Art, Discovery, Writing and Choice

I think I have a series. I have a series of collages. Yes, when I step back and look at my work I see a series. Yes, when I step back and read my pictures, they tell a story. They tell the summer story that has been writing itself bit by bit, day by day.

Last week, a fellow slicer asked me if there was a link to a lesson plan for my work. The answer is no. There is no link, no lesson plan. It’s about seeing the world and capturing snippets of it in a picture. It’s about building by habits in what Ralph Fletcher calls, “the greenbelt”.

When I’m in my greenbelt, I don’t just look, I see. I study. And, with collage (material of choice this summer), I notice the colors and shapes. I tear, rip, observe. I’m deliberate and playful as I work. I let go of making a perfect picture. “Let me put this piece here and this piece over here. Oh, that’s not right, let me move this.” Much like a writer does with words.

With each piece I discover my interpretation of what I see. I create. Seeing my world in pictures has become an invaluable piece of my process as a writer. It’s path I take to connect to ideas, find memories and write.

I often wonder why, when children can write words, we move away from the pictures, the art.

As summer began, Amy Ellerman invited us “to seek out the magic happening in your own environment.” Back in July, I took her up on that offer and invited readers to try it through a line drawing (here). And today, as the beginning of a new school year is upon us, I invite you, to try see the magic in your world in a color, in collage. I invite you to try to weave your experience into your work with children and see the magic through their eyes.

at first I saw the lone black eyed susan that stood, uneaten by the pesky munching rabbits…

then it was the hydrangea, book ended by the full blossoming blackeyed susans, that caught my eye…

then, the sunflower growing tall and mighty stretching reaching as if it could touch the sun called to me…

what will call me next?

6 thoughts on “Art, Discovery, Writing and Choice”

  1. We were invited without the written invitation. Seeing your pictures inspired and invited. Last week, our whole family ripped and played with placement. We did the sewing you write about here. Thank you. This series is beautiful and I love how it tells a story. I can’t wait to see what happens next.


  2. Yeah, I’m the one who asked for the lesson plan. My ability to just teach art is not great. I need something. I appreciate art and love studying it, but when it comes to teaching it, let’s just say that isn’t my forte.

    Keep creating and sharing. I’m inspired every time I see what you’re up to!


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