Sunday, June 21, 2015

Illuminati Aquatica

I'm so happy to be writing this particular post! This past Friday my good friend and fellow collagist Anthony Morgan and I participated in the 60/60 event at The Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY. We did it last year as well and I also did it three years ago with my good friend Tom Nettle. The event is outdoors in the beautiful courtyard at the museum. It involves a gathering of 60 regional artists who each create a piece of art in 60 minutes while patrons put tickets into artists' paint buckets for a subsequent raffle of the art. Before I headed out to Syracuse (an hour drive), I got a call from Anthony (who was coming up from PA), who told me that he was at a stand-still in traffic on Rt. 81. Since the event is only an hour and since we were cutting it close with timing, AND since Toeny had the frame and matting we had intended to use for the artwork, I quickly gathered some other material and was trying to get mentally prepared for doing the artwork solo (rather than collaboratively as we had planned). BUT Toeny made it with about 15 mins. to spare. We worked together well again this year (as expected) and put together this "double" piece (the doubled nature inspired by the frame and matting Toeny got at a recent auction in PA). I am SO happy with this composition. I certainly hated to "give it away". I felt like offering money to the "lucky winners" just to get it back for myself. A couple of noteworthy comments about the composition I think are warranted (remember, I am a teacher). The purple orbs were used to "connect" the top and bottom portions of the piece. I think this was particularly important because of the fairly disparate nature of the compositions of each "half". I cut small ellipses of black to give the illusion of holes and was careful to have some of the orbs placed directly above these "holes". Of course, we were careful to place the orbs in such a way as to have the light and shaded portions in the same orientation. One of the things that happened "unintentionally", but to amazing effect, is the fact that the two woman in the lower portion were placed directly under the light beam from the upper portion. When we placed these women in the lower portion, our intention was to simply put then on an existing ledge in the underwater environment. We only noticed the "connection" of upper and lower light afterward. We were thrilled about it! Also as a teaching tip... when we placed the women where they are, I noticed that they were obscuring slightly, the urchin underneath. I suggested to Toeny that we make a small cut to reveal the entire urchin. The difference between the uncut and the cut was amazing (details, details). The event was magical and I feel like Anthony and I really put together a good piece. We are maturing well as collagists methinks. I had the same feeling after the event that I used to get when the band I played in had a particularly good night playing. I'm still basking in the glow. Well, I think that I may have rambled on too long here (may be the longest post yet). If you have been kind enough to read to this point, I thank you. Here are the images!
p.s. We had intended to put some sort of head on the woman in the top portion (a beautiful sea horse image was attempted), but nothing seemed to work and we were running out of time in the event. As we looked and contemplated it more, however, we thought the image as headless "worked". In a way, it's like many Greek or Roman sculptures with "lost parts". I'm satisfied with the finished product.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

two sketches

Here are a couple of other sketches that I was toying with last night. The boat piece was slated for use at the upcoming 60/60 fundraising event at The Everson Museum in Syracuse this weekend. BUT, I may just keep it for a "personal" piece, because I love the material and the size is "rare". I made a close-up shot of the little boy because I absolutely love the coloration and the expression! The other architectural piece has a real wooden (vintage) triangle in the corner. I really like the composition and will probably put this one together as a piece.

"'I've got this one', she said"

I finished this piece last night for the up-coming baseball-themed exhibit at The Tech Garden in Syracuse, NY. It's 9.5" x 7.5" and is entitled "'I've got this one', she said". There is a small detail that I would like to point out in this piece. I did not tack down the small "leather" piece on the left side, so that it comes over the mat a tiny bit. Not sure if the glass will diminish the "effect"; but I wanted it to come out of the plane of the rest of the piece.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

60/60 fundraising event at The Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY

Next Friday evening, my "brother" and fellow collage artist, Toeny Morgan will be joining me to complete a collaborative collage composition in 60 minutes outdoors at The Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY! It's called the 60/60 event because they solicit a group of 60 artists to each complete an individual work of art in 60 minutes. Patrons then buy tickets to enter a raffle for each of the artworks. It's a really nice event! Anyway, here are some of the image elements that I am considering for use in next week's event...

Work space

Well, I have not been too productive in terms of collages or sketches lately... BECAUSE, I have been cleaning and re-organizing my studio. I have spent days working on this and it has actually been satisfying.

Oh, and I just want to note that, of course, this is just my "work" area. I will post pictures soon of the prep and "layout" area. I just wanted to get the work space "on record" (can you tell I'm excited about it).

Friday, June 5, 2015

Boys of summer

I'm not very "into" sports (although I do like to watch college basketball and professional golf). However, Steve Nyland is curating another art exhibit at The Tech Garden in Syracuse, NY, with a baseball theme. So I have decided that it might be interesting to try to put together a collage for the show. My preliminary search resulted in a limited number of baseball-related elements in my stack of books (although if I took more time, I might be able to find more). But I think these will be more than sufficient. I thought I would share some of the "raw materials" before I start experimenting. I will hopefully have some "sketches" and the finished work soon.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May day

Well, it's the last day in May. Since I have been trying to post a bit more lately, I thought I would do one more post before June begins. I finished this piece yesterday and posted it on Facebook with a statement that I didn't like some of the technical aspects of it. Let me explain with a little background. I have begun to accumulate quite a pile of elements (some of which are coated and "ready-to-go"). I actually enjoy doing "the search" for potential elements through magazine, yearbooks, and other vintage (and contemporary) publications. And I even enjoy the mundane task of coating the materials with polymer acrylic medium (Golden's). In addition, it also seems like my studio space is in need of cleaning/re-organizing. These tasks are straight-forward and enjoyable whilst I play some of my favorite music. Of course, creating pieces of artwork is sometimes much more daunting (albeit enjoyable and rewarding too). I think I have relatively high standards for myself and so sometimes I think I make the creation process more daunting. I have decided to try to be a bit more productive with the elements I have collected and coated thus far and to be a bit more "accepting" if a piece doesn't reach my high personal standards. I have also collected numerous frames from garage sales, auctions and the road-side that I would like to begin to use (and get rid of). SOoo... here is the piece (9.5" x 7.5"):

There are the three technical aspects of the piece with which I am not totally comfortable. Firstly, the mat perhaps should have come over enough to be flush with the vertical cut on the left side of the woman's dress. I have mixed feelings about this; because in one way, it sort of looks cool truncated as it is (but still a bit uncomfortable). Secondly, it would have been nice for the vertical cut near the phone to "fuse" with the reflection on the floor, rather than to be separated as it is. Of course, I could have "made this happen"; but I didn't for the following reason. Behind the head of the phoning woman, there is a woman sitting near the window reading and drinking a beverage. The large blue-green paper cup from which she was drinking, would have been a distracting background element to the composition; so I wanted to cover it up. The problem that created (in addition to separating the phone and floor reflection) was that it allowed the woman's body to be seen around the head of the phoning woman. Not sure I like this. BUT, I wanted to get this piece "off the table" and done... so I did it. I don't "hate" the piece; but it doesn't quite meet my standards in terms of paying attention to detail. I suppose I would give it a "B". The frame is a "found frame" and so I will be able to put a lower price n this one when (if?) I show it. Wow... I initially thought this post was going to be a quickie ;-)