color of the sky is not quite right, needs a little more grey….


and then with a little divine intervention suddenly I am called back to reality.  I suddenly realize that I  am driving a car not creating a collage!

And then there are  the odd and unusual urges that seize me out of the blue.  At Church, I begin to notice the lovely textured purple jacket of the woman in front of me… as, what would it be like if I poured some New Gamboge (yellow) paint over that deep purple.  Or I wonder what would happen if I pulled a few yarns on the nubby sweater on the woman to my left…. So far I have been blessed and caught myself before I have caused a public nuisance.  Maybe tomorrow I will not be so fortunate. Art is a very dangerous sport.