I would like to wish everyone who reads this a very productive, creative, peaceful and happy new year!
First thing in 2018, I will actually follow-up on my teaser about the possibility of a one-element collage. As another foreshadowing ingredient, I will let you know that the artwork of Richard Prince will be part of the discussion.
Sunday, December 31, 2017
Here's my last piece for the year 2017! Despite the political nonsense that our country is going through and the hatred that seems to more pervasive than ever, I had a splendid 2017. I got my golf game back on track (which was one of my non spoken New Year's resolutions). I was also able to see lots of great live music; including Steve Kimock (and Leslie Mendelson) twice; acoustic Hot Tuna (which was awesome) and John McLaughlin (which was a bucket list item). I also have been getting back to playing more music and bought two beautiful guitars (both Paul Reed Smiths). I also saw a great exhibit of one of my favorite artists (twice!). The Ray Johnson exhibit at the Matthew Marks Gallery in New York City was phenomenal! What was perhaps the highlight of the year was to see the total eclipse of the sun. That was one of the best experiences of my life! Really mind-blowing!
Sunday, December 24, 2017
I haven't forgotten about my last "teaser" post. I will be getting back to the notion of the legitimacy of a single element collage. But it is Christmas Eve day, so I thought I would show you one of the presents that my wife will get shortly. The box is collaged and the paper is folded so it "unwraps" (if done carefully) into something resembling a hibiscus flower. Oh yeah, and there's a silver bracelet in there too ;-)
Sunday, December 17, 2017
I would like to propose a topic of discussion to anyone interested in responding. It may seem silly, I suppose. But, is it possible to create a collage with only one element? Once I am done with my grading for the semester (ugh!), I will share my thoughts. Until then, feel free to let me know what YOU think. Thank you...
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Here are the final products. They went over very well. There is a bit of meaning to these. The question marks partly signify uncertainly. For last year's Thoughtsgiving day, we were reeling from the recent election of Trump. The theme for last year's pins were in opposition to his hatred and bigotry. We were all uncertain about how bad it could get. It has gotten pretty bad. A secondary suggestion of the question mark could be fragility -- specifically, the fragility of life. The pins were dedicated to Andre; who took his own life this fall and left us reeling from that. But here we are, near the end of another year. The colors of these pins and the third possibility for our question mark signify inquisitiveness and hope -- two things which we must continue to carry on living a life worth living. I was pleased with how these turned out.
Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Those of you who have followed this blog for a while might remember that a couple of my friends and I made up a new holiday now 7 years ago. We call it "Thoughtsgiving"... the day before we give thanks for Thanksgiving. We all meet at the pub tomorrow and blow bubbles (i.e., thought bubbles), eat some food and enjoy a couple cold pints of beer. I also have made commemorative collage lapel pins for the last 6 years (i.e., all but the first year). I began working on this year's edition over the weekend. With as busy as I have been this semester, I was really wondering whether I was going to have the time to come through with the pins this year. I am happy to say that not only are they coming together; I rather like this year's festive feel. I will post the final products tomorrow!
Sunday, October 15, 2017
I got a small wooden tilt frame as part of a box of frames at a recent auction. I don't particularly like these types of frames (and I've never used one before). I decided to paint the frame and was experimenting with gold and black and liked the way it turned out (I polyurethane it too). This piece now seems like a collage and kind of an "object" (assemblage?). I love the luscious vintage color palette for this one (btw, the planet in the upper right hand corner is a separate element (matches the palette perfectly I think). The phrase was something simply taken from some vintage book I had. I love looking through books and finding "random" phrases that when taken out of context are "Self-contained" but weird. This one seemed to oddly relate to the composition.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
This post is not really too collage-related, but.... I went to my friend Tony Thompson's opening reception this evening with some other friends. Tony is the guy with whom I have done two collaborative pieces (so far). I have posted them on this site (see August posts). Anyway, I ended up buying another Tony Thompson artwork! And I cherish this photo of the three of us this evening. Thanks Tony!
Monday, October 2, 2017
Last night while in my studio I realized that the last couple elements I have been experimenting with have a common theme. Interestingly, this theme has not been intentional. I don't even think it was driven by some subconscious motivation. But nonetheless, I have had several women with books in my creative queue. I also thought I'd share some of these wonderful musical note elements (complex notations!).
Friday, September 29, 2017
I've bit off almost more than I can chew this semester. I always push it to the limit; but this semester has me too busy! I've also been spending a lot of time enjoying my golf game this season. Anyway, I did choose to spend some time in the studio this evening and really found it inspiring and comfortable. I'm excited about putting something together from these elements (not finished composing yet).
Friday, September 15, 2017
Hilton (Double Tree) recently bought and remodeled an historic hotel in downtown Utica. One of the interior designers wanted to include as part of the decor, a number of larger scale reproductions of my collages. I was a bit nervous about how they might look. Yesterday was my first chance to see them in their environment. I am pleased (and excited) to say that they look great! Nine months ago when we started this project, I wasn't sure if it would actually come to fruition. Happy that it did!
Sunday, September 3, 2017
I love the medium of collage. Whilst I create, I experiment and explore. Sometimes what I find makes me contemplative. Here's a magazine cover from 50 years ago.I felt compelled NOT to cut this one up (at least for a while)... sort of, for historical reasons (and to learn something). So many things to say... First of all, why "the savage season"? Shouldn't civil rights be peaceful and welcome? Second, I am so sad to say that I don't think we've progressed too far in 50 years. And Trump isn't making things any better. Kinda pisses me off!
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Here is the finished product from my collaborative piece with friend and fellow Utica-area artist Tony Thompson. It is entitled "Finding your center". I have shown details here of how I included these letters and words into the falling tears. The diagonal half of a face was actually a "throw away" portion of some elements I used for my wife's recent birthday card. Not only did it seem to work well here; but serendipitously, part of one of the flowers in toward the center of the bunch provides an eye-like complement to the face. This was all unplanned initially; but speaks to the necessity of paying close attention to details as one explores a element placement within a composition. It also speaks to the fact that in collage, sometimes "throwaways" are really throwaways. A collagist must always pay attention and capitalize on serendipity!
Monday, August 14, 2017
VERY excited to have gotten my "canvas" from my friend and fellow artist Tony Thompson today. We are doing another collaborative piece. For the first one we did, Tony painted on a collage I had done. For this one, I will collage on this painting that Tony has done (although I like it just the way it is). Looking forward to experimenting and, hopefully enhancing this piece!
I am so pleased to say that I have just had my third article published in Kolaj magazine entitled "Affinity for the Infinity". The folks at Kolaj did a great job with the layout (which includes three of my collages and two of my friend and fellow collagist Anthony Morgan). If you're not already a subscriber to this publication, I would HIGHLY recommend it.
Here are a couple sketches I completed this week. The hand piece still needs some detail work done. I posted this sketch on Facebook and people are REALLY responding positively to it (a couple folks are offering to buy it). I had a feeling that it would be popular. My initial plan was to use the anatomical details of the hand and place different backgrounds behind it (I still may do this) as part of a series I am working on for a conference presentation (more on that later). But because people have been responding so positively, my temptation is to simply finish it up and frame it. The piece with the vintage etching of the woman reading is a work-in-progress (not quite wowed by it yet, in my own mind's eye).
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Once again, here's are two more examples of why collage, as a medium, is so fascinating to me. I purchased some frames at the auction in Farmersville, PA a little while ago. One of the frames had a picture of this cute little puppy in it. After I took off the back to take the puppy out and clean the glass, I found this old photo. But why did someone cover up this photo with a goofy puppy picture? Seems like there's a story behind it. But it's a story that will never be told, I suppose. So it leaves me simply wondering in my studio about what the story is. The little notebook page was included in a Scrabble game box that my mother got at a garage sale last weekend. In the midst of a bunch of blank pages and pages with Scrabble scores on them, I find this gem. Interesting (even when I'm not active working on a collage).
Friday, July 7, 2017
Here is the final product of a piece I have been meeting around with for weeks as part of a project considering the use of space as background elements in collage. It will be part of an article which will appear in an upcoming issue of Kolaj magazine. I was able to think a bit analytically while putting together the final piece and take some photos of some of the detail work that I do when I do collage. The detail work makes the elements look more integrated (and, in fact, makes people sometime think my collages are digitally composed). I paint the edges of the dark elements; so you don't see white edges (look carefully at the images below). I also wanted to convey the size of the molecule elements. It was a real chore to get those cut so precisely -- especially as to not lose the circularity of the atoms. Each of the molecules edges was painted with Golden's "neutral grey" acrylic paint. Took me about two hours to complete just the molecules. BTW, the image in the background is a photomicrograph of a tick's mouthparts.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
While I was working in the studio the other night, I looked up at some items I had placed on a small shelf on the wall. The lighting caught my attention (as well as the composition), so I took this photo. It's a photographic collage, I think. And I rather like it ;-)
Sunday, June 25, 2017
My good friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan is owner/operator of "The Black Gryphon" restaurant in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania (near Hershey, PA). The restaurant had a serious fire in December and will soon rise from the ashes and open again. In addition to featuring artists' works in his place (commission free sales!), he features collaged placement and check presenters. Here's one that I finished yesterday in my effort to get the MANY of my half-finished work completed. I've spent a lot of time this week cleaning and organizing my studio space to hopefully continue getting some stuff off my current plate.