Let me give you more details about my interaction with the montaged walls. I began to see the stories come alive. For example, I pasted a picture of a lady wearing a mink stole as a symbol of prosperity. Not long after, I received a package from mom containing an actual mink stole! She said she never used it anymore and thought I might have more places to wear it. I quickly gave it away. I desired the climate of prosperity, not an actual stole.
I cut out wild horses running free from a magazine ad to represent dynamic physical energy. Sometime later, I was out walking with a friend when a herd of horses came running toward us as we crossed a field. They were driven into a nearby corral. It was exhilarating but a bit scary.
An ad for white water rafting made it onto the wall standing for fun family outings. Carole asked if I wanted to take the boys white water rafting with her friends. I immediately consented and that picture of us as we dipped down into the rapids is the center photo of my “River Rafting” montage in the book.
I highlighted a beautiful solitaire diamond ring in a prominent place on the wall. I don’t remember how much time passed but a wonderful man and I fell in love. He asked me to marry him then, put a gorgeous solitaire ring on my finger. We agreed to have a long engagement and had two lovely years together before going separate ways.
I came home one day to see a new car in the driveway – its picture was on my wall. My sister bought a new car and the salesman wouldn’t let her leave until she bought it. Though it didn’t belong to me, it landed in our driveway.
You see the pattern. I was attracting the experiences I was meditating on long before I ever heard of the law of attraction, so popular today. I’m relating these physical manifestations to demonstrate that the principles work because it’s easier to recognize things on the material plane. Spiritual realms are harder to measure & language for them remains more limited. But I experienced higher vibrations as well.
I wanted to break out of the small box in which society keeps females. I searched for images of powerful women, enlightened women. I interspersed photos of me & our family. For example, I attached my baby picture with a crown on her head & a key in her hand being held by cupped hands radiating light. I was giving her the knowledge & power to change her life.
I favored paintings from visionary artists like Gilbert Williams. Shots of Pegasus, beings of light, crystals, rainbows, wizards, unicorns, waterfalls, a happy earth, butterflies, angels… I was interested in higher states of consciousness & sought inspirational experiences.
I called it “creating my own mythology”. I started designing smaller versions of harmonious, spiritual interconnections & the “Montage Mirage Myth Tapestries” began. (These have never been published because of copyright laws since I was using others’ prints. But I have framed many and enjoy them in my home.)
In 1994, I wrote, “In the Myth Tapestries, I create fantasies and dreamscapes of archetypal images representing the collective consciousness. From my experience of synthesizing psychology and metaphysics, I evolve my own mythology. I weave images together into a multi-dimensional interlocking puzzle representing slices of life & visions of what life could achieve. I use it as powerful visual therapy & dream analysis. My work dialogues back to me upon completion & serves as a visual meditation.
“I keep updating the Montage Mirage (MM) with new pictures. Many parts of me are mirrored & give me fresh perspective on who I am and who I am becoming. I look for where the image ‘fits’. What relationship does it have with the surrounding pieces? How is that reflected in my life? It constantly changes & grows as I change & grow. The MM opens a two-way dialogue with my non-verbal self, the part of me that is in touch with my highest potential. A right brain conversation with myself follows. Alive with a personality all its own, connections are made and insight is sparked. I see it vividly in front of me in full color every day. I am uplifted and inspired, my goals are affirmed & my dreams are made visible. I imagine myself fulfilling my potential. I find images that describe me, how I feel, what I think.
“The dynamic MM is a pictorial view of the Process of Evolution. It is folk art depicting the times of today & tomorrow with images from the past through modern color printing. Intuition is developed by giving the Inner Voice a way to talk and respond through the picture language of imagination. Old treasures & new concepts are preserved together.
“The MM is made with greeting cards, paintings, drawings, photos & other printed materials that express various parts of me. Montage is a time-honored practice. MM is a new application of an old form. I create my own archetypes with colorful symbols that are personally meaningful to me.
“The MM is a visual journal of my growth. My ideas, dreams and aspirations are broadcasted into the world to draw like substance to them. Often the physical reality manifests.”
I want to briefly mention another valuable aspect of my interaction with the wall that reflected my internal process.
Another man I dated for six months, died in a sudden accident. It was a huge shock. Dark grieving images crept over the wall. Death and rebirth dominated it. The giant montage mirrored my internal state. It was an external way to grieve, to get it out of me, to feel and honor it simultaneously. A number of months passed before the wall brightened with optimism.
What’s all this got to do with MM Photo Tapestries? What I learned from montaging whole walls over several years translated into the creation of beautiful photo tapestries. At first, they were integrated while I seeded the walls with photos of me & family. Later, they developed in parallel as I worked on smaller Myth Tapestries with particular themes & delighted in playing with the best pictures of loved ones for the Photo Tapestries.
Author: Gwen Sarandrea has authored numerous books including Counseling Case Study & The Healing House, The Gift of Dad’s Final Years. She is also a portrait montage artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gwen has a love of helping people cope with the aging and death of parents and other loved ones. VisitAmazon.com to pick up your copies of Gwen’s books.