Shortly after completing the first round of Pandemic Postcards with my daughter I felt the impulse to play with collage media thanks to a (sadly unfamiliar at the time) burst of inspiration. I began to explore the combination of simplified watercolor compositions consisting of meditatively created gestural circles and found imagery via old issues of “Birds and Blooms Magazine” and other assorted magazines purchased at the local library’s book sales.
These compositions seemed to flow forth in a frenzy of necessity. I needed to create them. I thought about them incessantly for a period of 1-2 weeks. I sat down each opportunity I had to pull out carefully cut magazine clippings or swirl color around without worrying about the end results.
The unique experience of playing without goal was refreshing and helped me through a period of time in which I was essentially riding an emotional high in the midst of a greater period of mental struggle. I called the resulting pieces Vortex Bird Studies.
I did not wish to commit but a few to the confines of permanency, but rather documented the colors and compositions for later reference. It has always been my intention to go back into these carefully considered pieces with additional contextually imagery and even writing.
Unfortunately, I did little more at the time besides share them on social media as I fell victim to yet another slump that sucked every last bit of joy from the process and left me feeling bereft and empty – incapable of continuing for fear of this negativity ruining what I cognitively knew I had previously discovered in the work.
Looking back, I’m glad that I pressed pause on these in progress compositions in order to return to them at a later date. I recognize that I was aware of what I was dealing with psychologically on some level and understood that the state I was in wasn’t permanent.
With a little hope the toughest of times can still be within view of a positive future and it’s manageable to make decisions that reflect the hope we hold inside that sometime soon, things will perhaps be different.