Susan & Mari: friends who collage January 02 2024

Susan Hartman:

Mari and I have different stories about what we do with our creative grist. I credit Mari for getting me rolling with projects. We inspire one another regularly with new ideas. In 2020 cancer loomed - leading me to an "early retirement" and prompting a new perspective. "By 2022, my treatment was finished, and my life changed." I became a support to other survivors through a website capturing personal stories with helpful resources. Mari introduced me to Wellness Coins, coins with inspirational messaging, which I left at my cancer center in Providence, RI gifting to others. In the past year, I've made over 250 pieces, branching into creating journals and items using similar creative collaging and Paper Connection's *Pastiche collection of paper samples. I include additional material transfers from my garden plantings. Sometimes my pieces become large compilations which I break into other imagery. Any leftover scraps become something else with no waste of materials or resources. Mari is a super clever person and does amazing work. She offered the first light of encouragement during a time of uncertainty.

"We are a great support to each other on our separate and unique journeys."

Mari Ryan:

My creative journey has had many starts and stops.

In 2003 I picked up photography, which has remained my primary creative outlet. By 2019 I started attending a monthly creative networking group, learning collage. I was smitten with collecting paper and playing with a variety of techniques. When the pandemic hit, I knew I had fostered the perfect hobby. Since then, I have expanded my interests including mixed media and watercolor. 2021 brought a new home allowing space for an art studio. I knew this to be a key as I worked less and created more.

"My art certainly is therapeutic for everyday life and the friendship with Susan is so valuable."

*note from Paper Connection: although the Paper Pastiche monthly subsription pack has been halted for now, we are making "Odds & Ends" collage packs described in our recent blog post: Way to Play.