As I picked up that wonderful leaf which the addition of small blue flowers, and the work of the wind, rain, and sun, had melded into a thing of beauty, (see "Nature's Art" blog), a few things came to mind.
Firstly, all art is sourced from what is already in the world, and even the most gifted of artists do not start from nothing. We need materials, and we need ideas. As somebody once said, "Only God can create from nothing".
Sure, Picasso and Braque may have pioneered collage art in the early 1900s, (see above - Picasso's "Three Musicians"), but here was nature dropping the same sort of assemblage of things at my feet, and how lovely it was.
Secondly I thought how easy it would have been to have missed this little gem, and for it to have decomposed quietly in the garden all unseen, or to have joined the pile of weeds that I was tossing on the barrow for disposal.
Along with this came the thought of how much beauty we miss seeing everyday, either because we don't look. or because we don't see. And there IS a difference in looking and seeing as you will know if you have ever had somebody frantically pointing at something and yelling "THERE it is!" in your ear while you've been staring at something that you just cannot home in on, and despite their efforts, cannot see. That feeling that you're missing out is frustrating isn't it? but that, I fear is what happens a lot of the time regarding the lovely things that are all around us. We simply miss seeing them.
So, what has all this got to do with having a go at a simple collage, I hear you ask.
Well the best way I know to really see, as I've suggested is to really look, and there's no better way to look and to see than in making art, but so often people say to me , "Oh, I can't draw a straight line! I wish I could, but I can't".
That seems so sad, because most children are free of this self consciousness, happily scribble away, and what they do is lovely. So I thought this was art so simple and child-like, yet with an outcome you might enjoy. If you do try the collage and then go back and look at the photos of the leaf you will (hopefully) begin to see it with new eyes, and appreciate the subtlety and purity of that very small piece of creation.
And the leaf? It will join my collection of objets trouve in the studio so that I can watch the process of change it will undergo and marvel some more. It's amazing how much beauty there is around once we "get our eye in".
I hope you'll join me again to look, and see, some more.