C is for Creativity

Today is the second day of the second month of 2021. How quickly the New Year is moving. We will soon to approach the first anniversary of searing the words coronavirus and COVID-19 in our collective consciousness. How the situation they brought has changed our lives and will continue to change our lives in the near and far future.

What better time for creativity. C is for creativity. C is for cooking, one of the most evident ways in which I express a modicum of creativity. C is for crafts, a multi-faceted endeavor I’ve busied myself with for many years. C is collage, a craft which has intrigued me for a long time. I’m fascinated how artists can effectively construct different visual images by piecing together varied and sundry random or not so random pieces of paper.

Collage by Njideka Akunyili Crosby

In the past few months, I was drawn to collage. Actually, in mid-year I had a brief go at it (see June 8, 2020) post. A zoom workshop* offered by a multi-talented artist friend stimulated me. My images tended to lean toward realism and my technique was drawn more from mosaic work, a craft I really love but lack the specialized equipment and cat-free space to practice.

*A new series of workshops is being offered. See https://www.warehouse4726.com/events/2021/1/17/collage-amp-connect.

A friend recently landed a job in a field which she had painstakingly prepared herself for. She had admired the few collages I’d pieced together and shown in this venue. What better gift to get her than a collage. She did share that she much preferred abstract images to realism or attempts at realism.

Out came the tools of my trade – stacks of large scale, glossy magazines, Elmer’s glue, and scissors. I thought I’d get into the swing of things with something somewhat realistic, a view of the sea from her new place of employ (where I had worked for almost four years and where I hear, from time-to-time, my mark is still felt). With a small card to spark my memory and my creative juices, I started literally piecing together Sunrise over the Atlantic. I like it, but my foreshortening is off.

Next, to tackle the abstract. Somewhere I’d seen an image filled with geometrics floating in space. So, geometrics it was.

One turned into two, which turned into three.

Do they go together? Which way is up?

What do they mean? The answer to that final question is nothing. Next on my crafting list is to pull out the collection of Mom’s buttons and see if I have enough buttons in similar colors to sew onto a canvas and try to create a textured, low relief geometric button collage!

Recently, my friend threatened that we’ll see each other in the summer. You know this COVID thing and we are both cautious. I might get out the buttons in the meantime and finish the geometric suite.

In the meantime, it’s Tuesday and I still have a long to-do list of things to catch up with after two and one half months of working at the “theater.” Here’s a clip from NPR that really illustrates the genius of Seven Deadly Sins – https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/in-miami-making-live-theater-work-during-the-pandemic. If you look close in the shots of the theater-front, you’ll catch me at my post, red down vest and all!

And, C is for clerodendrun, the magnificent flowering plant that shows its true colors in this season. The “mother” plant was given to me about fifteen years ago by the mother of one of my students – after a semester-long venture teaching Jewish Studies at a local university. I admit it, I was learning alongside the students! This amazing plant spreads through the roots, so many offspring are found in my front and back yards and in several neighboring yards. The pink puffballs on a bed of rich green and purple leaves is a sight to see or C.


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