Franciscans Contemplate Collages by Sandra Martin

Paul Keggington

March 03, 2012

Prayer often leads to personal expression in some concrete way. Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity are delighted to feature artist, Sandra Martin. Enjoy not only her creativity in collage, but also find out what this medium means to her.

About Sandra Martin

Sandra Martin is an artist living and working in Austin, Texas, where she has lived for almost thirty years.  Sandra has completed a BA in Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.  She is married with two (almost) grown children, and spends her time enjoying family and friends, working in her studio, reading, facilitating a women’s Small Christian Community through her parish, St. Austin Catholic Church, and in other volunteer service to her community.  Sandra is a long-time member, volunteer, and occasional presenter at The Seton Cove interfaith spirituality center where she continues to pursue opportunities for spiritual and emotional growth. 

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What my works of art mean to me…

When I develop works of art, I feel I share creative power with my own Creator.  When working successfully, I am truly ‘inspired,’ feeling alive through the breath of the Spirit, and filled with joy and a deep sense of connection.

As a lifelong lover of words, my collages are often my creative response to a phrase, poem, spiritual passage or dream.  Cutting out detailed images from various sources and arranging them in a meaningful and aesthetically pleasing design, satisfies my obsessive-compulsive need for order, as well as my spiritual and emotional desire to see the ‘hidden wholeness’ in things.  The process also allows my mind to wander and make the associations between words and images that feed my work.

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In my collages I seek to illustrate the integrated tension between reality and mystery, pain and joy, darkness and light.  The use of papers with varied textures, patterns and colors, along with the juxtaposition and interplay of flat and three dimensional images, visually express that tension. 

My pieces rarely end up as I imagined them.  The unpredictable give and take of the process, and the possibilities and limitations of my craft, allow pieces to develop a life of their own.  As I witness what evolves, I delve deeply into my soul.  My work then becomes an integral part of my spiritual growth. 

For almost thirty years, I have created and designed my own Christmas card to send out to family and friends.  Many of these cards have been collages that are inspired by a Christmas carol, scripture quote, or poem.  These cards were always very well received and enjoyed.  

When I was offered a one-woman show at the Seton Cove Spirituality Center in January of 2008, I knew I wanted to move away from the pastel landscapes that I had been painting, and move forward in a new direction.  I prayed that God lead me where he wanted me to go.  At that time, I had an amazing dream:  I dreamed that I was flying (by myself, not in a plane!) over trees and landscape and it was lovely.  But I was flying very slowly and cautiously.  In the dream I thought to myself, I really want to fly more boldly, and have more fun, swooping high and low over the trees and hills, feeling the air move around me and past me!  So that is what I did, and I had a glorious time gliding through the air joyfully and with the ‘greatest of ease.’  When I woke up, I felt happy, exhilarated, and excited.  It was then that I decided to step out in faith, and do a show of only collages, not knowing how they would be received by the general public.  It was with some trepidation that I hung that show in January of 2008, but I was extremely delighted and affirmed when I sold ten of the twelve pieces in the show.  God is good, all the time.  I continue to do my collage work, and still get that feeling of joyful exhilaration when I have completed a successful piece.

Contact Information:

2100 Rockmoor Ave.

Austin, Texas  78703


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