“It’s just a part of daily life now,” she said. “I have to have my routine or I feel a little off.”
“I do a five-by-seven format,” said Wysocki, talking about the size of her daily artwork. “It’s doable to make art in a shorter time frame.”
Before collage, Wysocki had another creative routine. Everyday she wrote in a journal, inspired by the teachings in the 1992 book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. When that routine grew tiresome, Wysocki turned her focus to her art.
“I said to myself ‘Well, why don’t you just make art your writing?’” So she did, spending 10 minutes to two hours on collaging every morning in her home studio: a spare bedroom filled with art supplies, books and a TV. “I can’t have music on in the background. I get too into it,” she said. “So I do TV.”
With over 1200 collages, she’s explored a lot of topics, but often her work comes back to political messages and nature. When posting her work online, a place where she both sells her art and seeks community, Wysocki pairs it with a short story, poem or background information about the subject. Giving her work some context, she said, is important to her.
The book “Animal Speak” by Ted Andrews helps Wysocki when she captions her nature collages on social media. “It tells about the spiritual and magical powers of animals and birds,” she said.
“When you look at my work over time, nature is really a theme,” she said. “I guess I’ve always been a bird person. I like birds and I like the stories behind them.”
Wysocki’s studio has a shelf full of yellow-spined National Geographic magazines and colorful children’s books, both sources she says she loves to use when making her art.
Wysocki sources her materials from vintage books, old photographs and magazines scooped up at thrift stores, library sales and garage sales.
“I used to feel bad about it, but not anymore,” Wysocki said, running her finger up and down a book spine in her studio. “‘Cause they’re being rebirthed, you know?”
For Wysocki, creating art daily isn’t tiring, but energizing. At 59, and with a birthday in December, the artist feels she finally has time to dedicate to herself and her craft.
“It helps me to be more organized and getting more stuff done. You get more energy, or at least I think I do,” she said. “It’s like ‘Wow, I can do this and now I’m gonna go do this, and now you have time to go do this.’”
Wysocki’s advice to others looking to create a creative daily practice?
“The biggest thing is just showing up and doing the work,” she said. “Even if it’s like crap work, you’re still doing it.”
Wysocki sells her artwork via Facebook and Instagram, under her name Marianne Wysocki. Three days a week she can also be found working at Shapiro’s Gallery on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg.