Art Matters: What You Missed When You Blinked | Abstract Art

What comes to mind when you hear the words “what you missed when you blinked?” This, my friends, is the title of a painting I came across in Dean Nimmer’s book Creating Abstract Art. I was specifically looking for collage ideas, but what I found, or what found me, was a dormant poem waiting to be written. It’s proof that inspiration comes in unexpected ways, and it’s one of the reasons I recommend this book.

Jason Antaya ( is the artist who created What You Missed When You Blinked. I thought it would be interesting to share his inspiration for the work and to then share the poem that I wrote.


“What You Missed When You Blinked is my take on how short life is and how to fill those moments with art,” Jason says. “I strive to create a mood with my work and capture a moment in time that reflects that mood. I am fascinated with decay and deterioration, and I try to convey that process in my work. As a collage artist, I use a variety of vintage paper from many sources and try to give new life to this medium that is slowly becoming obsolete in this digital world we live in.”

[Read: From Chaos, An Abstract Art Painting Evolves]

You’ll see that our takes are very different, and after learning Jason’s interpretation, I feel like I might have another poem waiting to be written. My initial reaction connected me to my sense of parenthood, which is symbolically opposite of decay and deterioration, although maybe it’s not quite so different. One of my favorite quotes is that “change is the only constant in life” (Greek philosopher Heraclitus), and what is decay, but change? I’m not getting younger by the day but, like all of us who create, be it abstract art, poetry, or more, I’m leaving something behind.

What You Missed When You Blinked
By Cherie Dawn Haas

The first question
That must be answered is
Who are you

You are my son
Born from my body
Not one, but two.

When you blinked
I tucked you in
Kept you out of the snow

Made doctor appointments
Drove you … everywhere
Loved you more than you could know.

When you blinked
I prepared food for you
Folded your clothes, paired your socks

Read you fairytales, and then novels
Cried alone through world events that could affect you
Smiled together in the creek bed as we skipped rocks.

When you blinked
I made mistakes
Yelled when I should have instead held
I’m sorry that I yelled when I should have held

A not uncommon tactic
But perhaps you were blinking
And your eyes were open all the times I held.

When you blinked
I encouraged literacy, art, and empathy
Peace and love – it must all be linked

And so as you carry on
In this fleeting life
You must know my love
Is, and we are,
Stronger with every blink.
~cdh, 12/19/16

How are you inspired by Jason’s title and/or his abstract art, or perhaps by the poem? Share your comments with us below.


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