Student Collages on the Theme of Personality Traits

The artist’s words about her collage: “It is about the difference between public mask and private reality. After the performance is over and the make-up is removed, what do you see in the mirror?  Who are you after the glory? Maybe you are lonely.”

Collaborative collage, Catherine Raine and a student who left a partially-finished piece behind.
Detail from “Be Open and Not Withdrawn”

Milk Door, a Photo-poem by Catherine

When soldiers returned to father the Boomers,
this house had a miniature door
for bottles to enter full and leave empty,
waiting to turn milk-opaque again.

After the rise of supermarkets, the portal changed to a window,
six milky panes slap-spackled in the brick,
intimate economies traded
for plastic jugs, sloshing bags, and Snippits.

Today, morning rays tremble where hinges once swung,
and light is the currency of nourishment.
Absence has punched through the wall,
dispensing with chiseled finesse.
But thanks to the glass, tactless bricks
do not efface the door’s memory.

Instead, as stained-glass surrenders to water,
transparency releases pools of color,
visual sighs for the lost,
and prayers for anguished strength
to roll back the boulders from tombs.

Six thick panes for discarded cradles,
rusty skate keys, and faded bowling prizes.
One shelf for the clink of empties, echoes of booming demands to grow up strong.

Milk door to window,
necessary to obsolete.
What shines can seed the deepest soil.
And what empties to nothing
holds rivers of radiant ghosts
that shimmer, swirl, and eddy in aching gold.


Collage Assortment (2016-2018)

Symphony of Waves, Catherine Raine 2016
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Aquatic Garden, Catherine Raine 2017
Bookmark and Forest Paper Doll, Catherine Raine 2017
Layers of Orange Bookmark, Catherine Raine 2017
Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Three Hatted Birds, Catherine Raine 2017

Dancing Paper Figure for Greta, Catherine Raine 2017


Memorial Candle for Dad, Catherine Raine 2017
Algonquin Park Dream, Catherine Raine 2017
Embodied Road Trip, Catherine Raine 2017
Shadows of Two Thistles, Catherine Raine 2017
Detail from Shadows of Two Thistles, Catherine Raine 2017
Be, Catherine Raine 2018
Be, Catherine Raine 2018
Space Flapper, Catherine Raine 2018
Detail from Space Flapper, Catherine Raine 2018
Subway Returns to Nature, Catherine Raine 2018


Found Shadows and Reflections

Outside Kennedy Station, 2017


Holland Nature Reserve, 2017


Liberty, Missouri, 2017


The Afghan Blanket and the Gift Bag, 2017


Outside Scribbler’s coffee shop (Kent, Ohio), 2018
Lee Lifeson Art Park in Honor of RUSH, Toronto, 2016


Construction Shoring near Kennedy Station


Sidewalk by Woodneath Library, Kansas City, 2018


Chestnut Tree in North York,  2018


Rouge Park, 2018


Rouge Park, 2018


Rouge Park, 2018


Aga Khan Museum, 2018


Hazeldean Woods Park, Ottawa, 2018

Rain on the Parking Lot Outside Adonis Supermarket, Scarborough, 2018

Winter Light Display, Liberty Missouri, 2019

Heart Mosaic in the Garden

A mosaic of stones, coins, and jewellery had been growing in our front garden box since May, but it wasn’t until late August that the idea for a heart border took root. Heart-shattered by the hatred in Charlottesville that led to death of Heather Heyer on August 12th, gathering these shards and bits of ephemera into a positive shape helped raise my spirits. A couple of weeks after the August mosaic-shaping, I was in the process of adding more buttons and beads when my neighbour and her four young daughters came over to look at the garden heart.

Hoping that mosaic-embellishment might be entertaining for the children, I entrusted them with my box of decorations and went to fetch some glue. I was very grateful for the girls’ collaboration, for thanks to their sowing of beads, bedazzling of flowers, and gluing of googly eyes, the heart mosaic became more alive. Before taking off for a dinner engagement that evening, I went back inside the house to gather more supplies and offered them to the girls for their own outdoor art. By the time I returned from the outing, a box of soil containing the gorgeous composition below was sitting on my neighbor’s lawn.

The following morning, a Saturday, the outdoor mosaic theme continued to evolve with the same box showcasing a new arrangement and the words Peace and Love.

Peace and Love

The children’s artwork affected me deeply, and I found myself wishing its creative faith could dissolve destructive ideologies once and for all. What if a box of dirt, flowers, and love could reach people like the 45th president who lean dangerously towards fascism? No matter their current spiritual condition, a Peace and Love Art Box could remind them that once, long ago, they might have lovingly spelled God’s name on a leaf with glue or promoted peace with pebbles, paper flowers, and pennies.

What stops humanity from planting love instead of hate when heroes like Martin Luther King Jr., James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, Medgar Evers, and Heather Heyer paid for Love’s truth with their lives?

… by Catherine Raine