Some of the “tasks” from chapter one I chose to do were documenting my day in photos, writing a couple of poems with the beginning lines “I begin…” and “I am…”, taking my camera for a walk somewhere (we walked through my studio) and starting to build a “word toolbox”. The toolbox is a collection of words snatched from anywhere–what you’re reading, randomly from the dictionary, off the radio, from song lyrics, etc. If it strikes a chord write it down and save it in the toolbox. Play with them, use them in short phrases or in poems.
Although I don’t consider photography one of my best talents, my little digital Canon Elph and I have been spending a lot of quality time together. I couldn’t STOP taking pictures while recording a day in photos! Same with taking a walk through my studio. Somehow framing the ordinary through the lens makes it all seem that much more interesting. I also did a series of photos on “The color green.” over a few days time. Yes, I was that person in the produce department at Kroger’s taking all those close up pictures of the vegetables! (See my previous post, Being Green)
To pull all of that together the last task in the Chapter suggests making a mixed media collage with your photos and poetry as inspiration. I decided to just begin and let that flow–gel medium heavily applied through some circle stencils in some areas and brush handles pulled through to create texture in other areas. Some background color, stamping with bubble wrap, a collaged photo, a packing tape transfer of another photo, some more collage material, some painting in the details and a little more stamping in white acrylic of large circles and it all came together. As I was working on it and thinking about the parts of me I was pulling into my painting certain phrases started rambling through my head. I finished up my painting by writing them into my collage. They are: Stay grounded, Always dream, Seek adventure, Find roots, and Embrace solitude. So it’s a painting and a poem–perfect ending for the first chapter.