The scene is set in 1955 and I’m attending Vacation Bible School in the basement of my grandmother’s Methodist church. There I am, the one with long braids and a furrowed brow, trying to decide on which magazine to choose. No matter, because from the moment I first cut out a picture from that magazine and opened a jar of paste, wanting to try a taste of it before finishing the project, I’ve collected images. Fast forward to today, I purchase art postcards and every leisurely shopping trip includes looking at each and every greeting card in gift shops for that perfect memento to take home with me. I know that some artists practice their skills by copying art. For me, its is all in the collecting, amassing the little paper treasures that make my heart skip a beat, into piles, boxes, tied in ribbons, or left on my desk as a reminder. The reminder is that I always need to look, mira, guardare, to see in order to live and breath an artistic life. Imagine my surprise in first grade when one of the first sentences I read, my finger under each word, was ‘Look, look. Oh look. See Jane.’
Certainly I am a collector of books, old photos, fabric, paper, yarn, cookbooks, buttons, feathers, pitchers, and rose hips that also add substance and a sense of belonging to my life. An important visual workout, these. But when I want to tie it all together, feel less lonely, know I belong on this earth, remember where I came from as well as the enticing smell of a fresh jar of paste, I only need to look at little bits of art, the ones that I’ve collected.
Our Sunday Scribbling prompt this week was about collecting. Look and see more here. Painting by German Expressionist Franz Marc who said:
Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them.