Friday, June 4


Getting cancer can change your vision,
both literally and figuratively.

Chemo itself can affect a patient's eyes, causing blurring of vision; watery, tearing eyes; itching and irritation... and worse. I'm having a great deal of difficulty focusing, finding everything has a strong halo around it and a slight double. This does make creating a challenge, so I rely a great deal on my intuition and trust.
Often I find myself having the same lack of visual focus reflected in my concentration, my mind flitting across it's own landscape, unable to land and settle long enough to concentrate solely on any one thing for any length of time. My body unable to perform the tasks my mind longs to descend upon, so my vision seeks itself...


A number of folks have asked about where I get the collage materials I use,
so I thought I'd share my favorite resources and reading materials.

When it comes to magazines, I subscribe to a few and do admit their collage value plays a role in this decision!

Parabola Tradition, Myth and the Search for Meaning
Utne Reader (lapsed, but have years of past issues to harvest from!)
New York Times newspaper

Additionally I have no problem tearing apart books, so I like to find books at used book sales in our local library as well as at Border's and Barnes & Noble's sale book sections where you can find chunky art history books for $3.99-5.99. I have one on art and mysticism that has been serving me well for a few years now, and still has a treasure trove of imagery within it's pages. I probably could be scanning them to turn to it endlessly, but I like the idea of using it up. All a part of my practice of nothing being too precious...


  1. soooo beautiful, karin... is the tree with the faces your drawing? xo

  2. It's beautiful Karin. Everything you do reflects your inner beauty. I hope you are feeling well. I have to learn to do collage, I'm trying but never seem to have a theme and if I do, it doesn't work Tee Hee. Have a great weekend. Take care.

  3. hey there, thanks lynn :) no, I've done none of the art, it's all collage! I think that tree is an old utne reader find - good one, huh?! xox ps love your little feet there!

  4. Opps, I missed you there Gloria - we musta been writing at the exact same time! Thanks so much for your kind words.
    I think the trick to collage is really clearing the mind, letting it be a meditation that you follow - no over thinking. The theme will rise and you will follow. Suddenly the words and images rise to the surface as you page through your resources, like magic your subconscious speaks and the message/theme is there.
    I would suggest working small at first, and going into it as play. This series of mine is the largest I've ever worked consistently before, in a 12" x 12" journal, and I'm really liking it!

  5. I'm thinking that for being slightly out of focus you do quite a great job of expressing your feelings! what will you be like when the new room is done and you are feeling much better! watch out world! lyle

  6. Really wonderful journal. It is simplistic yet so meaningful.

    Thanks for sharing your views on cancer. As I wrote earlier, my daughter also has cancer. It's a tough place to be but I know you are a fighter, as she is, and I know you appreciate where your art has taken you with this. I know I do. Your art is Very inspirational!

  7. these are so profound Karin and I do love the tree with the faces! xoxo

  8. I didn't know that about chemo affecting your vision. But I'd like to say that for someone who has vision problems, you are still making beautiful art here - your intuition is clearly working very well! I love your collages. Keep up the good healing and arty work :)

  9. Hey K
    magical mystical magnificent imagery and truth...I swim in this piece.
    I have always loved your visions, the deep way that you see.

  10. Your collages have captured my curiosity...after the graduation I have several ideas for articulating my visions into another vocabulary. Imagine and Live in Peace, Everyone is enjoying your book at the exhibit....I will be adding to this document from the heart a little each week. Imagine and Live in Peace, Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  11. k - i had cataract surgery on my right yesterday, the left eye a week ago. chemo can and was in my case, the cause of cataracts. i began noticing a vision change towards the end of my chemo, and a more drastic change just after. i waited for a thumbs up before having surgery.

    recent journal/art has been about 'vision' change since having cancer. sorta like knowing the difference between looking and seeing. and your work has helped me to be more accepting of what is...

    from the heART ~ namaste

  12. I love waking up early and finding a new Bartimole collage in my sidebar. A great start to the day! Your work and your spirit put me in the right frame of mind.

  13. Hi Karin, these are such beautiful images. I love the notion of seeing scarcity or abundance. Your trust takes you to fabulous places as you make your art. Thank you for your kind comments recently - I have been very touched by them. May you feel rested and restored. Love Penny x

  14. your inner vision is obviously stonger than anything else that's happening to you though it may not feel like it to you. this has given me lots to think about.
    P.S no way will you see a photo of me in that skirt till I've lost a LOT of weight!!

  15. I love that you trust your intuition. Perfect. Wishing you much healing.

  16. I love to see your creations and how your flow with your treatments even with such obsticals. I hope this weekend finds you healing from the chemo. And that life comes back into focus... roxanne

  17. thanks for sharing your tips. blurry eyes or not this is good work

  18. Nothing too precious.. that's something to meditate about. I admire your spirit, Karin, I am also wishing you much healing.

  19. I believe very strongly that art and creating art is very healing-- and you are creating some wonderful collages.

  20. I truly love the fact that your creations so accurately reflect what is happening in your life right now. And like you, I usually use originals in my pages...also liking the idea that the images are being used up and will not repeat.

  21. Hello karin

    that fucking cancer and it's arbitrary changes...

    But in some fundamental manner, there is nothing wrong with your vision . YOU SEE!

    today I thought about all the cards I have saved over the years, and I thought'i could make a collage from them!'

    you and collages are new in my world, and I am glad for both


  22. So many ways of seeing, and healing, your spirit shines through in these collages no matter what the vision sees. xox Corrine

  23. Karin,

    Thank you for sharing these windows into your world. Your words are helpful to me in the work I do with children in the hospital. While I can read their charts--your explanation of how symptoms affect your thoughts and image making is something that is hard for kids to articulate. The Tree of Life that shows up in the center of 2 of your collages is moving to me--
    And scarcity vs abundance--the coin we all get to toss and call each day!

  24. hi karin, beautiful work as always.Your honesty and your vision elevate your pages to something.....more. Powerful, insightful. it's hard to put into words.
    sending you healing thoughts.

  25. your vision is extraordinary, your work amazing and your words inspiring. you create so much more than so many who are just unable to make or find time, inspiration. you keep me going, even when there are several-day stretches when I don't make it up to the studio... you kinda take away the excuses even when your hands are burning, your back is shooting sparks, hands are crap... keep right on sharing your vision toots! xoxo

  26. Thanks Lyle! I like your thinking :) xo

    You're welcome Cheryl. and I'm really glad to know that your daughter is well now - may she remain cancer free now and always!

    thank you cat - it is a pretty cool image find, isn't' it :)

    Yeah, it's amazing how many layers of effects chemo infiltrates in the body. I continue to learn - and vision can be found through a number of means... thank you!!

    namaste D, xo K

    I imagine you would be a magnificent collage artist Mary Helen. The quilt is a dimension of collaging, piecing together so many fragments and bits of beauty to create a new whole and message...

    oh peshe, I am sorry you had to deal with that on top of everything else. I hope the surgery is a complete success and brings your eyes the clarity of vision your heart already holds. namaste

    that makes me smile Robyn - thank you! xox

  27. Hi Penny, you are welcome, and likewise - I enjoy having your visits here very much! yes, there is always a way to see lack, or plenty in pretty much any situation. it's a matter of deciding which, right?! xox k

    oh, thank you whitney ♥ ha!! okay, no pictures for now :(

    thanks valerie

    hi leslie, yes, i think that's crucial to being free in the art making process - at least for me it is! thanks for your healing wishies.

    thank you roxanne, your message means a lot to me.

    thanks paige!!

    yeah, that one has taken a while to learn, but truly, noTHING is precious - people, experiences, lives, nature - very precious to me, but noTHING. xo

    hi donna, yes, art is a healer - always has been for me! thank you :)

    thanks Seth - i don't think i know how to do it any differently :) good point about how using originals doesn't allow for repeats - that's true...

    hey kj, I think using your cards is a great way to reuse, revision them! and they will be infused with all the card givers themselves - a nice thought. yes, i see :) love k

    thank you corrine xox

    hi hannah. you're welcome. indeed - it is a coin toss!! your patients are fortunate to have you hearing and seeing them through the different forms of communication needed to fully explore the unexplainable...

    thank you so much bridgette xox

    hi patti, you have me giggling - toots :) thank you my friend, xoxo k

  28. you are a warrior, going through chemo, there is nothing less about it... the idea of vision, and sight, insight that comes when the mere looking at life with eyes gets hazy, has always been an interest to me; the idea of gnostic (to know, to see)... we never know what the body and soul are focusing on in full, do we.
    i was on morphine in intensive care, and the dream world that opened to me was immense... perhaps we can always access it?
    hope your body fills with joy soon-

    blessings to your healing continue!

  29. thanks for the reminder of Parabola... i am going to re subscribe.


  30. Amazing! I so love your collage work. "A New Way of Seeing"! One of my favorites.

    We all need a new way of seeing.

    Thinking of you! Sending energy for good things!

  31. I love your collages, Karin! And I especially love that this one was made through your intuition more than your eyes. The surrealism is matched in its symbolism and significance. So very stirring!


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