Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Looking back...looking forward...

The first year I decided to participate in Dale Copeland's New Zealand collage exchange was 2005. I created a series of fifteen collages - thirteen to send to Dale and two to keep for my own collection. When it came time to package them for shipping I had a sudden attack of separation anxiety. I couldn't part with them!

I was so happy with how thay had turned out, I just couldn't let them go. I have framed six of them and they hang in the hall of our office. I've had many people ask to buy one or two but they belong together, in my mind (besides, I'm still not ready to part with them!). I wound up making an entirely new and different series to send to Dale.

The hand photographs are from a collage sheet by the fabulous Kelly Kilmer. Busy hands, creating things of beauty, deliciousness, or just being expressive, are so inspiring to me. I love watching the hands of a musician as she plays the piano - what magic they possess! We recently attended a concert that included a harp - the harpist's hands were so graceful as they swept across the strings, creating amazing music. It was not only a joy to listen to the music, it was a joy to watch her create it.

Back to the subject of my post... Looking back... looking forward.

As I move on in my creative journey, I find it helpful to look back at what I've done years ago. I sometimes look at my older work and am reminded of techniques learned long ago that have become buried in my mind as I learn new ones. The first quilt I ever made is hanging in the stairway to my studio. It is a very traditional quilt (and not very well made, I confess) and serves to remind me of how far my work has come since that fledgling attempt. On days that I'm feeling frustrated or blocked, it is helpful to revisit older work and to appreciate the skills I have acquired, the improvements in my techniques and to think of all the wonderful people who have helped and influenced me along the way.

Sometimes we have to look back at where we came from to truly appreciate where we are.
I am ever thankful for the joy I find in creating things of beauty with my hands. No pretty manicures for this girl - I'm happiest when my nails are colored with paint after a busy day in my studio.

Here I am, moving forward...ever curious about where this creative journey will take me next .

1 comment:

  1. yesterday I received one of the collages you did send off to Dale - it is wonderful - thank you for playing Dale's game and we got to share. joanell