Monday, June 18, 2007

To Miz SmoochieLips, With Love....Bad Art..and My Muse....

This is for MizSmoochie Lips. It's to make up for being such a lame swap partner. She sent me a wonderful box full of wonderful things and I only sent my 1 art piece. I am soooo not cut out for swaps. I hope you like it Tia. I don't know why I felt the need to turn Glinda the Good Witch into a cupcake, but there it is. Did you know she was 53 when she played that role? Amazing!
Last week Tia called for people to post their art mistakes and I LOVE that idea. I've got tons, so I'm gonna post them every once in a while. Sometimes our mistakes help us grow to be better at what we are striving to accomplish. This is the first collage I ever made. I looked at Altered Art for over a year and collected things before I ever even put gesso to paper. I was so terrified of not making something good. Something I loved. I went about it all wrong. It has no soul. I basically went down a mental checklist of things I loved about collage and made sure each element was in the piece.
  • vintage photo? Check!
  • vintage eggs? Check!
  • Crown? Check!
  • little random triangles as border? Check!
  • old text/ music paper? Check!
  • wings? Check?
  • bird? Check!
  • mysterious phrase snippet? Check!

How could I go wrong? My husband took one look and said, "That looks like Monty Python". Ouch. I didn't make another piece of art for over 6 months.

I started small and this piece spoke to me. The haunted eyes of the children and father. The absence of the mother. Her image is the same one I used in my first collage. I like her better here.
This lovely lady is my Muse. She has no name, but I know she was meant to be mine. There is an old farm house across the highway from our neighborhood. The sweetest couple lived there and they always had huge, beautiful vegetable gardens. The man would let my son (then only 3 and brother less) ride his tractor and pull onions. He finally became to old to keep up with a 100 year old home and the land and it all was sold. He was so sad to leave his home and it broke my heart.

The house sat for sale for over two years. Then I noticed a sold sign in the yard. The new owners began renovations on the old house and used bulldozers to scrape up and turn over all the gardens. One day there was lush beautiful vegetable plants (they were growing wild now) and the next there was sod laid out in neat rows. Then they bulldozed one of the two barns. I so upset and one Sunday afternoon, when there were no workers, I went over there to look at the other barn before it was gone too. My heart was beating out of my chest and I just knew any minute a police car was going to drive up and I'd be arrested for trespassing. There was nothing left inside and the workers were using it to store the new wood siding for the house. Still I poked around and took a few rusty nails and found a glass jar with a rusty lid. I was poking around in the chicken coup and when I looked down there was a black piece of cardboard in the straw. It looked like the cover of a book laying there. I picked it up and turned it over and it was her. Left alone for all that time, laying in the chicken coup. There I stood in a hot, dusty barn with chills all over my body. It may sound strange, but I know I was meant to go there and find her before they tore the barn down. So she is my Muse. I don't think she needs a name. But her influence was enough to call me across the highway to her and now she has a home.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story about your muse! I get so sad when beautiful old buildings and homes get torn down! So many lost stories!

Anonymous said...

I love Glenda the cupcake queen! That is soooo sweet of you, but so not needed, you know.

I don't so much see the disaster at all. Maybe we all see things differently, but it's so cool that you kept that first piece. "they say" you should always keep your firsts... maybe that is why!

What an interesting muse... I would call her Gertrude or Mabel. Heh heh!

Rella said...

I found your blog through Sharon or shall I say Norah's art. What a great place to visit and I will be back often. This is a great post. Your husbands remark made me laugh out lound and then feel bad that it made you stop for so long. The wonderful photo of your muse and how you found her gave me the good goosebumps. What a lovely photo. Don't you just wonder about her? Have you been able to do any history search on who she might be? Just lovely.
And your Glenda Cupcake...awesome!! I'm so glad you never gave up. ~ Best Rella.

fran welch said...

awesome post! what a treasure...your muse..and the story behind it- trespassing can be a good thing!
also i love your art mistake.

LisaOceandreamer said...

I just have to say the story of how you found your muse touched me greatly. Imagine that sweet face, the face of who? the mans daughter? A relative? wife? whoever she was how sad her portrait ended up in a chicken coop. I just know she is so glad to be in your home and will guide you in your art...Which by the way, is fabulous!


Cheryl said...

Muse is a lovely name for your muse. Love Glenda! Did I mention that I love Glenda? Oh, and by the way, I LOVE GLENDA!!!!

Erin Earls said...

Don't you just love Glenda, she is great! I love the vintage images, make me day dream about them and their life, what it was like to be alive then. I like the first one you did. I still have not jumped in to this yet, and i so want to! Just don't want to mess it up also!

Lori said...

is your husband some distant cousin to my husband??? hhhmmmm...well, i hope you are happy now that i am TOTALLY jealous of mizsmoochielips!!! i love that cupcake and i am coveting one...
insects? check
vintage key? check
just kidding LOL, i think it's cute!!!
love your muse and what a great story
i really need to stop rushing through my posts, i always worry about the ten~thousand other things i should be doing...

lauren said...

THAT is a great story! How fun. True serendipity!
It is true for me that I find the place that a photo belongs and that is where it was "meant to be". That is why I use my originals... but I work it many times sometimes before the glue goes down. I think the image of the woman fits perfectly into the second collage you made with her. That is where she was meant to live.
It's quite beautiful.

Corey Moortgat said...

wonderful story about your muse, Jamie! If that isn't "meant to be", then I don't know what is!

Nancy Maxwell James said...

your artwork is just beautiful! I know Tia is one lucky girl to be getting that piece (drool) - thank you for your sweet comments on my blog!

HopHopJingleBoo said...

ohhhh..i love your Glida cup very precious of you...and the crown girl is really neat too like all the sepia browns and text..

A bird in the hand said...

I just want to say that I've always loved the Monty Python "collages" by Terry Gillam. So as far as I'm concerned your husband paid you a compliment!!


Jamie said...

I love Monty too and Terry Gillam's work:) I just wasn't trying for that look. I was trying to be serious and moving. LOL! After the tears stopped he informed me that he thought I would be flattered. Got to love the men folk:)
Love, Jamie

A bird in the hand said...

Offended? Moi???

Love, Colette

FrostingsNSparkles said...

OMG Jamie, your Glinda is AMAZING! I am a Wizard of Oz freak, love love love her!! Lucky ol' Smooch!

KArin (creativechaos) said...

Jamie...I love this post! First let me say Glenda the Good Cupcake Witch is Beautiful!!! Tia will love it. 53!!! That's amazing considering if they ever did a remake the girl who plays that part won't be a day over 20.

I would have reacted the same way as you did if my husband said something like that. The fact that you didn't do art for the next 6 months sounds just like me! lol...... But we do learn from our mistakes even though we NEVER ever want to make them......

Great post!!

Tricia Scott said...

jamie! i love glenda the cupcake. what a beautiful art piece. and the small collage is just great-i keep going back to look at it again and again. the composition is perfect. :)

Elaine Kerr said...

You are so right about collage elements/composition and art needing a soul. Or at the very least elements that relate to each other and tell a story....maybe that's how it starts to have a soul.

Tautchia said...

Great story about finding your Muse. I can sympathize with your feeling heartbroken over the demise of the property. So fun that you found her when you did.

By the way, I think your "M. Python" piece is wonderful. Glad you kept it, after all.

Just found your blog & I will be stopping by often.


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