On cutting papers and creating stories

neutral images collaged onto a sketchbook page

Another week has gone by and I found myself doing different things. I did some stitching, for sure, but not a lot. Cleaned a few drawers, with the intention of having a studio sale at the end of the month, but not a lot. In keeping with the cleaning and culling idea, I brought up magazines from storage to get rid of; but first, I had to go through them and cut out everything of interest, which was quite a lot, because the truth is, when you work in collage, every single bit of colourful – and not so colourful – paper matters. I got rid of quite a bit, but also ended up with all these lovely pieces cut out and in a pile. A big pile. Papers everywhere! Magazine piles on the floor, on the couch beside me, on the stool. My small table by the couch with an ever-growing pile of colourful papers and wonderful images.

pile of magazines

What happens then, you may wonder? What to do with all of these? I look at them, admire them, sigh over them. Do a little dance of excitement and decide to arrange them by colour. Sort them out. To create collages – one of my favourite things to do when I want to create simply, where the mind doesn’t have to engage. You can quietly sit at the table with a glue stick and a sketchbook and let your mind wander while you arrange images on a page. Move some, rearrange. Change your mind. Take out a piece and add a new one. Cut around a shape. Humming. Dreaming. Smiling.

It is warm inside the house. Outside, life goes on. I can hear a lawn mower. My neighbours’ children chatting in the yard. A dog barks. But inside, silence surrounds me. I’m in my cocoon.

A vignette is born, with a story behind it. One known just to myself. Creating stories of who sat on the armchair. Drank from the tea cup. Used the paintbrush. Wore the hat. Pruned the trees. Ate the fruit and arranged the flowers. Moments spent with my thoughts attuned to what I’m creating and glueing to the page. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense to anyone else but me. It doesn’t matter if nobody else sees the purpose. Or understands the meaning. Or the connection.

What matters, to me, is that I am still creating, simply with paper and glue. A few minutes here and there, attuned to my thoughts. My breathing. My environment. Happy in the knowledge that today, I was present in the moment. I created a story. I made. And dreamt of more to come.

Until I write again, I invite you to sit with me for a few moments, and create a story. With paper and glue. In your own mind. Listen to your thoughts. Your breathing. Clear your mind. Enjoy the moment.

I will be back next week with another instalment from my studio. For now, enjoy the summer days.


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