Sunday, August 19, 2012

Botanics and the Technosphere

Cone flower and Clouds
Collage, Tombo Markers, Gelli Roll Pens
Koi Watercolors, Copic Markers

It is the height of August beauty at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Actually, many of the Cone flowers are faded from the intense heat of the summer.  But there still is a glorious riot of color.  When I am at the Gardens with the glory of color that is summer here, with lush green and happy bees having an orgy all around, I feel so blissful in in the moment and let go of my worries.  I become one with this beauty.  Think that is why I love the Gardens so much.

In contrast, on Thursdays, I teach my college class called Technology and Society.  Used to be called Technology,  Ethics and Society but at some point corporate dropped "ethics" although that is still what the book is called.  My students share articles from the web related to science,technology and society.  They mostly bring in articles about the changing screen size for the Smart Phone or Apple's lawsuits against Android.

I've made the list repeatedly for them: current events in science and technology that effect us all.  I know this class is meant to encourage critical thinking and awareness of issues facing the modern world but I am surprised that they are not aware of or do not care about the larger issues: genetically altered food and other food source concerns; regulation of polluting  industries; globalization and the third world; person to person communication issues caused by  over-reliance on electronic communication; global warming; radioactive pollution that is mutating wildlife and insects and many other human caused environmental issues that need to be aired.

So now you will often see indicators of my awareness, in my art, that the technosphere man-made technologies from the wheel to the latest development in weaponry) and nature are no longer separate.  We have taken and added to the natural world with ingenuity and ferocity such that even native crops can be found to have altered genes in their make-up.

I feel sad that I would probably become ill if I drank untreated water from a lake or stream. Rain contains pollutants that acidify soil and oceans.  We have changed the weather.

So you might see torn pages from news articles intertwined with leaves, stems and bloosums. I can still create art about the beauty of nature while acknowledging my pain about the ways we've altered our world in ways from which there is no returning.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

ART SPACE Shared Journal

ART SPACE (cover)

Collaged photos of Mars and space,
packing tape transfer of Muybridge
motion study, young girl, text added
in the Picasa 3 program, motion study
picture altered with Gelly Pens

Mind-Map, Techniques, Reflection

Collaged border, mind-map with
Sharpie Pen and Tombo Markers,
scanned/printed strip from original 

I am very excited to be creating a shared journal with two other Art Therapists, Ginger and Sylma, who are with me in the ARTbundance training. We are making this journal to record our journey as well as integrate the ARTbundance information with our previous experiences as Artists,Art Psychotherapists and Creativity Coaches.

My son had brought home a pile of old  
Sky and Telescope magazines from his high school library and I had previously cut out pictures of space and the surface of Mars to use in collage. I also had a Discovery magazine that had a picture of a Muybridge motion study using a young girl, that intrigued me.I made a Xerox copy of it.

I started the shared ART SPACE journal cover using the space and Mars images in a collage.  I next altered the images of the young girl with Gelly Roll Pens adding a swimsuit, flying hair, flowing ribbons and a candle which later turned into a torch.  I scanned the completed image and added the text in the Picasa 3 program (free Microsoft download).

I next burnished a piece of packing tape to the motion study image and then used warm water on the back to saturate the paper.  The wet paper easily rubbed off, leaving the altered Xerox image on the tape.  I hung the tape up to dry.  Once the tape is dry it will be sticky again and you can stick it to any surface you wish.  I was so happy to find out that the Gelly Roll Pen transferred as nicely as the toner from the Xerox!  I applied the strip to the collage.

I next scanned in the image and added the words ART SPACE to the image in the Picasa 3 program.  I printed out the collage with text, cut out the text portion and added it to the collage.  I glued the completed collage to the journal cover.

Sylma and Ginger and I agreed that it is important for us to include a record of our techniques, process and a reflection about each entry.  On the inside cover I made a collaged border and then added the motion study strip from the printed copy.  Above the strip I made a mind-map making associations to the images in the journal cover.

Love mind-maps because they are a non-linear way to use words which means you can stay connected to your intuition/subconscious while you are finding words. I often have my clients mind-map when they make collages, then reflect/journal from their mind-maps.

I found, from this process, that art making connects me to hope, life and strength as well as keeps me moving and determined to bring light to others.  I realized that the candle the girl carries is actually a torch, allowing the light to be carried to a shared place.

 ART SPACE, first page

Printed copy of ART SPACE collage,
printed on red paper.  Gelly Roll Pen details

When I first printed out the original collage I printed it on cardstock that ended up having a red side.  I ended up liking the red image, especially since Mars is the "red planet", added gold details with a Gelly Pen and glued it into the journal as the first page. Love those happy accidents!