Thursday, February 11, 2010

OK, So I'm a Magpie

As I was straightening up my studio, I was noticing how many "little" collections have cropped up over the years. I just can't seem to help myself when it comes to picking up or hanging on to stuff. Before I realize it, another collection is born.

I know that I have another container of keys stored away somewhere as well as another box of glasses. There's jars of wishbones, watch parts, and insects and 3 envelopes of moth wings.

As a nod to my love of the Wizard of Oz, I've inadvertently started a collection of hour glasses and if the Tin Man should stop by, well my collection of oil cans would serve him well.

Six antique irons stand ready on a windowsill. They're actually quite useful so I think of them as tools rather than a collection. They're used as weights when gluing collagraphs, collages and books and to hold printing paper in place, on the press bed, when printing multiple plates. I also discovered that two of them spaced just so are perfect when it comes to holding my large roller when I'm in the process of printing.

I've been a Magpie all my life; I can't help it. My collecting tendencies were magnified when I was teaching because I was always looking for interesting things for my students to draw. It was not uncommon for me to drag home some pretty strange things for my classroom and I actually developed quite a reputation for setting up fantastic still life arrangements. (Someone once called me a frustrated window designer.) You can imagine my still-life closet after 35 years of teaching! The kids were often blown away by what awaited them and the best part was that they were inspired and couldn't wait to do some solid observational drawing.

The bottom line is that I need "treasures" around me
. I love their forms, colors and textures and find inspiration in objects; not to mention that it makes for an interesting environment. I just need to be mindful of keeping this habit in check.