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Friday, December 3, 2010

Appreciating Art & Beauty with Sr Armanda this Advent Season

Sr. Jamie Paula: What does art mean to you?

Sr. Armanda: Art is an expression of beauty, and therefore an expression of God. It is capable of containing so much meaning. It just depends to what degree you want to look for it. I especially like art that is more complex and may not have an immediate attraction to it. It can often have deeper, hidden meanings.

Sr. Jamie Paula: When did you start making cards?

Sr. Armanda: For a long time, I just kept every beautiful card I received because I hated the thought of throwing away something so beautiful. I accumulated many cards, and wanted to find a way to use them.

I also used to keep a journal. Over time, I wanted to do something different and decided to do my journaling by expressing myself through images and art. I started using the images from the cards for my journal.

I also decided I wanted to recycle the cards in some way, and so I started collecting papers and other colorful, beautiful things like ribbon, buttons, and stickers. Other people started donating all their extra cards and other odds and ends to me.

I had always made cards here and there to give to people. And then about three years ago, I was in the infirmary in our Motherhouse in Boston recuperating from hip replacement. While there, I noticed that the older Sisters didn’t have their own set of videos on the Saints, so I asked if it might be possible to get a set for the infirmary. At this time, I started making cards, and had 100 or so cards by the time I left the infirmary. I decided to sell the cards to raise proceeds for the older Sisters to build up their video library.

Sr. Jamie Paula: What do you enjoy about making them?

Sr. Armanda: I enjoy the creative process. I enjoy taking four or five different things from different cards and making something new and unique out of them. I also like looking at all the beautiful images, and the quiet time that I devote to it. But, even though I say I enjoy the quiet, I also enjoy watching television shows on design and art while working on my cards – they give me inspiration. It gives me a certain sense of satisfaction to find a strange little piece of paper or odd little picture, and be able to incorporate it into something new and unique – everything is useful.

Sr. Jamie Paula: Is there anything you want people to know about the cards you make?

Sr. Armanda: Each card is unique and individual – there are never two alike since I use pieces from all different cards. I also like to make sure each card has meaning to it. I not only make Christmas cards, but cards for all other occasions, too, and I try to keep in mind what people might like.


suzanne said...

Sr Armandas cards are beautiful! Everyone I have given them to can feel something special about them. Sr Armanda expresses her love of art and her great eye for detail in every card she creates. Sr Armanda is an inspiration to us all!

BethM said...

I have seen but not purchased these. I make cards myself. I hope only one day to be as gifted as Sr. Armanda. I started mine to relieve my suffering from my disability of insomnia and Fibromyalgia. I've been told they are "art." But Sr. Armanda's have a beauty of simp1licity that mine lack that make them truly divine.