Filed under: Sunday collage
Filed under: Sunday collage
Saw a bunch of pansies when I was walking around Edinburgh, Scotland, so I had to make some more pansy luchadores…
Lots of over-the-shoulder art direction from my kindergartener on this one.
It’s funny, when you’re reading Thoreau’s summer journal, how often he tries to capture the sound of the toads and the frogs. They “stutter,” “croak,” “purr,” “peep,” “pipe,” “snore,” “trill,” and even “trump.”
The sound of frogs represented to Thoreau the “mid-summer’s dream.”
May 25, 1851: “I hear the dreaming of the frogs. So it seems to me, and so significantly passes my life away. It is like the dreaming of frogs on a summer evening.”
May 3, 1852: “The dream of the frog sounds best at a distance — most dreamy.”
May 7, 1852: He wonders if uncovering the scientific truth of something takes away its poetry:
I fear the dream of the toads will not sound so musical now that I know whence it proceeds. But I will not fear to know. They will awaken new and more glorious music for me as I advance, still farther in the horizon, not to be traced to toads and frogs in slimy pools.
He writes that perhaps the different seasons are best represented by “the notes of reptiles,” who express “the very feelings of the earth.”
People made fun of him for how much he listened to the frogs and toads.
On March 28, 1853, he writes of overhearing his Aunt Maria complaining about him not taking time to read a book she recommended to him: “Think of it! He stood half an hour to-day to hear the frogs croak, and he wouldn’t read the life of Chalmers.”
In a 1928 book, Memories of a Sculptor’s Wife, a Concord farmer is quoted laughing about “David Henry” (his actual name — he switched the order), “That darned fool had been standin’— the livelong day — a-studyin’ —the habits—of the bull-frog!” (Reminds me of Abraham Lincoln’s cousin, who was quoted as saying, “Lincoln was lazy — a very lazy man. He was always reading — scribbling — writing — ciphering — writing poetry…”)
No matter to David Henry. June 7th, 1858, he goes down to the river just to listen:
“Long ago we learned to think by using our hands, not the other way around.”
—Gary Rogowski, Handmade: Creative Focus in the Age of Distraction
Lynda Barry is the artist who taught me the real value of glueing one thing to another, so I was delighted she posted some of her “weird collages” on her Instagram account. Here is what she wrote underneath them (emphasis mine):
My weird collages help me in the time when I just don’t feel like drawing or writing. There is a strangeness in them that starts to make me want to write and draw. For me the trick is to see the page as a place rather than a thing. I’m just wandering in this place as a stranger.
This is what I do every morning in my diary: I try to think of the page as a place that I go to explore and discover what’s going on in my head. (Thinking with my hands.)
Lately, I’ve been anxious about this upcoming book tour, so I’ve been making what I call “sad teenager” collages. (Sad teenagers know what’s up!) The point of these is not to be good or clever, just to glue scraps and bits and pieces down to the page quickly and let some kind of meaning accrue.
Here’s one from yesterday:
Here’s one from this morning:
One last thing: you’d be amazed by how autobiographical seemingly random images become when you’re doing this. That’s the magic of collage. Of cut & paste and selection: you can’t help but show your hand (and your heart and your head.)
I made this list when my oldest was only 3. He’s 6 now.
Before I closed his bedroom door last night, I said, “Happy reading!”
“Happy… whatever it is you do after I go to bed,” he said.
“Goodnight!” I said, smiling and tiptoeing away…
Filed under: diaries
A diary collage made out of a guidebook from The Whitney
Some of the kids’ drawings fall into the “I don’t want to recycle this, but I can’t see keeping it in a folder,” and those often get pasted into my notebook. Funny thing is, I have a hunch that these collaged scraps will mean more to me in the future than some perfect, saved drawing. (“Oh, this is when J was into drawing Kraftwerk and O was into playing waiter…”)
“A very sensible day yesterday. Saw no one.”
—Virginia Woolf, Jan. 31, 1939
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliates program, the proceeds of which keep it free for anyone to read.