Art Break Wednesday: The Magic of Doors

altered book door collage 1-2013  RHB reduced with cSo, today is my birthday.

One of those milestone ones.  Others in my family are having them, too: my daughter turned 21 this month, and my son will turn 18 this spring.  (Last year, my hubby got a head start on the milestone I’m hitting today.)

This past year has been particularly full of struggles and joys, losses and new adventures.  Maybe that’s the reason for my current obsession:  doors.  The poet in me is all about the metaphor, for myself and for each person in my family.   Doors closing (some slamming painfully shut; others slowly creaking closed until you realize you’re in a different place) and others opening (new experiences and things to learn, new art to make, new poems to write, new endeavors to launch, new friends to meet…).

The artist in me is all about a visual description of that metaphor – books as doors!  What better than a book to transport us to new worlds, open up new ways of thinking and dreaming and wondering?

Hence, my newest artistic adventures.  Vintage books-as-doors collages!  (With poetry inside, too.)

door ajar with c







For this piece, I hollowed out a vintage book, embellished it, and tucked in this Emily Dickinson poem from another vintage book:

door collage emily dickinson interior with c


Precious Words

He ate and drank the precious words

His spirit grew robust;

He knew no more that he was poor,

Nor that his frame was dust.

He danced along the dingy days,

And this bequest of wings

Was but a book.  What liberty

A loosened spirit brings!


The door is adorned with a round filigree find from an antique shop, and a vintage jewelry part I bought from a European dealer on Etsy.  The door knocker (also purchased on Etsy) is a vintage brass doll house door knocker. I’m stashing all kinds of fun vintage bits of hardware for these.

Surrounding the door, with sidelights and a fanlight, is relief print I carved.   It’s a simplified version of a doorway in Dublin, the kind I got to see in person when my father-in-law took our whole family to Ireland when our kids were little bitty.

This collage is 9 X 12, in a cradled wood panel painted glossy black. I’m excited about making these collages in different sizes and with different details. When I took this to show my art critique group this month, seeking their feedback, one of the members bought it!  That was pretty encouraging feedback.

(More coming soon for sale in my Etsy shop!  I’m making them now.  Really – working on them right now!)

Do you remember any particular doors from your past?  I remember the wrought iron gates to the small courtyard in the house I grew up in in Florida. I remember walking through the gi-normous jaws of an alligator to enter Gatorland there, too.  And the imposing entrance to the Haunted Mansion at Disney World!  How about you?  How about now?

Perhaps you’re facing big transitions soon – as we’ll be adjusting to our youngest leaving the nest over here.  Or perhaps your journey will be less jarring.  Whatever doors you walk through this year, I wish you blessings as you come and go, and joy and adventure on the other side.

10 thoughts on “Art Break Wednesday: The Magic of Doors

  1. Birthday greetings from your geeky brother! In my everyday work as an engineer, I use a program called “Dynamic Object Oriented Requirements System”, or DOORS. It runs on Windows, of course! I love the book-as-door collage, the Palladian window above the door reminds me of the front door that Scott and I have now, which we enjoy even more with the double screen doors we had installed last year. I of course also fondly remember our courtyard gate, the Gatorland “jaws”, and the Haunted Mansion – remember the lengthening room with the creepy portraits – and NO doors or windows (which offered the “chilling challenge to FIND A WAY OUT!”)? Love ya!

  2. Happy Birthday, Robyn!

    I LOVE this doors concept. What a beautiful piece you’ve shared today — and to think finding Emily Dickinson when you open it! Wonderful.

    I grew up all the time hearing, “Don’t forget to lock the door.” Time to open some new ones now :).

    • Oh, thanks for coming through the door over here today, Jama, and for your kind words! (And I love finding Emily just about anywhere.)

      I think more door thoughts are going to spill over into Poetry Friday this week… ;0)

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