Art is Life is Art: 15 things to do with a paper heart

paper heart {what shall I do with you?}


The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.

Pablo Picasso

While I’m getting better at storing and classifying the piles of ephemera that I collect “for art’s sake”, I still manage to annoy my husband at least once a week with my bits and pieces of paper, labels, tickets and packaging.  The latest “incident” was over a pink paper bag from an art gallery purchase. The original contents were a hand-thrown dragonfly platter and a Southern cookbook. The paper bag in question was rescued from the trash bin on several occasions and eventually got used for beautiful paper hearts. When the paper hearts ended up spending a couple of days on the kitchen counter, I again had to answer the question:

What are you going to do with those/this/it?

Usually, the answer is one of the following:

* Uh, I don’t know…YET.

* Something.

or his  favorite

* It/they haven’t told me.

The situation is not that bad. As a creative himself, R is understanding and supportive of my “collections” and process.  Except that as a sound designer and super-stream-lined dude, he wishes our world was paperless. Which is tough when my main art form involves lots of paper. My solution? A list, of course!

Here’s the list that I started for him. I said a couple of them out loud and then got so excited that I kept adding things to do.

15 things to do  with a paper heart

1.  Have a photoshoot.

The Girl & a paper heart bouquet

2.  Write a note on it and tuck it into someone’s pocket.

3.  Glue it in your journal.

4.  Leave it at a bookstore/in a coffee shop/on a swing for someone to find.

paper heart on a swing

5.  Write your Self an encouraging note.

6.  Fill it with doodles.

7.  Tear it in half and make a list of all the things that have broken your heart.

8.  Write a list of all the people and things you love around the edge of the heart. You may need more than one paper heart.

9.  Write down your three “safe people” in the very middle of the heart. You probably only need one paper heart for this as the number should stay small.

9.  Hang it in a window with a beautiful piece of ribbon.

10. Add sticks and make a heart bouquet

paper hearts & swing

11.  Decorate it with lace and glitter.

12.  Frame it and hang it on the wall.

13.  Tape it to the outside of your next letter. Even if it’s a bill.

14.  Use it as a bookmark.

15.  Don’t be afraid; give your heart away.

paper heart for you

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By |2018-02-12T10:41:50-04:00September 28th, 2010|Art is Life is Art, photography|13 Comments

On the way home, on purpose, with chocolate this time

Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.
Mark Caine

Stopped at the park, on the way home from dinner last night to take some photos of The Girl.  While this sounds terribly spontaneous, it was only sort of spontaneous.  I actually took some 100% spontaneous shots the other day after lunch.  The flavor was strawberry with chocolate sprinkles, and the sun was a little too bright.  We were going from voice lessons to Economics lecture and we were all {including the ice cream cone} a little melty.  It was a one of those moments where I grabbed my camera and shot quickly, but didn’t really get what I wanted.  Except that I loved the idea of The Girl and an ice cream cone.

strawberry w snappy eyes & chocolate sprinkles

The concept of planning is quite the mixed bag for me.  On many fronts, I am a planner.  I like to understand, not only what I’m up against, but how I’m going to handle the situation.  I make lists, print out maps, ask questions & do research, all in an attempt to predict the details in any given scenario.  This basic approach is almost impossible for me to separate from my artistic life and endeavors.

But in many ways, I am a Romantic with expectations that inspiration and opportunity will fall into place and I’ll just happen to be there to catch it.  I am deeply aware that sometimes art is a response to a moment.  In a Romantic’s world, the sun shines just the right way;  words fall in just the right order; and a wandering blob of paint inspires.   However, this romantic ideal sits in a place of tension with Ideas-From-The-Planning-Girl-That-Likes-to-Know.

I believe that both approaches are full of possibility.  My Romantic Self is no longer offended when I plan the details of a shoot.  And, as I reign in the all-or-nothing-ness and perfectionism of the other end of the spectrum, I more often see spontaneous opportunities.

darkness-citydetails-full

The chocolate photos were a bit more planned.  I chose the time of day when the light would be golden.  {And let me take this opportunity to sing the praises of the iPhone app Darkness – great if you want to pinpoint Magic Hour.}

I also asked The Girl to put her hair in pigtails and went to a park where I knew I could get the background I wanted.    It’s hard to imagine that I used to think that attending to those details was “cheating”, but thus run the lies of perfectionism and the strange expectations of Romanticism.

When I shot the Strawberry, I was envisioning the Chocolate.   So, we shot with ice cream again.  {It was an easy sell to the model and I was glad to be shooting with a plan and inspiration all at the same time.}

" Without ice cream, there would be darkness and chaos." ~Don Kardong

By |2016-10-19T14:20:39-04:00September 3rd, 2010|photography|3 Comments