Sunday, December 28, 2014

Serenity and Poetry

I've been struggling to get back to writing. Since our retreat in November I have done little else but journal. Now it's time to ditch the holiday madness and settle down. I have several online classes coming up in 2015 and I need to get ready. Not to mention all of my own writing projects.

I spent the morning at Barnes and Noble soaking up poetry and mindfulness books to center my erratic brain. I need to get back to poetry.

I found an interesting book by Tyler Knott Gregson called "chasers of the light." It's a collection of poems he wrote on an ancient typewriter, off the top of his head--or the top of his heart and soul, which are the places I like to believe that poems come from. Very lovely and romantic poems along with his art and photography.

So I came home, made a cup of chamomile, honey and vanilla tea, lit a candle and got out my journal. Now it's time to write some poems. It's been so long my head is not in a poetic frame of mind, but I'll get there, I know it. It's where I need to be as this year comes to a close and the dark days slowly--oh so slowly-- get longer and longer. Perhaps in the increasing moments of daylight my mind will awaken to my poetic soul.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Finding My Creative Niche

Well, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were, I must admit, a slight bit depressing as it was only the two of us. I remember all the years of holidays spent with family and the warmth and joy those times brought to my life. The preparations, decorating, cleaning, cooking, baking, shopping, wrapping and making out holiday cards seemed like so much work, yet I loved every minute of it knowing they precipitated the love and laughs that would surround us during our celebrations.

Now everyone seems to be literally in a different state and getting together has become difficult. We did make the most of our holiday though clearly something was missing.

Now those days are over and my mood has brightened a bit. Ever looking for creative projects, as if I didn't already have more than I could complete in a lifetime, I hit upon something the other day.

I've been searching for a way to incorporate my poems into art.


I've tried collage, mixed media, watercolor and though I have made some acceptable pieces I still was not satisfied that I'd found the right "voice" for these projects. Then I had the idea to turn the poems into scrapbook pages.


For a while now I've thought about going back to scrapbooking instead of using paint and so I tried it out. Instead of a photograph on the layout I printed out one of my poems and made that the focal point. I've done just these three so far and will do more and see how this goes. This might also be an idea for the art to go into my prose poem/art book since it seems my scrapbook pages come out much better than my mixed media art.


I will, for the moment, save my mixed media painting for my art journals and wait until I get better at the process before trying to make poem-art that is worthy of sending out into the world. I'm in the midst of an art journal page now that I will share here as soon as it's done.

In the meantime, I am coming out of the depression of a lonely holiday and immersing myself in art and writing. I look forward to a new year with much art in my life and more happy times with family and friends.

Happy holiday and Happy and Healthy New Year to you all.


Friday, December 19, 2014

Creative Inspiration



There's nothing like a day off to get the creative juices flowing. I was so drained from work I just could not get out of bed at 4:30 am one more time. When I finally did rouse myself from a half sleep I read for a while and then turned to an art magazine for some inspiration. Within the pages of an older issue of Somerset Studio I found lush paintings and quirky collages that prompted some visual work of my own.

The art journal page about was done a few weeks ago and I wanted to share it because I like the color flow and the movement in the piece. I also like the idea it speaks of which is that you must spread your wings and try new creative projects that stir your soul. Without that you never grow.

And I do indeed have a new project. Rose Metal Press has sponsored a contest, due in May, for a book length work of text and art. I am going with a series of prose poems that trace the life of a fictional character named Serafina from her birth to her death at the age of one hundred.

For the art work I am making collages on 5x7 inch canvas boards. In an effort to recycle and not spend more money I gessoed over several old canvas boards that I had painted but never used. I am never intimidated by a blank white canvas, or a blank notebook page either, as I see it as a world of possibilities just waiting for the right poem, or blend of papers and paint colors.

As I progress in my project I'll share a few poems and collages with you and if the book wins the contest and gets published then you will be able to view the entire piece.

Wish me luck. The deadline is only 5 months away and I have 50 poems and 10 collages to create within the limited creative minutes I have each day. I'm looking forward to long gray winter weekends in which to hibernate in my art room and get some work done!
copyright by Renee Howard Cassese