Shapes of Things


I had just returned from an exhilarating Sunday morning walk and was excited about starting the first collage for a series I had in mind.  I am lucky to live right on the San Francisco Bay, and never get tired of the ever-changing views:

Recently, I’ve become just as interested in the angles of the windows that frame these spectacular views, and I am planning a collage series called Rectangles on the Bay.  I was inspired, in part, by Georgia O’Keeffe‘s  door images and by Giorgio De Chirico.

Patio Door by Georgia O'Keeffechirico9a

I admit, I’m familiar with O’Keeffe’s doors through “Breaking Bad“.  The lovable meth cook Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) is discussing a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit he has just seen with doomed girlfriend Jane Margolis (Krysten Ritter). Overall, he is not impressed with the exhibit, but is particularly disenchanted with her paintings of doors:


I love Jesse Pinkman.  I do not think he would appreciate my window collages, though. Jane might have liked them. She understood repetitive expression and the healing power of the artistic process: “That door was her home and she loved it. To me, that’s about making that feeling last.” Poor Jane …

Night before last, I did a sketch for my collage.


It looks as if someone is lurking outside, peering into my living room. Maybe I was so engrossed in my drawing, I didn’t notice him looking at me …

Anyway, I grabbed my box of paper, my scissors, my glue sticks and my sketch. I moved aside everything on the dining room table,  put down my full coffee carafe,  and started cutting and pasting away. My first glue stick was a gunky mess. If you use glue sticks a lot during  warm weather, I read that  you should keep a few in the fridge. You should also take the time to clear the table and put uncovered beverages elsewhere.  Of course I spilled the coffee.  But I tried to embrace the mistake, so I picked up the dripping collage, and hung it up to dry. Eager to accelerate the process,  I located the old craft dryer  I used to use to emboss cards. It hadn’t been used in quite awhile, so I thought the weird electrical smell and smoke  just meant it was waking up. Nope. It shorted and caught fire. At least I unplugged it before dousing it with water. Live and learn.


I actually liked the effect of the coffee on the previously white background. I got back to cutting, measuring and layering down squares, rectangles and strips of paper. I was trying to creative perspective – something I am not particularly good at in drawing and painting. This was the first time trying it with paper, and it wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, I was having a good time. I even like the result, although it’s not quite finished. Fortunately, like the windows in my home, I can always return to it.


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