Happy Poetry Month! Sharing a Vintage Mixed Media/Found Poem Piece…


vertical for blog heart poems c I hope you are having a Wonderful Poetry Month!  In my corner of the virtual world, the Kidlitosphere, bloggers and poets are celebrating all month long with fun and inspiring projects.  You can find a roundup by the terrific Jama Kim Rattigan at Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

One of these years I’ll have it together to do something beyond a few special posts on my robynhoodblack.com blog in April. Like last year, I’m participating in the Progressive Poem today and will host Poetry Friday this coming Friday.

But I did sneak over to the studio to finish a little project I’ve been wanting to make for weeks. (I was “homebound” in early April finishing some freelance writing assignments and hosting company.) This little framed mixed media piece features highlighted text from CROWN JEWELS – OR GEMS OF LITERATURE, ART AND MUSIC, compiled by Henry Davenport Northrop, D. D., copyright 1887 by J. R. Jones. The original text was given a glossy acrylic wash and boasts a vintage heart key, a snip of vintage lace, and a small fancy vintage watch hand from France.

heart poems close up cIt says:






The frame is one of four I found in an antique shop a few years ago. It’s about 4 and 1/2 by 5 inches – wooden, made in Italy.  It has the loveliest handpainted turquoise color, with antique (very antique-y looking now!) white paint as well.  It’s full of character (slight imperfections), and I kept the little triangle brass hanger attached at the top.

I was tempted to keep it, as I rather like the simple message this old text yielded.  But I also love it when someone comes along and says a piece like this speaks to them, or they have the perfect person in mind to give it to.  So I listed it in my Etsy shop.

heart poems with hand c

Whether it sells quickly or hangs around a long while, I wish its sentiment for you always:  that your life is full of heart-poems!  Happy Poetry Month.

Art Break Wednesday: Columbus Day art!


©Robyn Hood Black

©Robyn Hood Black

Okay, so we haven’t historically had big “Columbus Day parties” in our home.  But this coming weekend, we’re celebrating both kids home for college for Fall Break over the Columbus Day holiday.  I thought it might be a fine time to share a recent mixed media piece with a Columbus connection.

The map is an original page from the Meyers Konversations-Lexicon, Vol. 7 (G), Fourth Edition, Leipzig, Verlag des Bibliographischen Instituts, 1887.  Genoa was the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, who penned these words in his Letter to the Sovereigns on the First Voyage, February 15-March 4, 1493 (first and rarest of printed Americana), referring to Hispaniola (today, the Dominican Republic and Haiti):

And they know neither sect nor idolatry, with the exception that all believe that the source of all power and goodness is in the sky.

This mixed media piece columbus detail 1 features various watch components and decorative metal embellishments from a variety of sources, namely antique markets and Etsy vintage shops.  A peek into how I chose to put what, where:





watch calendar numbers detailFirst, this round metal watch component with the red calendar numbers on a white background seemed perfect color-wise for the piece, and I love the suggestion of time having to do with anything historical.  I “highlighted” Columbus Piazza on the map with a small vintage silver component.



I liked the way the shape watch parts detail columbus artof these vintage watch parts seemed echoed in the shapes near them on the map, with the circle and spokes, and then the arch/ray image:





key detail columbus art


The shape of this old metal key seemed to suggest the shape of the docks depicted on the map.




And… true blue buttonI couldn’t resist adding the brass vintage “True Blue” button beside the quotation about the sky!  As far as the larger brass embellishments, I placed them at the top of the map to frame the whole image.  Notice how the “arched” piece on the right echoes the shape of the harbor at the shoreline immediately to its left.

Columbus framed

I had fun making this piece, especially working with such a lovely map in such wonderful condition.  Thanks for taking a look.  And, HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY on Monday, however you choose to celebrate it!

 (Note:  This piece is for sale and has garnered some interest at shows this fall, though it’s not currently listed in my Etsy shop.  Feel free to contact me with any questions about it. The image is approx. 9 X 11 in. ; the frame’s outer dimensions are 18 X 20.)