Monday, May 4, 2009


There was a time,
about five years ago now,
when I started
playing with images
and saying
"what if?"

What if I crop this image
and try this filter?

What if I layer this altered image
on top of a scan of one of my mixed media pieces?

It was a time when I was trying
to stay afloat in a sea of emotion.

I couldn't alter my situation,
but I could alter images,
making them softer,
more romantic.

I could take my sorrow,
merge it with creative energy
and make myself into something new.

A survivor artist.

I could create meaning
and come fully into my power
as a woman of wisdom.

I could speak my truth
in visual images
and words from the heart.

From the ashes,
a new life.

How have you used sorrow
as an impetus
for transformation?


Anonymous said...

beautifully said. wonderful images.

couragetocreatewriteandlove said...

I agree! I mirrored myself in this post. Thank YOU!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful images...keep up the good work.

julochka said...

isn't it wonderful when beauty can come from pain and despair? i've definitely used sorrow for transformation...but it was more a divorce from a bad job than a bad man, still, much good came of the turmoil. it's all about channeling it correctly, isn't it?

Jennifer said...

I love the art AND the creativity (born from pain?) you used to bring them to life. I want to ask you how you did it, but I suppose the discovery and trial is the point.

rebecca said...

ahhhhh...i have a good feeling about this.
finally i can join you here!


Meri said...

Rebecca, thanks for prodding me to solve the problem that kept you from commenting.

Jennifer, I bought Digital Image Pro (a Microsoft program that they no longer produce) and Photoshop and just started experimenting. Before I had a digital camera, I'd either have film images saved to CD or take the photos and scan them. I'd then take the images and tweak them, perhaps by cropping or intensifying or altering color. In one case I can think of, I didn't like where a figure was placed, so I used cloning and painting to move him, then redid the background accordingly. (I don't recommend that -- it took a lot of time). Digital Image Pro has a huge filter menu and you can try them out one at a time to find the look you prefer. Sometimes I'd save different versions achieved with alternative filters. You can do the same thing with Photoshop. Digital Image Pro was more intuitive to use and I have to admit that I've barely scratched the surface of Photoshop's potential. Anyway, when the pieces were finished, I printed them in large format (usually 15 x 23 paper with about a 1 " border around the image) on watercolor paper with archival inks. I also experimented with saturating some of the pieces with linseed oil, which produces a soft, old look. They have to cure too long to make them stop bleeding oil, so I didn't pursue that for long. It was all a matter of experimentation and then printing what resulted. Takes time but can be rewarding.

JP/deb said...

Yes, I definitely have used sorrow as an impetus
for transformation
... and, deep emotion can be very transformative, whether positive or negative.

Peace & love,

Clinton Wittstock said...

Hey there Meri,

I loved your mixed media canvasses! They're beautiful, and it's amazing that you can draw beauty from sadness; but don't you wish for a day when all you are left with to draw inspiration from is beauty?


Delwyn said...

I love what you did with the gondalas
but moreso I love what you have done with you,
the way that you have used your talents and creativity to assuage your grief and to turn it into something new and liberating and so life enhancing...

Many happy Days ahead...

Reya Mellicker said...

They're so beautiful! Photoshop makes us all into painters.

You have an eye, you do. Carry on, please!

Tatieva said...

Venise, Venise, comme c'est romantique !
Merveilleuses images qui font rĂªver...

Michele R. Unger said...

I will be looking forward to your lilac post!

Your images are beautiful. I especially love the one wth the gondola.

Meri said...

Bienvenue! Your site is delightful but more than a little daunting to navigate with my rusty French.

For everyone who hasn't seen it, Tatieva's site is found at said...

I hope this message comes your way...
you are an inspiration to me!

Mixed Media Martyr said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I love Bridgette's work! I love the prose you put on your blog posts. I checked out your art and genealogy sites too! I love your experimental charcoals and your mixed media piece 'medallion'.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

thank you meri for the thought provoking post.

I agree sorrow and grief can be powerfully and positively transformative, but one must choose that path .....

Meri said...

You're so right. We can choose to transform loss into growth or to allow loss to make us bitter and closed down. Do we pay homage to meaninglessness or do we order our experience by creating meaning? It is, after all, about choice. And the choices we make leave an energetic imprint that flows out to the world.