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Acorns, Empty Flower Pots, and Broken Crocs

Using what I have to fill my creative well

Savoring the little moments

Last week, I found this pile of acorns sitting in a crack in my driveway. I don’t remember where I was coming from or going that day, but I saw these little guys hanging out and had to snap a pic for later. I’ve been leaning into more earthy colors and immediately wanted to immortalize that rich chocolatey brown in collage.

Sometimes I fall into these periods where I don’t want to make bad work, so I put off ideas until they’ve become this impossible thing in my head. To get past that, I’m giving small collage warmups a try. I haven’t formed the habit yet but last Thursday, I sat down and started snipping.

Collaging with scraps

I have an accordion folder filled with painted paper (Smart thinking, past Jade!) and an overflowing tin of scraps from collages past. For these acorns, I challenged myself to use only scraps. I took a risk using purples and blues and hoped your eyes would do the rest to make it look like concrete. It’s convincing enough, I think!

It was a fun deviation from my usual color choices that I wouldn’t have tried otherwise, so that’s pretty cool. I didn't know at the time of collaging them, but acorns also symbolize growth and new beginnings which feels very fitting for this era of my life.

Connection through collections

As I think of what I want the next phase of my creative life to look like, I keep coming back to the natural world. I’d like to make more nature inspired work — a collection maybe, to dive deeper into my love of landscapes and (obsessive, ever present) love of animals.

I don’t really have a plan for what happens after I make this collection, but that’s for future Jade to worry about. If nothing else, it’ll be a fun way to spend a slow two months.

Inspiration and Rumination

  • My anthem for February: fever dream by mxmtoon

  • Hobbies I’m nurturing: Pottery! In January, I joined a pottery studio to make small batch ceramics, like these leaf paint palettes. I also made a few bird inspired pieces. Maybe you’ll want to take one home — we’ll see!

  • New things I’m trying: I’ve introduced chats for this newsletter, where both free and paid subscribers can see what I’m working on in real time. It’s like a group chat, just for us pals.

Four pictures from my life. The first is a picture of my leg and the seating area of the pottery studio. I'm wearing light blue jeans and sitting next to pottery magazines and a shelf of pots for sale. The next picture is of leaf shaped paint palettes. They've been sculpted and smoothed with a damp sponge. The third picture shows my desk after a paper painting session. My brown desk mat is covered in bright blue paint streaks. The last picture is of the acorns I mentioned in my newsletter. In the collage, I'm standing in bright orange and purple crocs with one broken strap, looking down at a pile of acorns in my driveway. A flower pot sits empty in the corner of the collage.Four pictures from my life. The first is a picture of my leg and the seating area of the pottery studio. I'm wearing light blue jeans and sitting next to pottery magazines and a shelf of pots for sale. The next picture is of leaf shaped paint palettes. They've been sculpted and smoothed with a damp sponge. The third picture shows my desk after a paper painting session. My brown desk mat is covered in bright blue paint streaks. The last picture is of the acorns I mentioned in my newsletter. In the collage, I'm standing in bright orange and purple crocs with one broken strap, looking down at a pile of acorns in my driveway. A flower pot sits empty in the corner of the collage.
Four pictures from my life. The first is a picture of my leg and the seating area of the pottery studio. I'm wearing light blue jeans and sitting next to pottery magazines and a shelf of pots for sale. The next picture is of leaf shaped paint palettes. They've been sculpted and smoothed with a damp sponge. The third picture shows my desk after a paper painting session. My brown desk mat is covered in bright blue paint streaks. The last picture is of the acorns I mentioned in my newsletter. In the collage, I'm standing in bright orange and purple crocs with one broken strap, looking down at a pile of acorns in my driveway. A flower pot sits empty in the corner of the collage.Four pictures from my life. The first is a picture of my leg and the seating area of the pottery studio. I'm wearing light blue jeans and sitting next to pottery magazines and a shelf of pots for sale. The next picture is of leaf shaped paint palettes. They've been sculpted and smoothed with a damp sponge. The third picture shows my desk after a paper painting session. My brown desk mat is covered in bright blue paint streaks. The last picture is of the acorns I mentioned in my newsletter. In the collage, I'm standing in bright orange and purple crocs with one broken strap, looking down at a pile of acorns in my driveway. A flower pot sits empty in the corner of the collage.
Pottery orientation (Showed up a whole month early, whoops!) and what's on my desk lately

What are you savoring or challenging yourself to do this month? Let me know!

Until next time,

Jade

Music by Dubush Miaw

P.S. - For my paid pals!

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From the Desk of Jade Johnson
From the Desk of Jade Johnson
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Jade Johnson