Several months ago I bought two copies of the book Taking Flight, by Kelly Rae Roberts... one for my friend Jean's birthday gift, and one for myself. Jean does "real art," so I felt confident she's enjoy the book and take ideas from it to enhance her work... and I hoped that I'd enjoy the book and be encouraged to try some "real art" myself. (I know, I know--scrapbooking is art, yeah, yeah... but I've always felt the way I scrapbook is pretty mercenary! I'm definitely in it for the completed outcome; I want it to be fairly simple... and I want assurance that it'll look good, so I tend not to "play" too much at it. "Real art"--at least, "real art" in my head--involves freedom and creativity and willingness to make mistakes and mess around and see what happens... things I'm not much willing to do with the expense of scrap supplies!)
Anyway, I also trust Jean to encourage me and help hold me accountable to practicing creativity, so when she suggested that we work through the Taking Flight projects together, I was glad (and scared to death!) to agree. We began last Monday night with the first project, a collage with fabric and paper and old hardback book covers, paint and gel medium and pencil. It was a very different experience for me, to begin with some guidance but without a complete map, and to cut and glue and create without even a sure topic or theme in mind. But I tried (and am trying) to trust the process, and out of all the bits and pieces that came together, a theme of change and growth emerged: an old child-psych book to cut up, calendar and ruler papers, thinking about raising children and counting down dates and miles distance from people I love. So many numbers threading through my life, numbers that signify so many different kinds of changing and growing.
My collage still has some changing and growing of its own to do; I added one more "numbers" image, a clock face, with oil pastels... and my next step will be some over-painting and perhaps additional collage (I may raid the road atlas for mileage charts). Then I'll see what the piece will become, perhaps a stand-alone visual, or perhaps the cover of a collage journal.
(If you want to see Jean "taking flight," check out her blog A Joyful Spirit, linked over in the sidebar ----->!)