ABOUT MARTHA:      writer      visual artist

I lose track of time when I make collages, take photographs, and assemble short videos. Constitutionally built to be active, I get cranky if I have to spend too many hours sitting at a computer. Creating visual art provides a perfect counterbalance to writing and editing.

Photography

 

As a youngster, I took pictures of people, pets, and vacation spots with my beloved Kodak Instamatic. I used some photos to make gifts for my family. My sister saved one of the first calendars I made when I was twelve years old.

 

Several decades and cameras later, I capture the beauty I find in everyday scenes near home or in other favorite places. Walks with my camera in hand help me summon joy no matter where I am.

 

Collage

 

I am a scissors-and-glue collage artist. I prefer to minimize use of computer applications that manipulate or combine images electronically. I like getting my hands dirty with this art form.

 

I rarely complete a collage by sitting in one place for a few hours. I can leaf through magazines and cut things out standing up if I want. Sometimes, it is a struggle to find the right combination of words and images. I have had my fair share of flops, too. But sometimes things gel; happenstance is often in the mix. That is when my joy quotient rises.

 

Video

 

It takes a lot of computer time to produce short videos. The payoff comes when I find the right combination of images, words, and sound to create a comprehensive whole. In that compelling groove, there is no clock-watching and the hours pass by too fast.

 

There are other payoffs, too:

  • Memorial videos for both my brother and sister helped me digest my grief. By combining sad or sick images with those that were more joyful for our family, a re-balancing of reminiscences occurred.

 

  • A commissioned video for a young woman’s graduation gift provided an intimate window into how much we evolve in the first twenty-one years of our life.

 

  • A reading of Louise Erdrich’s fabulous poem, Advice to Myself, with accompanying photos and music, got me to take the poet’s awesome advice to heart.

 

  • The first draft of an unfinished movie about a very special dog, Bandit, helped me summon great compassion for the losses I have weathered thus far. Hopefully, I’ll get that movie finished one day…if I can tolerate sitting at the computer long enough!

 

More of Martha’s Visual Art ➠

ABOUT MARTHA:      writer      visual artist

Photo by Martha Clark Scala