Frustrated (with Addendum)

Working in this new-to-me medium of collage, I’m frustrated by not having the skill set needed to realize what is in my mind (deep deep sigh).

Okay, first off, yesterday’s crayoning was a trial of mixing Filana beeswax blocks onto a map of where I grew up on Long Island. The cotton-candy idealization of the inset (I lived in Mineola and East Williston until I went away to college), the fall foliage of “upstate” (because there was Long Island, the city, and then everything else), and the blue-green sea, from Jones Beach to the Peconic Bay and beyond …

So yeah, that was fun.

Then my mind went dark, thinking of the turmoil in the Middle East. I pondered Acey’s prompt, considering the recursive nature of our incautious interventions, from the Desert Storm of 1991 to the second Iraq War in 2003 to the current-day insanity in Iran. Wondering how to “draw a line” that expressed that and then populate it with images.

Everything I wanted to use was online, including the newspaper clipping of a young girl that I couldn’t find in my paper stash, but that popped up with a single Google search …

I printed out a letter to the editor of the Daily Press that I wrote in 2003, the photo of families fleeing Iraq that prompted the letter, the eerie green flashes of the 1991 Desert Storm, and the flaming remnants of Suleimani’s assassination at the hands of our government.

The frustration came as I tried to put it all together, slicing apart the letter and interweaving it with the images and some “Persian” graphics from my book of decorative ornaments. It wasn’t pretty. So I slogged through and then wussed out by copying and cropping it …

Along the way, images and ideas got left on the cutting room floor …

It simply got to the point where I said, “I’m done with it” …

I think I need the reassurance of stitch … yes.

Addendum (January 11)

I tore out the copied image and glued down the original collage in its place …

And then moved on …

9 thoughts on “Frustrated (with Addendum)

  1. Liz, I love your letter from 2003…you are right, these things just keep happening and we need another way to live together…and I love watching your collage collection grow. I think your frustration today may have as much to do with the subject as with the process. I know I am frustrated. Thanks for articulating it for me.


    1. Thanks Dana … I had a real fire in my belly when I wrote it … and ended up alienating some coworkers along the way (who had military family members) … I learned from that

      And yes, I believe the subject matter could very well have contributed to my angst … trying times these are … again


  2. First of all I think your efforts for the day convey your intended scope quite well. You are seeing just a fragment of what you wanted to accomplish. I’m seeing a successful collage that takes some of the same sorts of patterns/color palette you played with in your woven efforts a few days back and giving that backdrop of continuity tremendous scope of a personal nature that’s also quite trans-personal for a great many of us. that’s a huge conceptual leap to successfully navigate.

    You did succeed in articulating your intended message. And I’m very admiring of how directly you dealt with the subject matter. I find it so beyond intolerable that I had to turn it into an allegory with bumblebee saviors. So I’m quick to notice bravery that confronts The Things for what it is. And it’s your inner visual ambitions that will bring themselves to fruition one stuck-together piece of paper at a time. Try to consider everything to you create within the safe space of this challenge as a prototype for ideas you’d like to further explore. Putting it in that frame is both true and entirely realistic.


    1. Thank you for this positive, constructive feedback … I have to say in return that I admired your allegory … how much easier it is to see the good in others’ work and to critique one’s own

      I just need to give myself time and work on silencing the inner critic (or at least tune it out a bit more) …


  3. “It wasn’t pretty.”…what wasn’t pretty and does it have to be? Your letter is so articulate. Sometimes, going through the process gets you down to the bare bones of it. xo


    1. It was the process, the making, that got ugly … knowing I was forcing it and just getting through to be done with it

      In hindsight, the biggest problem was being too precious about not covering up my words … you know, pride goeth before the fall …

      Now I’m thinking about what I can add to it … so thanks for the questions, which got me thinking


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