A trash collage I made last year. (Something to do with all those leftover Halloween candy wrappers.)
Consider it an offshoot of this exercise from The Steal Like An Artist Journal:
Filed under: Sunday collage
Here are collages I made while listening to Lynda Barry and Chris Ware talk to Michael Silverblatt on KCRW’s Bookworm podcast. (The handwriting is a discarded shopping list I found on a walk and my son’s handwriting from years ago — I don’t remember why he wrote those words, “NOW TO WORK” — I used to keep them above my desk.)
The podcast conversation goes to interesting places regarding school: Barry has written of elementary school as a “sanctuary” from her homelife as a child, at The Evergreen State College she studied under Marilyn Frasca, who she says changed her life by introducing her to The Image World, and she now runs the Image Lab and teaches at the University of Wisconsin Madison. The Image Lab was started because she couldn’t figure out why grad students were so miserable and why it was acceptable to the academy for them to be so.
(Ware speaks of his own daughter being admonished by her third grade teacher not to bring her sketchbook to class, and his misery during undergrad and graduate school.)
“I had no idea that I could be as unhappy as I was in graduate school,” Silverblatt says. He then tells a story about taking grad school examination tests. “The thing was, I was so cramped, bent over, so stiff at the end of that test, that I wrote them a letter and I said, ‘I’m really frightened. This was a test on everything I’m supposed to know, and this is a subject — writing, imaginative literature — that I care about more than anything, and for the first time ever your test gave me the feeling that it was boring.”
“That’s kind of school in general,” Ware says.
“I’m trying to keep my heart alive,” Silverblatt continues. “I’m trying to keep my joy alive. And if I stand up and roar, I’m trying to keep my soul alive… That’s what we have all done, when we get to do what we want to do with our lives: We keep our joy, we keep our hearts, we keep our soul.”
A cut-up of an ad for The Music Man on Broadway. One day I want to do a whole series of collages where I take ads and don’t actually add or subtract anything, just cut and shuffle them, like verbal/visual anagrams.
Filed under: Sunday collage
The world keeps ending but new people too dumb to know it keep showing up as if the fun’s just started.”
—John Updike, Rabbit is Rich
“I have to say this in defense of humankind: In no matter what era in history, including the Garden of Eden, everybody just got here.”
—Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without A Country*
* This also happens to be the lecture in which he talks about the “six seasons.”
See also: “I’m New Here.”
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:
The cure for travel anxiety is me saying to myself, “Oh, who cares if I get anywhere?”
Come to think of it, this is also a cure for anxiety when working: “Who cares if I get anywhere?”
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