Merriam Frank

Cut & Paste Artist


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A designated “studio space” & a collage in progress…

I don’t have a finished piece to share today because I spent most of my spare time this past week working on a collage space rather than a collage itself! It felt a little bit like procrastination, circling around the new ideas & tools I needed to start on instead of actually – you know – starting on them – but at the same time it needed to be done! Although my sweet husband hadn’t complained one bit, I was starting to feel apologetic about the stacks of magazines & clippings on our dining room table, coffee table, bookshelf, and end tables downstairs…  Especially considering the fact that there was an entire spare bedroom upstairs with a spare dining room size table in it for my use if I would only sort through all of the junk that had accumulated on it and then move my stacks upstairs!

So I did, & I LOVE it. I now have my stacks of magazines and mat boards all in one place, my clippings somewhat organized, and a nice, roomy surface area to work on – with the best part being, I can leave it all spread out and just close the door to the room to keep it safe from my cats! (Paper scraps are some of their favorite things, too!)

my little "studio" corner...

my little “studio” corner by lamplight…

The framed photo you can see on the stack of mat boards if of me as a little girl wearing one of my grandpa's undershirts as a smock & painting outside on their patio. :)

The framed photo you can see on the stack of mat boards is of me as a little girl wearing one of my grandpa’s undershirts as a smock & painting outside on their patio. :)

It’s so “my happy place” I actually have a picture of it as my phone background right now.

So after all that sorting & shifting around, I didn’t manage to create a finished piece, but I thought I’d share my (in-progress!) (rough!) first attempt at working with 2 new approaches: leaving blank space, and using markers to interact with the clippings and between the clippings/blank spaces…

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As you can see – rough! Not much of this is even glued down and I haven’t gone back over any of my marks for precision. (This is only a cell phone pic, too.) But I was excited to already begin seeing the possibilities! Though gosh, blank space opens up a whole new world of indecision for me. Typically for me a piece is finished when the entire surface is covered & I like the arrangement. Blank space means I have to decide when a piece is finished! SO much harder!

I’m curious, where do you do most of your art work? Do you have a designated area or do you shuffle supplies around from place to place like I was doing?

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Life lately…

Life since last Tuesday has been a little busier than normal (on top of regular happenings, we crammed in a birthday dinner, a guest, a baby shower, & a bonfire party!) so I haven’t had time to finish any new collages. Instead, here’s an Instagram collection of some of what went on…

cheers!

cheers!

bubbly

bubbly

We sold my old car! This was a huge blessing for us. She (yes, she. Her name was Lola. I’m very much a personifier.) was a beloved & dependable “first car” for me, so I’m really thrilled to know that she’s moving on to her next life as someone else’s “first car” – a sweet college freshman who was SO excited about the nice radio my husband installed for me. I really think that might have been what did it for him. Although most of the sale price was already allocated for various responsible things (blah adulthood!), a little tiny bit of it bought a bottle of my favorite champagne for celebrating.

Then there was a birthday dinner for my mother-in-law, and then my dad came to visit! He’s off work right now due to some recovery time needed after a surgery and I was able to get a day and a half off work to spend with him. Since he’s an artist (among many, many other things), we had a great time going over collages and collage techniques and collage ideas. The excited conversation necessitated a trip to Hobby Lobby for some new tools… (and a new decorative pumpkin. You can not go in Hobby Lobby for just 1 or 2 things, am I right?)

new art tools

new art tools

Since I knew that my friend was receiving just oodles of really awesome stuff at her baby showers, I felt free to be a little inventive with my gift. I’m no pro at hand lettering, but the offer was sincere! She (and many other moms there) were VERY excited at this idea…

baby shower gift

baby shower gift

It reads: One month of grocery shopping service! That’s 4 BIG Saturday stock-up trips… anything that can be bought at WalMart, Super 1, or Brookshire’s! *AND* up to 3 Emergency evening (6pm – 9pm) quick trips! [Examples: “oh no! John’s at work and I’m out of diapers! – or – “there’s nothing for dinner, wish < insert restaurant > delivered…” -or – “Mama needs a bottle of wine STAT”] HOW IT WORKS: -> make a list  -> call, text, or email it to me  -> sit back & wait for groceries to arrive at your door  -> write a check for receipt amount

I finally got around to trying a new recipe that I’ve had printed out for awhile… Thai stir-fried sweet potato & beef with lime & mint! It was very good, although there are a few things I’ll do differently next time. (I always like to follow a new recipe pretty closely the first time just to see how it is.) I loved how sturdy & autumnal a dish it was with its orange & brown colors.

Thai stir-fried sweet potato & beef

Thai stir-fried sweet potato & beef

And, of course, a cat picture…  Endora first came home with me as a tiny, scrawny, funny-looking all black kitten on the day before Halloween 4 years ago. She’s now a gorgeous, fully-grown feline with a totally sumptuous black coat. I love the heart shape her haunches and hair make when she squats like this:

heart butt

heart butt

Check back again soon for the finished “ROAR” collage! It’s ready for glue, hoping to finish it tonight or tomorrow.

Linked up to Life Lately at http://www.wild-and-precious.com/  : )