Finding Alignment

"Sometimes I'm homesick for that one time in that one place in Easton when I felt beautiful and known."

--Rachel Engh

 "These Are Things We Made Together" Collage by Rachel Engh

"These Are Things We Made Together" Collage by Rachel Engh

A guest blog post by Easton artist and friend, Rachel Engh!

I made some art.  It's about trying to find alignment.

Guys, the only reason I'm writing this is because my friend, Lauren (totally talented painter and artist and mom), is going to write about me and I thought I needed to write about me first. Well, okay, she's actually going to write about some art that I've been making.

Note from Lauren:  Actually, Rachel's style of writing is perfect.  I'm going to let her writing stand, with a little of my own italicized commentary. 

  Another Note from Lauren: My friend Rachel and I  have  a lot  of fun looking at art together.  This is one of my favorite photos (credit:  Ray DiCecco ) of Rachel and me looking at art during a  Tiffany Calvert  show at  Brick and Mortar Gallery  last May.

Another Note from Lauren: My friend Rachel and I  have a lot of fun looking at art together.  This is one of my favorite photos (credit: Ray DiCecco) of Rachel and me looking at art during a Tiffany Calvert show at Brick and Mortar Gallery last May.

(back to Rachel)

Here's the story:

Several months ago the Arts Community of Easton was looking for space downtown for artists to show their work for the annual Arts Tour. My office (Metris Arts Consulting in the Karl Stirner Arts Building at 230 Ferry Street, Easton) is downtown so we offered up our wall space. Turns out, not enough artists came forward for the spaces so when I ran into Marya, the organizer, outside the Post Office, she asked if I was an artist. It took me a long time to say "yes, kind of." Then she asked me about my medium.

"I glue stuff on paper."

"Then you do mixed media."

detail of "Island Bangles" collage by Rachel Engh

Ok, so remember how this was months ago? One of the reasons I said yes was because I thought this deadline would actually motivate me to get the things swimming inside my head out of my head. Well, the Art Tour is a week and a half away and I will proudly say that I have indeed pasted some stuff on paper. It might not be good but it feels good to dust off the ol' scissors and glue.

What is this art about? Well, for a long time I was telling myself I needed to make art in order to try and make sense of, or work though, a set of confusing moments. The problem, through, was that I had an idea for the what the finished product would look like but the ideas never left my head. I was putting too much pressure on trying to move through these confusing moments with an end already envisioned.

I should have remembered that the process is the art. So, anyway, my wise friend Lauren, helped me realize that my art is about me, more so than the confusing moments in and of themselves, which was a freeing realization.

 "Beats 1" collage by Rachel Engh

"Beats 1" collage by Rachel Engh

So, yes, I've been thinking about home and my search for comfort (and home) here in Easton. But, I also know that as I'm searching for comfort, feeling discomfort means that I'm learning, right? Sometimes learning (and growing!) is uncomfortable.

I think more than comfort, I'm searching for alignment.  A search for alignment of what my heart says it wants and what my head knows is true. Or what my head says it wants and what my heart knows is true. I also feel like my heart sometimes lately wants to be in a different place than where it physically is. I mean, sometimes I'm homesick for Minneapolis -- my family and friends, the bike trails and drivers who stop for pedestrians.

"Beats 2" collage by Rachel Engh

Sometimes I'm homesick for that one time in that one place in Easton when I felt beautiful and known.

I made these things and now perhaps I think they're about aligning the heart (heart beats) with the outside world (animals).... Or maybe not, maybe I just liked how they looked together.

 "Beats 3" collage by Rachel Engh

"Beats 3" collage by Rachel Engh

I'm also interested by the German word "fernweh," which means, I think, feeling homesick for a place one has never been to before. 

I cut up an old atlas into bathtub shapes. It's called:

Bathing Off the Coasts of Places I've Never Been To.

 "Bathing off the coast of places I've never been to" collage by Rachel Engh

"Bathing off the coast of places I've never been to" collage by Rachel Engh

Ok, well, stay tuned for more. Or just show up in Easton on April 22 and 23 to say "hi."

Note from Lauren:  My studio will also be open that weekend!  It's possible to see both of us in the same day!

"Island Bangles" collage by Rachel Engh