This mixed media paper collage is one of a series of smaller collages that I originally began as an exercise to teach myself not to overthink things. These pieces became a weekly blog feature called “Weekly Quick Collage.” I had planned to do them in a short space of time – less than a day – just placing the elements intuitively without pressuring myself to make a “perfect” composition. I wasn’t altogether successful at reaching this goal. After some months of following this weekly routine, I soon had quite a stack of these building up in my studio. While many of these quick collages were just practice, some of them, like Have Patience, turned into more thought-out and “finished” works that became a new collection of collages.
After finishing one of my larger mixed media pieces, I always had small leftover fragments of paper, book pages, old hand-written letters, stamps and other materials laying around. I didn’t want to throw them out, because all of these vintage materials are unique; you can’t get duplicates. One of the main reasons I use old books and ephemera (things that would normally be thrown out) is that I feel a satisfaction in recycling things that would otherwise be discarded. Giving these objects new life in my work is rewarding, and also helps me, and hopefully the viewer, feel a connection to the past and to the people who once used these materials as part of their daily lives.
I love birds, and they appear in my mixed media paper collage work often, throughout the various collections. They are one of the many forms in nature that have become important symbols in my artwork. Birds have always played an important part in the symbolism, myths, and folktales of many cultures. They are amazing, almost magical, and represent freedom, the spiritual world, and messages being carried to another realm or dimension. For a bird, building a nest is very labor-intensive. Every little twig, piece of grass, or dab of mud must be carried to the building site individually, and put into place with great care. If the wind blows it down, they must start again. They demonstrate qualities that we humans find hard to achieve; truly, they have patience.