Woman No. 1 and (Lots of) Other Art

Woman No. 1, paper collage, 2021.

I haven’t done a bulk art post in awhile, and it occurred to me this morning as I was adding some new listings to my Etsy shop, that I have quite a backlog of collages to share with you–including a few experiments and small successes.

First, I chose Woman No. 1 to be the featured image in this post because I absolutely love her and will be entering the original into a competition at the end of this month.

I’ve also been having fun with some newly-acquired materials, including an old field guide to birds of North America, a pocket guide to fish, some sheet music, a 1974 edition of Gray’s Anatomy, and a 100-year-old flower magazine (which is so fine some pages literally break apart in my hands. The flower on Woman No. 1’s hat comes from that magazine, as do the flowers in Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday and the untitled male torso below.).

You Decide., paper collage, 2021.
Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday, mixed media, 2021.
Untitled, mixed media, 2021.
Woman No. 3, paper collage, 2021.

It occurred to me recently, too, that it might be fun to try and expand the limits of what I can do with paper…so I decided to set it on fire. And experiment with the ashes. That’s new. Here are two (brand new) experiments using burnt paper and ash.

Choose the Living, mixed media, 2021.
Woman No. 2, mixed media, 2021.

I’ve also decided, in line with my last post, to embark on a quest to transform my Gray’s Anatomy volume into poetry. There is something intriguing to me about literally, physically transforming science into art. Anatomy and physiology into the stuff of visual and verbal poetry. It’s been a long time since I’ve written here about my educational background–and how much I hated the often arbitrary delineations between art and science. Always wanting to transform theory into poetry, use the stuff of scientific research in creative and unconventional ways, etc…and frequently finding myself frustrated that my instructors wouldn’t allow me to do it. (Perhaps it’s time for another post on the subject.) So, this little side project is a meaningful one for me. Of course, I won’t be making poetry out of the whole book, which would undoubtedly take a lifetime, but I will comb through it, selecting one page at a time, and transform it into collage and/or cut-up poetry.

Self-Portrait Under the Influence of Poetry, paper collage, 2021. (Both the text fragments and the brain come from Gray’s Anatomy.)

And now, I want to give special thanks to a friend, Janna, who–whether she intended to or not–helped me put this idea together. She is a very talented poet and a beautiful person. And while she’s not on WordPress, you can find her on Instagram @poetry_by_jws and her latest poetry collection on Amazon.

I’d like to conclude this post with a snapshot of Woman with Hummingbird and Clock (apologies for the glare) who, as I mentioned previously, was selected for a juried exhibition at the Limner Gallery in Hudson, NY next month. I picked her up from the frame shop a few days ago, and I think they did a wonderful job. (While I was there, I met another customer who liked her so much she purchased a print, which was pretty great.)

Prints for most of the artwork in this post are available in my Etsy shop. If you are interested in an original or in a print that is not listed in my shop, please contact me or email theusedlifeblog@gmail.com.

7 responses to “Woman No. 1 and (Lots of) Other Art”

  1. Such creativity! I love it! The way you put these collages together is so talented. Someday, I would like to pick your brain on your creative process :)..the results are complex yet reachable and make me want to return to them over and over to see what else it will stimulate in my mind…and I’m so thrilled with your new creative pursuit! Combining science and poetry is something often overlooked but is truly worth developing. “Physically transforming science into art” expands our minds to see what we already have known…art and science, a beautiful continuum, a beautiful dance that leads to grace, connection, and art that is whole and pure…well done my friend. I will be ordering more of your prints today 🙂 and I look forward to reading your poetry transformed from theory..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, my friend! I’m thrilled you enjoy my artwork so much…and I think it would be great fun to sit down and pick each other’s brains for awhile.🙂 With regard to the science-to-poetry project: I wouldn’t have gotten the idea without you. The feedback you left on my last post gave me fresh perspective and got me thinking differently. I appreciate that you always take the time to share your insights with me and that we’ve been able to connect in this way. It means a lot. Be well!


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