Bursting! (And a Bit of History.)

(The next mixed media project--waiting.)

Hello friends. I've missed you! The past two months have been full of transition and steep learning curves with my new art office schedule and my new art office job. I miss your blogs. I miss following your inspirations, projects, and daily ups and downs. But I'd be lying if I didn't also tell you that my own studio is bursting with inspirations and forays into new creative experiments. While I haven't been posting as much as I used to, I now find that I have to really prioritize my creative time and my blog posts because otherwise it all reads like the inside of my brain which is more like collage and disjunctive poetry than anything narrative and easy to understand. Yikes!

(The most recent, waiting for glue & final touches. Sept, 2008.)

Anyway, I recently picked up the acrylic paints, gel medium, and sandpaper once again for a little mixed media adventure. Aside from the poetry and creative writing (which have been the mainstay in my creative life since I was a teen) the bulk of my creative projects have been on paper and fabric ranging from letterpress prints and handmade books to sewn bags, knit hats, and even little boutique dresses. Don't let me fool you, there was always a camera tucked into a closet somewhere, a stack of magazines waiting for scissors and glue, and at some point there was even a brief love affair with charcoal sticks, newsprint, and live models.

(August, 2008.)

But since I finished grad school a year ago, I've been trying to morph my creative parts into one big stormy project that includes text, found images, photographs, fun messy paint techniques, and the occasional piece of beloved junk. These photos are the result of some old and some new work with mixed media on wood or canvas. I'm gearing up to make my 5 tiny canvases for the Art House project, so I decided it was time to step back into the studio where I use my hands to make things. Amazing how the process shifts from heady to visceral as my creative hours shift from the computer to the paints and glue. This is not to say one is preferred over the other--and I absolutely will keep doing both-- just that they are different animals nestled in different parts of the woods trying to work towards a balanced ecosystem of creativity in my heart and brain! Oh my.

(Spring, 2008.)

Anyway, I read this post from Andrea at SuperHero and I had that "I totally know what you're saying" feeling so I had to share these parts with you. I had to break out of my own mold for just one post and talk about the things that have nothing to do with my literary life, my love with experimental photography, or even my unquenchable urge to treasure hunt for beloved junk. Instead, I decided it was time to explore the creative parts I judge the harshest. The parts that seem to be working their way to the surface of my creative life lately as the poems did over a decade ago, as the photos did about a year ago, as the handmade books did a few years before that--now it's time for the paints and papers and glue to also get some air time, so it seems.

(Winter, 2007.)

In the meantime, the new creative part is the part I criticize the most, the part I hide the best, the part that chants over and over, "I have no idea what I'm doing". And yet, I've been down this road before. I've weathered this criticism from myself and from others as I experiment with new creative techniques and try new processes, disciplines, or combinations thereof. And I suppose that's what happens as we commit to the creative parts of our selves regardless of all else--we learn how to let the critic tire herself out.

(Fall, 2007.)

And you know, of course I'll make mistakes. I'll probably look back in a few years and be embarrassed of what I've made. I'll probably compare myself to everyone else who I think can do it better and think I should stop trying all together. Think I should streamline. I should focus. I should pick one thing and stick to it. But not today. Today I'm going to keep embracing the poems and the photos, and also take some risks to try something new. I'm going to watch my little critic run around inside my thoughts until she gets too tired and has to sit down or take a nap. It all seems quite fine, actually, natural even. Normal. I have a dear friend who always seems to talk me down from the edge and restore my confidence in one simple phrase, "Katrina, I think this is all quite normal".

(Fall, 2007.)

And so, I'm off to be "normal", to be inquisitive, to be playful, and to make a million mistakes. My next post will likely be about poems or photos as I intend to keep nurturing these parts too. I just wanted to share with you some of the mixed media parts that don't get much air time on my blog. I thought it was time to share a little something non-digital as I keep my poems and photos close by and also tiptoe in a new mixed media direction. I hope you are plugging away in your own creative adventures, whether you're forging into new territory that has yet to build a new confidence or whether you're working in familiar terrain that still calls for a new journey. Happy Monday to you. And at some point today, I hope you'll make some art!


  1. Anonymous9/22/2008

    You always pack SO MUCH info into your posts. Love that about you!
    I don't think I've ever seen your mixed media art so this was a real treat!
    They are fantastic but of course, I wouldn't of expected anything less from you.

  2. Don't forget to breathe girl!
    Nice to see some of your art

  3. Such great to-dos. I love the making a million mistakes. I find the best stuff and the best times comes from letting go of control, and what better way to do that, than to embrace making mistakes:) Wonderful.
    And great collages, too :)

  4. Anonymous9/24/2008

    i read the little boxes post at superhero last week, and loved it too! I love being normalized, that i can be expansive and restrictive of myself at the same time. that that is normal, common, part of it all...

    how nice to see some of your other work, showing yet again, that we can be good at so many things. And why shouldn't we be? Limiting that WOULD be crazy, wouldn't it?

    I remember about 7 years ago I was doing lots of collage that I thought was so great. Then I made a patchwork stole for a friend and suddenly declared, "THIS is what I am going to do with my life!"I boxed myself in for a long time around that, and only recently have found the force to be faithful in all creative acts intermingling harmoniously.

  5. Oh! What wonderful illustrations!!

  6. andie: i do pack so much in. maybe too much, huh? thanks for your kind words about the mixed media work-- i'm still quite shy about it.

    esti: yes, yes a breathe!

    christine: yes, i agree that something new is allowed to come to the surface when we let go, take risks, and embrace the mistakes. thanks for your words.

    ambra: oh, dear woman. quite wise words from you. thank you for sharing here. yes, we can be expansive and experiment and also embrace the old and new. i miss you in california!

    poter hovey: thanks so much for visiting! i LOVE your polaroid project.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.