Archive for the ‘Beginnings’ Category

Emily, My Newest Muse

I bought a wonderful book yesterday, a solid tome of “The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson.” These poems are in chronological order, which I consider a real plus. My plan is to read a poem a day (or maybe two, depending on length and depth). Then I’ll use an idea birthed from Emily’s wordsmithing to create an a-ha! inspiration for a new piece of art, preferably either collage or mixed media. I’ll try to do a piece once a week and post it here and on a Soul Food Cafe site. Also I’ll post my thoughts while brainstorming a new Emily Project on this site. Here is my first attempt.

The first poem was written Valentine week, 1850. The first three lines are the ones that speak to me.

The bee doth court the flower, the flower his suit receives,
And they make merry wedding, whose guests are hundred leaves.
The wind doth woo the branches, the branches they are won,
(And the father fond demandeth the maiden for his son.)
Emily Dickinson

Emily Project #1

The scene: bee on a flower, surrounded by 100 leaves. Use wooden shadowbox, preferably antique in nature (try antique stores, flea markets or auctions), but may be new (try Michael’s or a dollar store). If new, carefully antique with heavy acrylic paint, (coat one brown, coat two blue, blue dried partially then wiped off with rag, also ink and luminescent paint. Background ideas are: try gluing torn strips of a phone book (I still get blue pages in my phone book so I’ll use those) and covering with a light layer of gesso, fabric pillow ticking, watercolor paper wet well with water and spritzed with half light blue acrylic paint and half water. Or spritz watercolor with water until nice and wet, use light blue liquid watercolors to lightly paint much of the watercolor paper, then sprinkle with Kosher Salt and let dry. Could also consider taking dried, treated watercolor sheet and cutting it into 1 inch squares, then make a mosaic background. Before attaching the background to the box, map out placement of the tree placed according to rule of thirds. Perhaps the tree trunk and major branches can be made of found bark from the ground. Rule #1: Never pick anything off a live plant, unless you are picking flowers from your own garden. Plan on using paper leaves from the MM Company to dress the tree with exactly 100 leaves, making them appear wind-blown. Use a silk bee found in the silk flower section of Michael’s if nothing older can be found. Dress the ‘bee bride’ with scraps of white — silk, satin, ribbon, lace, fibers. Fashion a tiny veil if the right materials can be found, and fasten it to the bee’s head with a gold crown. Assemble. Apply background, then tree branches (paint more if needed.) Spread Yes! glue onto bottom and cover with coffee grounds mixed with greenery. Add some small twigs and rocks to the bottom. Place paper flowers cut and made 3D from my printed scrapbook paper stash (decorated on edges with complementary colors of dye ink and sprinkled with gold.) Attach bee to a focal flower. Add the first two lines of the poem to the background or around the inner edge. Find public domain (or other uncopyrighted picture to print) of a bumblebee. Copy five bees, glue one to each manila tag and tint in pastel colors. Attach tags to the bottom of the box on 6 to 10 inch pieces of fiber or ribbon.