Friday, January 13, 2012

Collaging and Roasted Veggies and How They Are Related

Blogging is one of those cool activities that is truly your own.    You are allowed to write about the things that inspire, bore, scare and intrigue you or just pop into your head on a moment's notice.    What you post is your business and can be inspired by almost anything that happens in your life.   In other words, you can reach into that great grab bag we call "life" and sometimes interesting comparisons and correlations come out.   That is sort of what happened a day or two ago.    

You see, I had been feeling a little guilty since I have not posted to the blog since BEFORE Christmas.    I kept thinking that I needed to do something-- anything-- and get a post done.    However, those of you with writing experience know that sometimes if the inspiration is lacking, the words won't come.    So I was poking around the house searching for something to jump start my inspiration.    I happened to go into our computer/craft room and spied a project I did last year.     It was a collage I created and (so far) have not put in a frame or even in a folder.    Shame on me.   Now I have another thing to add to my to do list.   Oh, well.....

Collaging, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this method of creating art, is the use of small bits and pieces of fabric, paper, used postage stamps, labels and wrappers, ribbon and yarn, photographs, stamp art, stickers ---- well, to be honest, almost anything you can think of --- to glue, pin, insert or otherwise attach --- to a background that can be paper, canvas, board, glass, or whatever flat surface you like.    It is a very forgiving and flexible way to create a piece of art since there are few (if any) rules and what you make is entirely up to you.    It comes from within and often reflects your feelings in ways that will surprise and amaze you.    If you haven't given collaging a try, I urge you to do so since it is fun, relaxing and very revealing of the inner "you".    And furthermore, it's a great way to use up left over materials from other projects you have created. 

So I came across this collage and casually picked it up and was studying it as I often do, thinking to myself, "Did I do this?  Dang, this is pretty neat. "    I am not an artist, never thought of myself in that way and frankly have felt this way since I was a child.    In my family, growing up, it was my younger sister, Ginny, who was the "artist".   She took art lessons when she was in grade school and until she died was involved in some type of art activity.  Drawing, painting and playing with craft materials were her idea of a fun time.  Not me.   Her craft closet at the time of her death was overflowing with supplies and "under construction" projects.   I, myself, thought that just drawing a stick figure was a challenge.    As a matter of fact, I used to almost break out in a cold sweat if I had to draw or paint anything remotely connected to an art project.   

Do Your Best to Remember Your Dreams

From this background, I had always concluded that I was no artist.    Then one day in the middle 1990s I had the opportunity to participate in a workshop with a local artist named Donna Freckmann.   She was hosting an event for people who had experienced life threatening illness and were looking for a creative outlet for their feelings regarding that experience.    I went out of curiosity and also because there was a writing component to this event.   Now, writing was something I had always felt like was my "thing".   I had good success with writing in school and have been told many times that I have "a good way with words".      So off I went to this activity and made my first collage.   

I guess that unleashed some kind of inner "repressed" artist because I learned from the experience that being free to pick and choose your materials and then how you assemble them often results in some pretty amazing expressions of what is in your heart and mind.   It was the first time I ever had anyone tell me that there were no rules about how I created my collage.  Donna said if my inner critic tried to take over and intimidate me, I should tell my inner critic to take a hike.   I made a collage that I called "It Came From Out of the Blue" that ended up in an art show.   It depicted how I felt I had changed through the experience of having cancer, although the person I became was there all along.   It took a life threatening event to provoke the changes that shaped and impacted how I felt about myself. 

It Came From Out of the Blue

Now you know why I am writing about collaging. A chance find in my craft room made me come up with the topic.  The challenge then became explaining why I included the roasted veggies in the title of this post.     The same day I found the collage, I needed to make a side dish to go with our supper.     I had no idea what I wanted to make so I did what any stumped cook does----I went rummaging around in the vegetable bin of the refrigerator.     I found an assortment of things just begging me to do something with them before they became fodder for the compost bucket.   There was one yellow squash, a couple of zucchini squash, half of a butternut squash that didn't get roasted earlier in the week, a half of a yellow onion and a whole box of button mushrooms.   Hmmm, I said to myself, why not just cut up the pieces-parts I have here, drizzle them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and some parsley flakes?  

Roasted Squash, Onions and Mushrooms

Before you know it, I had  a pan full of lovely, colorful veggies just right for placing in a 375 degree oven for 30 or 40 minutes to cook until they are tender and begging to jump on my dinner plate.    And that is when it hit me that making the veggies was a lot like making a collage.   They even sort of look alike.     You take what you have on hand (paper, ribbon, stamps----onion, squash, mushrooms), put them together in whatever style or method you like and voila!    You have a lovely piece of art for your walls----or a dish to go with your dinner!   Easy, peasey, lemon squeezy, as my grand daughter, Luci, likes to say!   

The next time you're looking for an art project to entertain (or inspire you) or a dish to go with your meat loaf, think of collaging.     It is creative and puts your bits and pieces to good use.    Bon Appetit!

PS  While I was taking pictures for this blog, I snapped one more of  a tiny collage I made last year.   It is perhaps 3" X 4" and one I really like.  (The green background is just a placemat it was on when I snapped the picture.)   Maybe this little work of art will give you an idea of a collage you'd like to make. 

Grandioso Sun

Happy times finding out who you really are!  Who knows what or who you'll find?



  1. Reading your blog made me hungry! Lisa

  2. I so admire your creativity and writing skills!

    1. dfreckmann@earthlink.comJuly 10, 2012 at 3:39 PM

      Marcia I remember you and haven't seen you for awhile. I had a stroke in October 2011 with semi paralysis on the left side and have spent all these months learning to walk again. Almost there.Now about collage. You were a natural and took to it like a duck to water. You liked it as much as I did. I had a show recently at UWF's Gallery 88 with a friend. It was all about collage. When my world turned upside down last year it was the art that got me through. At first I could only think of was the loss which didn't help at all but when I got into the art,then art,color,design filled my head totally.Donna


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