Frogs, Cats n Grats!

Gratitude wells up

like fresh water in a green pool.

Heart, be a frog!

The Frog and Cat poems and photographs on the left page of my Gratitude Art Journal

Cat curled around stone

announcing “POETRY! in case

we had forgotten.

A view of the Gratitude Art Journal double page layout.

 

Gratitude Art Journal page with my “Gratitude Jar” poem. The Tumbling Jars sketch on the right is a Prismacolor pencil drawing I did in 2011 that I suddenly remembered and retrieved from my Flickr account, where for once organizing my photos paid off!

Canning Grats

After canning peaches, I had one

clear jar left. I put my grandmother

in there along with the apples

she was peeling. I added a sharp

handful of mint from my husband’s garden,

a tube of Opera Pink Paint

and the shadow of a summer

fern on a slate rock face.

The sound of a train,

dawn light over the Three Sisters.

I found five memories that would fit

and slipped

a whole head of garlic down the side

along with a feathery branch

of dill and something

like a song. Pressure

cooked by time,

labelled, shelved, ready

to be given away.


NOTE: In a previous post, Creating a Gratitude Art Journal, I posted a short video explaining that I am taking a Meditations on Gratitude Photography class online with Laura Valenti. She asked us to find a repository for our “grats,” or items for which we feel gratitude on a daily basis, and I began with the Gratitude Art Journal, although I’m not sure how I’ll go forward. She suggested a Gratitude Jar, which gave me the idea for the poem “Canning Grats.”

Example of a Gratitude Jar. Image: Cathy Colangelo, Clarity Coach

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

  • I use a large Moleskine watercolor journal.
  • The pages were first prepared with white gesso
  • then a watercolor wash background laid down
  • then a sheet of yellow tissue paper to cover most of it to add texture.
  • Across the top I carefully stamped “Meditations on Gratitude; Poems N Pixs N Such.”
  • I drafted the poems in my regular journal then wrote them directly on the prepared surface.
  • I printed out my photographs, and they came out looking a bit sketchy, but I thought that added to the “folk art” quality of an art journal.
  • I used Mod Podge (sealer, glue, and finish) to glue the images down,
  • and then I covered the entire page with Mod Podge. BIG MISTAKE! And I knew better! I should have used a spray fixative first but forgot and the ink on the stamping and photos ran. I replaced the photos and started over, but the stamping was a write off. So…
  • I re-did the photos
  • Added strips of tissue paperand sprayed it with Windsor Newton Professional Satin Varnish
  • THEN Mod Podged the whole…letting it dry between stages
  • Sprayed it a few more times and called it good…

 

I was reminded of the value and fun of a List Poem by Natalie Goldberg in her book The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language.


Where do YOU collect gratitudes?

Tell us in the comment box directly below!

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