"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
It wasn’t until a year later the realization dawned on me that this mixed media collage was actually my first foray into the realm of healing arts. I created this piece while attending a workshop by artist Delisa Sage (of Collage Gallery in San Francisco) at her home in Marin County. I had saved a magazine clipping about her workshops and tucked it in my “someday” file where there were many intriguing opportunities languishing while I was immersed in my career and motherhood. As I was adjusting to life after my job layoff and contemplating my next steps, my husband encouraged me to do something that would refresh my spirit like treat myself to a massage or yoga retreat. I remember browsing through my “someday” file, coming across the magazine clipping about Delisa’s workshops and thinking “this is exactly what my spirit needs!” Fortunately, my artist friend Ruby and I caught the last workshop scheduled that spring, and it was indeed just what my spirit needed.
Delisa demonstrated a variety of techniques before encouraging us to push our own boundaries while working on our canvases. I chose to work on my canvas backward, included pops of color not typical of my style (now they are!) and experimented with bubble wrap. I had brought along materials from my personal collection of “flotsam and jetsam” – shells, driftwood, sea glass, buttons and handmade paper, and I added materials I found as I rummaged through supplies Delisa offered for our use – a scrap of colorful yarn, a skeleton leaf I tore in half, magazine and calendar images and more handmade paper. It was a stormy afternoon, and the creative energy collectively generated in the room was so strong that a power outage didn’t deter anyone as we continued to create by dim daylight and candlelight!
Adept self-critic and recovering perfectionist that I am, I must admit I felt like there were others at the workshop whose work was far more inventive than mine, but what I can appreciate about my own collage is how my creative spirit was renewed when I completed it and how it continues to evoke calming, healing, hopeful feelings whenever my eyes alight on it here at home.
What wish is waiting to come true in your "someday" file?