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How to Make a Collage

Putting together an array of lines, shapes, and colors can be quite spiritual in a way. I find myself totally involved in the process in making selections that follow some inner judgement. I have decided to accept what the inner “muse” chooses. This is a basic respect for the artistic process.

First I select items of interest that I may find in my collection, a box of pictures, other concrete objects such as feathers, torn cardboard netting, foil, and other things that I have saved.

On a white sheet of paper, or another color that you like, you can arrange your choices to make a picture. Make a realistic picture .

Does this look like a beach?

Maybe you’d like to put together a collection of attributes to make the eye wonder. The question in such an activity is what will work. What will seem like a picture complete in itself? This may take most of your time as you move things to different areas until you feel it’s finished.

Please tell me what you think on the comment page. Is this collage finished or would you place some things differently?

Thinking of Birds

If you are close to me you will have seen me talk to birds, especially the crows that live in the trees around my apartment. You will also notice in my apartment I have a wall hanging picturing many of the local birds that inhabit our area. Using scraps of fabric from many years of sewing and filling two drawers in the back bedroom, I created this wall hanging, almost from ceiling to floor. Wish I could remember now all their names. I wanted it to be hung in the walls of the gathering place at Bouverie near Glen Elllen. As luck would have it, I had it at home when Bouverie burned.

The photo of the Canada goslings sits against a lamp on my art table with two rubber duckies and a strange indented ball. These are my tokens of inspiration I need in the early morning when I do my pictures.

The California Blue Birds sit near a blue bowl on my television table. The larger one is a salt shaker of my Mother’s that I kept. The others I gathered from a dead friend’s house to join Mother’s.

The white porceline salt and pepper shakers I discovered in a thrift shop. I thought they would live happily by the small statue of two birds enjoying flowers on a branch. These sit on my dining room table.

You can see that I hold birds in high regard.

Current Deliberations

Many weeks have passed since I wrote here last. Deciding upon a topic has become hard for some reason. Not that I have covered all possible topics. No, the reason is more evident as time goes on, no one reads my blog. And how do I get regular readers? It’s much like how do I get buyers for my books. Selling my work or selling myself isn’t a skill set that I have.

This blog costs me money. I have an annual fee; don’t remember how much it is, but it will come to my attention when the time to pay is here. Then I wonder why I do it. Well, it’s a website. Fun to have one. I guess there is some kind of importance attached to it, though all one has to do is put it up and pay the fee, and there you are, important. The real purpose is to contact people and share your life with them. That’s the problem for me. Contact.

I need to take the time to add to it so things are new and fresh. That involves knowing how to add things, to know how to deal with Microsoft and it’s many tricky rules. I paid for someone to design and fill this website. Now, I need to learn how to do it myself. I have new paintings to upload. Maybe I could add a Rufus story every month to let people (my non exisistant public), see the books. Then maybe they might order one.

This brings to mind the angst I suffer as I try to turn my ebook publications of my ten Rufus stories into physical hard backs. I have almost given up when I discovered I must change the margins. One page tells me how to do it but then, in it comes problems that I must research. Now I have two pages of directions. I print them out so I can see what they are as I attempt to make the corrections. I almost gave up the other day; it is all so difficult and complicated.

Before I leave this earth I want to see my stories in hard cover. I don’t have enough funds to pay a publisher for all of them. The original book, “A Family of Geese,” cost about $3200. I don’t have $30,000 lying around to use to publish the remaining ten.

Maybe I could have a fundraiser? Any suggestions?

Early Morning Musings

Maybe it’s the restless mind that awakens me in the wee hours of the morning. Many ideas about pictures and projects come to me and I can’t leave them to return to sleep. I fantasize how to make them purposeful and worth the time I will be using to bring them into reality. What is sad is oftentimes I do not remember them later. Yet how can anyone follow up with middle of the night wishes.

Yesterday I wondered how I could relate what the world looked at ground level. I know, that sounds like reaching for something weird. Who would be interested? But we were all living at that level as we entered this world before we grew to adult status.

I’m thinking that I can remember way, way back and catch the views I might have had at that time. Or consider others at that level. What did my son see at six months lying on a blanket of the floor. He was so interested is the little sister that could walk around that he learned to pull himself along sliding on the blanket trying to follow her.

What did I see looking out of the crib? Sitting on mother’s lap? I guess this moves beyond ‘ground level.’ Maybe the project will be views of a six month old.

I thinking maybe this impetus to check these views of a tiny Chlele is beginning a review of life. What do you think?

Blooming Palm Tree

In the apartment complex are several palms standing 50 feet tall. Last year one was taken down for some reason, maybe of old age as it was loosing its huge fronds. I noticed a couple times a huge dried one on the pavement as I walked by to get the mail.

Because of their tall height I never looked up. Then I ordered a recliner for the back patio. When relaxing on it I could only see  high in the sky. A couple doors down I noticed another tall palm. Sometimes I thought it housed a murder of crows. I could hear their loud complaining coming from the tree though I never saw them.

Then, one day, as I rested on my new recliner I noticed the palm had huge yellow blooms hanging between the fronds. My goodness, could it be, could it actually be blooming? I had never seen this before except on my small palm that lived in my bedroom.

Many years ago, maybe 35 or 40, I brought home a pot of palms from the nursery. With careful counting I discovered there were twelve tiny plants no taller than eight inches each. I repotted them into a colorful pot and there they lived for many years, never changing or getting bigger.

When they began to grow some of the plants would give up the struggle and leave the area for those stronger. Those that remained grew big and I had to repot them from time to time. Finally I had five in a eight inch pot. They sent out new fronds regularly stretching up and out. They loved the area next to the bed in the corner of the room with the window close by.

One day while watering the palms I noticed a complex construction, yellowish in color, many branched. There were weirdly constructed flowers. Can it be? The palms were blooming? I had never seen this before. And no, I didn’t get dates as there were no other palms around. The blooming thing eventually dried up and dropped off and that was that.

Recalling the Troubles

Today I began to change my ebooks into a format that can be printed. Kindle Direct will print my ebooks if I get the material ready. I tried to upload Rufus and the Games and the report from them was there were not enough pages. As it was put in a design for ebooks there were not the 24 pages they require . So the job I have now is to lengthen each book.

I made a list of pages I could add to make the story run the length Kindle Direct requires. To add 6 pages I could have a glossary, a description of characters, a synopsis of the story, a list of discussion questions, a biography of the author, me, and a page listing the whole Rufus series. Sound Good?

The first problem is several of the pictures are darkened somehow. Maybe the photos I took with my phone didn’t catch enough light. Anyway they will need to be redone.

Another glitch: there are empty pages and I don’t know how get rid of them. Then I tried something and now, there is an empty page between all the pages. What do I do now? Brings back the memory of struggling with the computer to get certain things done. I don’t know enough computerese.

I know if I were working on the program that handles pages, things would be easier. But I forget how I change that into regular microsoft word document. Duh! Maybe I’ll go back to that and I’ll remember how to make the change when the book is finished.

Rufus and the Games

I am excited to do this. I’ve always wanted to see my books printed. I didn’t have the money for that kind of expense so I uploaded them as ebooks on Smashwords. com for nothing. Now Kindle Diect will print them for nothing. They make their money when people order the books. Hooray!

My Art Closet

My art supplies take up half of a closet in the bedroom that serves as my art and computer room. I bought metal shelving that stands easily in the closet and houses the many things I need to make pictures. Taking up space are the fourteen books in which I pasted a collage or drew a page as a graphic record. Most of them are mixed. It’s only recently that I do just the graphic record of my life. The collages aren’t backed with anything and stand in a pile on top of a cupboard.

The bottom three shelves house the blue topped containers in which I store acrylic paints, water color paints, puppet making materials, and charcoal and pastels. At the very top is a box with three containers for the colored pens. The shelves below store colored pencils, a container of wire, hangers, screws, etc for hanging pictures. I have a small box with my house tools, three screw drivers and two pliers. The hammer lays between things. Here and there one can find watercolor crayons, bottles of glue and gesso, card stock for making greeting cards, specialized paints, and books on color. It has everything I need when I have an impulse to make a picture.

Design Factor

Because of covid and the fact of no longer driving a car I shop on Amazon for everything. The orders come in many size packages and with various packing materials. The other day a piece of packing material, rough but light, 14 by 20 to fit the size of the box, with intricate indentations caught my attention. I liked the design feature of  the boxy spaces, supposedly to provide strength to the thing which protected the product I had ordered. I decided to hang it on the wall.

A friend of mine in her visit the other day noticed it and said, “Isn’t that a piece of packing material?”

“Yes,” I admitted. “I liked the design of it.”

She shrugged and continued discussing the topic what ever it was. People learn to expect such behavior from me.

When I mention art one might immediately think of pictures hanging in a gallery or in a living room. The fact is that one can find design in everything, living and nonliving. Anything you look at in nature has design in its making. And human beings use design in everything they create. And that is what fascinates me in my visual world. The shape, the color, the line, the response to outside or inside events, the influence of distance and more, create the intrigue of the thing I’m observing.

I’m considering adding color to this packaging material to make it my own.

E Book Sale on Smashwords

Beginning on July 1st and running through to July 31st, you can get my ebooks for $.99 each at Smashwords.com. Go to my page, Chlele Gummer, and sample a couple. The series begins with Rufus and the Games, and runs through the rest in this order: Rufus and the Honker Chorus, Rufus Meets Coyote, Rufus Meets the Birds, Rufus Meets Sqeaky Squirrel, Rufus and His Broken Toes, Mystery at Spring Lake, These are My Things, Rufus and His Sisters Part One, and Rufus and Hiw Sisters Part Two. Yes, there are ten stories of Rufus, the Canada gosling. I’m considering having them printed into paper backs eventually.

Rufus Stories on Sale

July 1st is the first day of a month long sale of my ebooks, the Rufus series. Currently they are selling for $3.99. In July I will offer differing titles for $.99. The first week “Rufus and the Games” and “Rufus and the Honker Chorus” will be on sale.

The first book in the series, Rufus and the Games, finds Rufus practicing the skills he needs to compete in the games: clacking, swimming, flying. Because he hatched later than his sisters he’s had to practice harder on the skills he needs. His parents discovered that Rufus could do things that others couldn’t. The coach also discovered this skill and instituted an activity including it. Read to see how the story ends.

Rufus and the Honker Chorus, the second book in the series tells of Rufus’s desire to sing in the chorus. He consults with Professor Muse to see what he needs to do to be able to compete. On the day of the audition Rufus wakes up unable to make a sound. He doesn’t want to attend the audition but his mom takes him anyway. Rufus does make it into the chorus in a different way. Read to see what his involvement is.

To buy them go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/R4u3pU.