Sunday, September 7, 2014

Layers of Hope

As much as I love writing, I think I love making art even more. I'm experimenting with some art media and trying to devise a style that will allow me to incorporate my poems into the pieces. Though I haven't been a big fan of layering I am learning its magnitude and how successful a mixed media piece can be when lots of layers are incorporated.

I tend to avoid lots of layers in my art because I hate covering up pretty papers, or text tissue, or images and words, but I'm starting to see the dimension that can be created and learning to live with the hidden layers beneath the finished piece.

Here I layered pattern papers then painted over them with pale yellow craft paint. I added a butterfly from a decorative napkin (which by the way makes a really nice image for art. You peel the layers of the napkin till you have one thin layer with the image on it. Then using gel medium or white glue adhere it to your art piece. The image literally melts into the piece.) I adhered the word "hope" that I cut from a magazine and attached a copyright free image of a little girl. Then I added small cloth flowers. I used Ranger distress ink pads to edge the piece and give it an aged look.

I will try more pieces like this and share them here. Those that come out as I want them to I will use to make blank note cards.




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

ART JOURNALING

I've been in the mood to art journal again. In the blank white pages of my mixed media journal I can explore and create, experiment with new ideas, new art materials and examine the wonderful and not so wonderful times of each day. Still working on a style of art to add my poems to. Tomorrow night taking an art journal class at Scrappers Playground in Babylon and hoping to discover new materials and styles to work with.

Oh--and getting ready to do some painting too! 

For now, here is a recent art journal page to share.



copyright by Renee Howard Cassese

Friday, August 1, 2014

FOOTSTEPS ART

I've been taking a poetry course online with Lorraine Mejia-Green called Poetry Inspired by World Art. The past three weeks have been a wonderful exploration of art as well as a launch pad for some new poems to include in the new collection I'm working on. Our final week of class requires making an art piece incorporating poetry--which of course is something I love to do. So here is one of my pieces. The one I will submit for our final week of class is in process. More to come on that later.


It was fun and inspiring to take a photo and then work in mixed media on a canvas board to create art and include a poem. Acrylic paints in 3 colors as well as stencils created the background. The photo was matted on white cardstock and attached to the board. The poem was printed on parchment style copy paper and adhered next to the photo. A foam dot stamp was used to stamp around the poem and blend it into the total piece. Border from the parchment paper was torn and glued to the top and the title was created with a stencil and my favorite Sharpie black marker.

The voila the piece is done and I am moving on to create the piece for our last week of class. I have several photos in mind to use and need to write the poems. I think a scrapbook style of art using patterned papers might be in order, with a little bit of trims to jazz it up. Let's see what emerges from this afternoon of creative time.
copyright by Renee Howard Cassese

Saturday, July 26, 2014

FOOTSTEPS

Yesterday we took an afternoon excursion to The Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay. It's a nature preserve and historical site that never fails to fill my heart with magic. Along it's many winding and natural paths you can see flowers, little cottages and lush plantings that remind me of a primordial forest.


















That trip, as well as reading Stampington Company's new publication "Bella Grace" inspired me to take photos from which to get inspiration for poems and art pieces. I take pictures of events for fun but never considered it as an art form I would be any good at. I need a lot of practice--but I can learn and in the meantime what photos I take can prompt poems and artistic ways to display them.

For my first attempt I am using this photo. I never understood the obsession I see on blogs of people taking photos of their feet, but I tried it and wrote a poem to go with it. I want to take the two and combine them in a scrapbook style art piece that I'll share here when it's done.




curve of stones
leads into the woods,
I follow
unknown directions
hoping
around the bend
that traces a field of 
Queen Annes' lace,
my heart waits
to sing me home
to show me what passions
sleep in my future
one step
   one step
       one curve of stones
closer to my dreams





copyright by Renee Howard Cassese 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014

WINE AND POETRY

On Sunday July 20 I had the pleasure of doing a book signing at Mattebella Vineyards in Southold on the North Fork of Long Island. It opened with a sprinkle of rain but then the clouds drifted by and the sunshine prevailed. Amid brilliantly green grapevines, beautiful roses and with the scent of wines kissing the air I enjoyed the company of family and friends. 

Here a few photos to share the day. Hoping to see more of friends and family at my next event.



Also, notice my license plate. I am the POETESSA and will share many more poems and pieces of art with all my blog readers. I will also be sharing information on how making poems and art can help you grow and to share research that shows the therapeutic magic of poetry, art and journaling.

copyright by Renee Howard Cassese

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

POETRY MATTERS



Over the past two weeks I've seen several articles in newspapers and magazines asking the question "Does poetry matter?" Facebook posts have shared links to these discourses that either slam down or hike up this ancient form of writing and communication.

"Does poetry matter?" 
Well of course it matters. Maybe I'm more or less of a reliable source on that belief being a poet myself. I wouldn't ridicule this mode of expression and communication since I use it most often for myself and even have a book of poetry out in the world to share the thoughts and feelings that emerge when poems are formed in blue or purple ink.

Poetry reaches to the soul. It's a way in as well as a way out. Reading poems, with their stark and magical images and lyrical, musical lines, tucks emotions deeply under the heart. The messages seem to bypass the linear thought process and go straight to the center. A poem can buoy you up when you're down and comfort and still you when you are stressed or over excited.

Writing poems is a whole other dimension that allows the poet to negotiate the long winding labyrinth of the soul. Along the circular path of poetry the poet finds solace and freedom of expression that can be found no place else. When life seems dark and unmanageable writing poetry can carve a doorway to sunnier times. And when life is filled with joy and beauty writing poems allows the poet to share that wonderfulness with the world.

Poetry--reading and writing it--is used in many therapeutic settings. I have sent my poems into the world to be read and loved or hated but not everyone needs to do that. For the clandestine poet who hides her verses in locked diaries or closed drawers, poetry can be a way to heal. It's why I have come to the conclusion I want to share this gift with others.

I intend to teach journal writing workshops but want to incorporate into each lesson a poetry component as well as an art component. For those who can't find the words they need to enter their soul there are always images. If you can't draw you can cut and paste images from magazines. And when all else fails you can play some music that reflects your mood and just spread paint across paper in abstract designs that express what dwells in your heart at that moment.

So when asked if poetry matters, I shout a loud YES!! because it matters to me, it matters to other poets and it matters to the many troubled souls who read and write poems in order to re-emerge in the world as a whole person, complete and confident and ready to move to the next step.


copyright by Renee Howard Cassese

Saturday, July 19, 2014

POETRY IN MOTION

When I say Poetry in Motion I mean my poetry and my poetic life are in motion. Dropping off copies of my books, going to poetry open mics and having book signings are all part of the promotion package and I love doing it.

You can find my book "I am My Mother's Only Poem"

at this link for Book Revue




But, though I love doing all of this, I need to get back to writing because that is my first passion. And of course art. I am learning about many new avenues for poetry and art and I want to follow them all. If Robert Frost talks about a road not taken, what I see are many roads I have never taken before but that I wish to explore now as I enter what I consider the next and most creative phase of my life.

Off on the journey and hope you will travel with me.


copyright by Renee Howard Cassese