After painting in fine detail for so many years, I wanted to do something different. My weary hand needed a new way of working. So I went to a lively workshop in collage.
The workshop leader was showing us a new and liberating technique he had developed. Everyone around me was taking the leap. They were all busy making wonderful things. But I felt stuck.
I needed permission. Who was withholding it from me? Certainly not the workshop leader, or anyone else. No one but myself.
In the collage materials I’d brought from home were some old sealing-wax seals. They looked official. So I decided to make myself a “Certificate of Permission.” And to make it using the very method we were learning. One certificate led to another, and then another, after the workshop. One by one they slowly became a series. I needed so much permission!
A couple of years later, the whole series went on view at The Gallery of Bainbridge Arts & Crafts (2007). We called the show “Permissions”. Each collage was framed to float in a shadow box, and by the end of the show all but three were sold. During the exhibition, I learned how many people share the same feeling, how we all seem to need permission in various ways, and how we can grant it to each other and to ourselves.