I belong to an art group in Boquete, Panama. Its name is Boquete Artworks and we meet once a month. We are just getting our feet set underneath as we try to help art and culture in Boquete really take off. We have officers of the club and are finding our way through who and what we are becoming. There are some awesome women who are devoting lots of time and energy to this fledgling effort and I admire them tremendously. (Side note: because this article deals with creativity, I am also posting it in my other blog, RobynColeArtworks.)
We’re in our fourth or fifth month of meeting and a couple of months ago, we began creating Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Small business size type cards that are artistic in nature with pertinent contact information on the reverse. They’re like baseball trading cards, for you sports minded readers. You trade them. You can only receive one if you’ve given one. It’s fun!
So we had the assignment of a theme for one month’s ATC session: BRIDGE. Somehow, the theme of a bridge had to be incorporated into the cards. Maybe it’s literal, maybe it’s metaphori…er, …metaphysica…. er, … maybe it’s woo woo weird. Whatever.
So, as hubby and I went on our various walks, I took pictures of bridges as inspiration. Our first walk was on the Bajo Mono road, out past the climbing rock. Here’s the first bridge leading to the road:
No biggie, right? It’s just a bridge. Until I saw this detail:
I’m looking at John. He’s almost already on the other side.
I watch cars come and go while I decide about crossing. “They’re fine, see?” I tell myself. “Quit being such a baby.” So I grab my courage and cross the damn bridge.
After I crossed it safely (sheesh, such a DRAMA QUEEN), I looked back at it. The bridge didn’t see quite so imposing from a different point of view:
So, as we walked the long ways to this waterfall we’ve heard so much about, I saw a tremendous variety of bridges:
Either way, it was a long, enjoyable walk. We finally made it to the waterfall everyone was talking about. At least we think it was THE waterfall, mainly because it was the first one we found and we were tired by the time we found it. It wasn’t as large as my grandiose imagination pictured it, but here’s a shot with Good Hubby in the foreground:
I got back home and began creating my ATC trading cards with the theme of bridge. I decided to make it like a Buddhist Mandala. The briefest and best description of the creation and destruction of a Mandala, with a great photo, can be seen here.
I decided to create 9 ATC cards for trading. At the beginning, it was done on one sheet of paper. After the design and artwork was finished, I cut them into ATC card size and attached each corner to it’s corresponding neighbor with thread. When we artists were scheduled to meet and pick a card from the other artists I wanted them to participate in the destruction of this piece by picking which part of the image they wanted and literally having to untie four threads to free it. Destruction of a mandala is important to the ritual. The destruction symbolizes the impermanence of all things in this life, as well as blessing all those who partook in the destruction ceremony. Here is a photo I took of my ATC trading card mandala before it was destroyed. Can you see how I incorporated “bridge” into my work? If you spot it, note it in your comments below.