Saturday, March 17, 2007

Next Step Time

Next Step Time by Caroline with a Creative Commons License that allows non-commercial use and further remixing provided all attributions are given and a similar license is given on new images.
Images used in this remix are all from flickr with appropriate CC licenses:

sufi dancer in cairo by romsrini
Magen by Aeioux
old big clock by Alex Balan

So having left Finding Water I need to find my own next step.

Regulars here will know that I'm somewhat addicted to synchronicities. Today there was an amazing one.

I became aware of SoulCollage® in the first place because Tinker mentioned that she was interested in what greenishlady and Tammy Vitale were doing with SoulCollage® cards - since then I've not seen any SoulCollage® cards from either of them, whilst I, still in my first flush of enthusiasm have been busy making them daily - and posting a few occasionally. I've become a regular reader of Tammy's but today is the first time that I've seen a new posting from greenishlady on her card blog. It's a card celebrating the creator of the SoulCollage® process - Seena B. Frost - if you visit that link you'll see that it features Seena looking like she is talking to the viewer.

I'd just opened the page when my computer spoke to me - in an unknown American female's voice - as I looked at the picture of Seena - it said

"Hello Caroline, shouldn't you be going to the shops?"

Of course this was no mystic emanation but my husband having just discovered how to surprise me like this, whilst sitting innocently with his back to me. He'd just worked out how to do this from his laptop... he'd no idea what I was looking at...

I then read on and was bowled over by the rest of the post. In it greenishlady mentions how she had a dream with a voice saying "Come!". When she eventually heard Seena's voice on tape she recognised it as the voice from her dream.

At this point, still unaware of what I was reading, my husband sent me the same message again, this time anticipating that I'd ask "what for?" after it.

The voice then said

"To get ingredients for a trifle."

I read on and discovered that greenishlady's dream had led her after 3 years to take the SoulCollage® facilitators training.

I have since been to the shops, got the ingredients and made the trifle we need for tomorrow's lunch party.

Before that though I ordered the recordings of Seena as they are a prerequisite for going on the facilitators training. I also sent an e-mail to discover if there were any places left on the next course.

What's more last night I dreamt that I was making cards using scissors which is how most people do make theirs but I've not made any like that yet - I started out cutting a few images out before scanning but discovered I got better results scanning and then deleting the bits I didn't want. Using scissors is how I'd have to make some if I was on the course. And I'd need to practice making some like that before going...

And as for the trifle?

Well at first I didn't get what that was about until I remembered that I'd woken up this morning thinking that just because I'm good at something is no reason to consider what I do as not worthwhile and maybe I should take it as a sign that its a talent to use.

I have a history of doing things because they are difficult... like embroidery - I was the worst in the class at primary school so I practiced and practiced until I was actually selling my embroideries to my class mates in secondary school... this took about seven years from the age of 7 to 14.

My biggest problem with collage, apart from the copyright issue, is that I find it so EASY. I've always felt it was cheating to use other people's lovely pictures to make my own lovely pictures. I know my mother certainly felt this and passed on the message that it is not what "real" artists do. But I love doing collage and I think I am quite good at it too... so

Maybe its time to stop pushing against the flow and embrace and really value what does come easily!

Is there something that you find easy that you aren't valuing because, for you, its simple?


Joanna said...

How I always love your wise words, guilty on this count in many ways!
I love the new way you are working with these images, and that the creative commons licence makes it possible, have a nice trifle!!

Caroline said...

Jo - thanks - I think it is all too easy to dismiss what we can do easily as not worthwhile - I hope that whatever you are good at, without effort, now calls a little harder!

I love working this way too - its very freeing. I even found images that were better than I hoped for for this one - the sufi dancer was such a gift!

andrea said...

I was like that about drawing for YEARS. One day I realized that because I wasn't drawing any more I'd lost a whole chunk of me. It was very sobering.

Wild and wonderful image.

Caroline said...

Oh Andrea that's wonderful to hear - not that you'd lost yourself but that you found your missing part again and that this is one of the keys! Thank you!

steve said...

That's so cool how your husband is so supportive of you. I'm sorry Finding water didn't work out for you. I've just about finished my first week of Artist's way and am really enjoying it, though the getting up earlier part to write is the most difficult. As for collage, it's always been real art--the Dadaists were the firts to popularize it in the early to mid 1900's and Joseph Cornell unabashedly used images found from ads and magazines in his groundbreaking and incredible art (I highly reccomend checking it out and buying the Shadowplay Eterniday book). I love collage, and the physicality of cutting, gluing and moving things around on paper. It's something I haven't done in a while, seriosly at least. I should try it again. Glad you're embracing what comes easy to you Caroline!

Ian russell said...

I'm a bit like that though not. I don't do things because they are difficult but attempt to do easy things the hard way - but I'm a great improvisationist, I never have the right tools or materials.

Caroline, there is no rule that says you can't collage using your own images! ;o)

I think there is a lazy side to all art forms, also I believe there are many artists who are happy to stay inside the comfort zone and do what they do best. I don't see why collage can't be as progressive as any other form of creativity - it's bona fide art imo, and there is good and bad, like any other.

Caroline said...

Steve - I'm really glad you are doing the artist way - its well worth doing! And getting up earlier will get easier - its getting lighter in the mornings isn't it? I used to do a lot of paper and scissors collage but my medium now is digital.

Ian - what a great other way round to be looking out for - thank you I'm sure I do some things like that too... I do include my pictures too. Mind you I'm sure somewhere I have seen such a rule... :-)

Anonymous said...

Synchronicities are so cool - they always feel to me they're like the Universe winking at us, saying "Keep on going, you're headed the right direction." Though if I'd heard a woman's voice coming out of my computer unexpectedly, yet in a synchronistic way, I'd still have goose-bumps! There's a further synchronicity here, I think, I'll have to e-mail you though as I don't want to write a book here. Your artwork here is lovely. I do believe as Steve said that there's ample precedent for the use of other's images in collage, it's definitely an art form in it's own right, but I'm glad you've found a way to do it that makes you feel more comfortable about using the images. I enjoy the old-fashioned cut and paste myself. The trifle sounds delicious, I haven't had one in ages. There I've gone on and written a book anyway! Happy Sunday, hope you enjoy your trifle and lunch party~

Ian russell said...

oops, I'm sure of it, caroline - it was just a thought on the point about it being easier using other's efforts as a shortcut to your own. :o)

on a related issue, I often wonder where collagists start from - they could look at what they've got and ask what they can make of it. Or they could decide to make something and then search for the appropriate material.

Caroline said...

Ian - at the moment I'm mostly starting from a word or phrase - for instance in the posting I did after this one I was consciously aware of looking for a donkey image - when I then saw the one of Bottom I knew that was even better because of all the Shakespeare that had been going on in the background of my day.

But I do have times when I start with an image or two...

Anonymous said...

i have always assumed that things that come easily to me do the same for everyone else. It was only in my late 40s that I started noticing that wasn't the case.

Clay is easy for me. I love it. I love playing in it. I love that it has it's own energy and I can't just have my way with it. I love that it stretches me. And, in the end, working in clay images simply form under my hands - effortlessly. Collage is harder. I have to work at it. The Soul Cards - I have a stack to make with their names on the back but they just aren't high priority. I think the Wylde Women and especially the Shadow Wymyn are taking a lot of that energy for themselves.
I don't know what a trifle is. Which is good, because if I did, it would probably make me hungry.