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.

Abstract art | Jason Antaya,

What You Missed When You Blinked (acrylic and collage on canvas) by Jason Antaya, featured in Creating Abstract Art

“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.


Click here to view Dean Nimmer’s new series of “Creating Abstract Art” videos
at North Light Shop! 

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4 thoughts on “Art Matters: What You Missed When You Blinked | Abstract Art

  1. jasonantayaartwork

    Hi Cheri, thanks again for the feature and your poem is beautifully written. I’m honored that my work inspired you to write this poem. I try to come up with catchy or clever titles to my pieces as that is part of the creative process. Some titles come instantly, others take their time. I think Dean’s book is a must read for any artist, as it is both inspiring and it encompasses his quirky sense of humor, which i think makes it more appealing than just a “How to” book.
    Best regards-
    Jason Antaya

  2. DN

    Hi Cherie
    Terrific that you wrote your elegant poem based on part of the title of Jason’s painting. That’s exactly the kind of imaginative connection I hope to inspire in my North Light book, Creating Abstract Art. I most hope to motivate readers to think creatively wherever that urge takes them, and that includes not only painting, drawing and collage, but sculpting, taking photographs, making prints as well as writing poetry or even performing an interpretive dance. There aren’t any limits to what we can imagine nor are there limits to what we can create!
    Best Wishes, Dean
    BTW, I just did four new videos for North Light Books on Creating Abstract Art that your readers may like to see if you can post a link to them?