There has been an unusual amount of Spring rain in the Northeast. Rain is better than snow. It is probably safe to say we won’t be seeing any snow for a while. I try to keep a positive attitude about our weather. It is something I have no control over and must learn to appreciate. Everything is green and plush. The mixed carpet of grass and weeds almost looks good on our lawn. The landscaper returned yesterday to throw some grass seed down. Almost immediately after his work was done the rain started again. Mourning doves began eating the seeds. Maybe there won’t be any grass in the back yard.
As a child I had a strange affection for rainy days. They usually meant I would be driven to school. On the weekends when it rained and my friends were unhappy to be stuck indoors, I would be happy to paint, play games, and set up a grocery store in the kitchen. My mother allowed me to empty her cabinets and use boxes and cans of food for my imaginary supermarket. I had a cash register bank and would pretend to be the owner of the store. One summer I was forced into taking swimming lessons at a local swimming hole. Rain wouldn’t cancel the lessons unless there was a danger of lightning. Since swimming was not a favorite activity, I would pray for those predictable summer storms.
Now I look forward to the sound of rain at night. It is comforting and sleep provoking. Night time rain sometimes means a clear day will follow. Recently this has not been the case. I expect to see the mushrooms sprouting on the lawn and especially on the edges of our property which border wooded areas on three sides. Looking for a way to express my frustration with the large amounts of rain, I turned to my paper scrap pile and magazines for images that appealed to me and also represented water. Martha Stewart’s magazine “Living” is a great source for these clippings. The pages are beautifully designed and usually feature colors and textures that are very easy to incorporate into my collages. One such page used bath towels folded to look like rain drops. After cutting them all and attempting to use them, I abandoned them in favor of more abstract spherical forms. How surprising!
This collage was originally conceived with the dinner plates at the top of the image, suggesting a cloud up in the sky filled with droplets of rain. I flipped it and also liked the piece with a puddle of plates at the bottom. When teaching design elements and principles I would frequently say a good design can be viewed in multiple positions. This is a test I still apply to my own artwork. I guess my inability to choose a viewing preference for this composition will be determined instead by those who choose to view it. Either way is fine with me. Rain at the top or bottom; rain, rain everywhere.