By Shelley Klammer
Collage seems to cross all barriers and is immediately accessible to young and old alike. There is an overflowing abundance of images that can be recycled into opulent, personal works of art. All it involves is sitting down with a pile of old magazines and choosing images, textures and colors without thinking or judging. Anything that excites or intrigues you is then glued down in fresh and spontaneous ways.
When I sit down in my studio and start to flip through old magazines, I keep my mind relaxed and my eyes soft. My breath is deep and gentle as I look for anything that catches my eye. I don’t ask myself why I am drawn to images of the old wooden doors, a red bird, the carved bust of a king, a hot pink lotus flower. All I know is that I am delighted with what I find.
My fingers get sticky with glue and as I lay down the backgrounds and the collage begins to come together like the mysterious pieces of a puzzle. A black bird drops a seed into a pink flower. Eyes become clocks. A cathedral ceiling evokes the expanded state that I am in.
My collage unfolds with a force greater and more generous than I could ever plan for. The patterns and colors are instantly opulent and richly detailed. I find a warm red Celtic scroll, a verdigris fossil. I look for small finishing details, a wing from a bird, a ladybug, a church steeple. Finally it feels finished and I feel complete, more whole than when I began. I look up at the clock. Where has the last hour gone?
I put the collage up on the window ledge and I look at it throughout the day. Insights and ideas come to me as I do other things. I communicate with my collages and with the deeper, more mysterious parts of myself. The carved door feels like a possibility. The king’s imperial head feels like strength. I suddenly have an answer to something I have been wondering about. I could act with new strength as easily as I could open up a door and walk through it. Yellow orchids seem to bloom and applaud my insight. My life suddenly feels more vivid and rich with possibilities.
The next time you pick up a magazine try looking at it with soft, relaxed eyes. What jumps out at you? Is it a word, a color, a shape? Cut it out, glue it down and then add more images. What does it tell you about yourself? What we notice provides clues to who we really are.
We are all born creative and our souls ache to be truthful and original. There is a deeper, more true self within all of us that is always waiting to be discovered. Anyone can touch into their deeper feelings, insights and desires through spontaneous collage. •
© Shelley Klammer, 2006.
About the Author | More by Shelley Klammer
Shelley Klammer is a Registered Professional Counselor and an Expressive Art Facilitator. She offers an array of online expressive art courses that explore the melding of art, psychology and spirituality. You can learn more about her work and take a variety of courses at www.expressiveartworkshops.com.
© Shelley Klammer, 2006.