A Big Mess

My art room is a huge mess. It looks like my three boys have been in there, but they haven’t. I own the entire disarray. I really didn’t have it in me to even attempt to talk myself into cleaning it all up.  It was cold outside and even worse it was gray and overcast.  I just wanted to sit by the fire and not only soak in the heat but the glow. So, I got a big box and filled it with a bunch of stuff to play around with collage and took it upstairs. I got a roaring fire going, then spread out on the floor in front of it, making yet another big mess. It was great sitting there in a rainbow of recycled papers: magazine clippings, old notes, kid’s scribble, tissue paper, maps, stamps. I decided to just jump in and go and see what evolved. I smeared paint across three little canvas boards that I had gotten for the boys. I swirled the papers around me, pulling out whatever caught my eye. Cornstalks, some words, a clock and I began to think about my wicked case of spring fever. I am so ready to work the earth. But today, I worked the papers, modpodge, paints and pastels and created my own little garden of sorts. It was so satisfying to bring spring in.

Spring Fever, Mixed media on canvas.

I couldn’t stop and moved onto another board. I found a fun piece of paper that looked like tapestry, then a silhouette of a woman, a butterfly, the definition of honor. I thought of the woman in my life who truly honor who they are. They aren’t afraid to take risks. And even if they are, the risk of not following their passion is greater of the two.  They are sharing their authentic, genuine selves with the world. All of it, the whole mess… and they are beautiful and strong because of it.

Redefined, Mixed media on canvas

And then, as all of my guys came home from their days of school and work, they walked into my giant mess. “Can I do one?” “Can I have this piece of paper?” “Can I help you?” But, homework, basketball practice, reading, baths, dinner and all of that took over.  I think this weekend we will have a marathon Valentine collage making session and see what they come up with, other than another big mess.

After all the running around was done and boys were asleep in bed, I finished up the third and final collage of my day. Ry actually helped me a bit after school pulling out pieces and seeing different images. In it are parts of a thank you note a friend wrote to me. I love the flow of her handwriting. It made me end the day with gratitude to live a place that is so beautiful, so unique and full of wonderful people.
Gratitude for Ft. Collins, Mixed media on canvas by Cat and Ryan Giglio