Growth and Renewal
Season of Transition
Spring in New Mexico brings a little of this, and a little of that. I recently presented a collage workshop on the First Day of Spring, and the weather was overcast and rainy; the next day was sunny and balmy and then next morning, we had wet heavy snow! Oh yes, all our seasons here!
Cut and Paste workshop
My recent workshop introduced my collage techniques to a small group of experienced artists and artisans. Reflecting on the start of Spring, I focused on the themes of Growth and Renewal. First, I read the Parable of the Seed, which tells of how a farmer sows a seed on fertile ground and how the seed lays in darkness, unseen and unnoticed by the farmer. And yet in time, the seed produces a stalk and leaves and grows to ripeness. To demonstrate this concept of a mysterious and unperceived growing, I showed a cup of dirt in which I had planted a bean a few days before; I lifted the bean from the soil to show how the bean had swollen and opened and pushed out tendrils of root and the beginnings of a stalk. I used to teach this lesson to small children to illustrate the quiet and deeply internal growth of God’s word within us; as Mark calls it, the kingdom of God. This collage workshop was entirely secular, but the lesson is universal and easily grasped.
Next, I introduced the tools and supplies to the group, scissors, glue, and magazines, and I explained my approach. Inspired by the story I read, I directed the participants to create an image of a plant rising from the soil, showing roots below and sky above. I find the cutting and pasting to be a contemplative activity, but some of the group found the work to be awkward and fastidious. Slowing down and finding the rhythm was challenging, but everyone found it in time. Key to the process was removing expectation of perfection and completion. We worked for 5 hours, with a short break for lunch.
The culmination of the workshop was joining in a circle and sharing our work. We described what went into the piece we created and how it felt, how we discovered the process, and what we learned about Growth and Renewal. The resulting collages exhibited a wide range of perception, illumination, and expression. We found it invigorating and fun. All the participants said that they would love to do it again!
I would love to do more workshops; I am open to groups large or small and any age; please ask!
On a recent weekend, I visited Ghostwolf Gallery in Albuquerque's Old Town where I have a collage on display as part of their Work’s Work exhibition. Old Town is charming and relaxed and full of new shops to explore; I found a few galleries there that I hope to revisit (and join).
Recently, I visited the Bosque del Apache on the Rio Grande some 90 miles south of Albuquerque. I went with a knowledgeable friend who pointed out harriers, bufflehead, cinnamon teals, coots, snow geese, Gambel’s quail, and everyone’s favorite, the sandhill cranes. If you visit New Mexico, I recommend a long unhurried visit; so much to see and so far from the bustle of everyday life.
In the wings..
Next week, I am flying to New York to participate in the Fest for Beatles Fans, our first gathering since the summer of 2019. We are all excited to meet again face to face and I am thrilled to be participating in several special projects. I am collaborating with collage artist Marlene Weisman from Brooklyn to present a brilliantly colorful talk on “Psychedelic Art and The Beatles” – a seldom explored facet of Beatles lore. I will also be curating the Fan Art display and contest and presenting an original play “Around the Rooftop.”
I will report on all the spring happenings in my next blog.
Love and peace,
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Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico
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November 11-13, 2022
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W Marcy St., Santa Fe
March 4 to 27, 2022
at Ghostwolf Gallery
206-1/2 San Felipe St NW
National Collage Society
Annual Juried Exhibition
Until November 15, 2021
Recycle Santa Fe