how hands can make sunshine

One day, in Oregon, we made collages.

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My collage.

It was all because of Kelly Rae, who shared both her artistic process and her giant suitcase of cool collage stuff (like vintage letters, postcards, ledgers, envelopes, stamps, sheet music) with us.

Ali Edwards' collage-in-progress.

Ali Edwards' collage-in-progress.

When I saw the paints and canvases come out, and when I realized what we were about to do, I could barely wait to get my hands on all those beautiful old things in Kelly Rae’s suitcase.  And I’d brought along an old LIFE magazine, too, just in case it might come in handy.  So we added it to the pile.

And so I spent the whole afternoon on the floor in the sunlight with a breeze blowing through the window making a collage.  And I was reminded of something I used to know:  I love to make art.  And the process of working on something visual–something that might have words in it but is not ONLY words–makes me feel absolutely blissed out.

I’d really forgotten how good it felt.

Tracey Clark's collage-in-progress.

Tracey Clark's collage-in-progress.

I came home from Oregon swearing to myself that I was going to find more time to make things with my hands. And I really hope I will.  But I also know very well that there are only so many hours in the day.  I can’t guarantee that making art, as good as it feels, will make the cut in my daily life any more than other good things (like dancing, and singing, and massages, and walking, and sleeping) do.

But I sure am grateful I got to have that day by the beach.  It’s left a little sunshine-y place in my heart.  And I thank Kelly Rae for taking me there every time I look at my collage up on the wall.  And I absolutely cannot wait to get back.



8 Responses to “how hands can make sunshine”

  1. Lisa says:

    That looks like so much fun! Were they made on canvas? I’ve been working on one to celebrate my son’s senior year of high school–which was 3 years ago. Should have used a smaller canvas!

    • Katherine says:

      Yes! On canvases. Using acrylic medium as both glue and sealer. Most people used their hands to smooth it on, but I couldn’t stand the goopiness once it started to dry, so I used a brush! Good luck on your big canvas!

  2. oh this is so beautiful to read. there is nothing like making art with good heartfelt friends. i love it :)

  3. peaceliving says:

    Art transports us to a different world, doesn’t it? I wish I could have spent such a lovely afternoon creating. Someday soon that time will come…

  4. gladdoggett says:

    Lately, I feel the urge to live outside my head more — using my hands to create. My problems is that I don’t know where to begin. I love your collage.

    I wish you and those other amazing women would offer online courses on how to be artistic for those of us who are just beginning to trust our inner voices. The ones that whisper: “Create.”

  5. Sherry says:

    Katherine, even if you haven’t the time in your busy days to include everything you want to do (and how many of us really can?), the fact that you have this respite, which looks like it will be a yearly event, is something to look forward to when you know you will be able to satisfy that artistic side of you. Art. Is life!

  6. Ali says:

    It was so cool :).