Thursday, December 18, 2014

beautiful sources

Once again, I want to write about procuring materials/ephemera for my creative collage efforts. This past Tuesday, I spent half the day at the Farmersville auction in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with my good friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan. The auction itself is a wonderful cultural experience. In addition to some Life magazines from the 1960s (Life magazines are some of my favorite sources of collage elements), I also got some vintage books. One of the books was a Bible from the turn of the 19th Century with many beautiful etched images like the angel shown below. But the emotionally moving element was the page on which the owner of the Bible entered family information including the details of his/her marriage in 1902 in beautifully calligraphic red ink. I found this moving and somehow felt a bit "guilty" that I ripped pages from this tome. In fact, if by any chance, anyone who reads this blog has any information about this family, I would love nothing more that to frame this page and present it to them. In addition to the Bible, I also bought a lot of three books which included a book entitled "The Grammar of Palmistry" from 1893 (by Katharine St. Hill). This book didn't have many images and was not the one I bid on primarily. As it runs out though, I will not cut/rip out images from this book. It will be the second vintage book about hands and plan reading that I own (perhaps this will become another interest of mine... i.e., the history of this silly notion that hands/palms tell us something about personality. A second book -- the one which caused me to bid enough to get the lot -- was a book entitled "Steam". It included wonderful images of vintage machinery with beautiful depth (shown below). BUT... the book was even more beautiful than I initially thought AND it is SO beautifully laid out, that I will have a difficult time "destroying" such a wonderful piece of "art" for collage. The thing is, if I hadn't purchased the book, it may have ended-up in the garbage or in a musty attic somewhere. What made the book even more heart-warming was the hand-drawn inscription in the first couple pages of the book -- a wonderfully drafted signature and the phrase "Knowledge conquers riches" in old colored ink. I guess I just wanted to share another aspect of collage that makes it SO special to me -- the time travel and nostalgic and contemplative experiences it provides. I LOVE IT!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

collaged "place mats" at The Black Gryphon (Elizabethtown, PA)

Tomorrow I will be heading down to Elizabethtown, PA to my friend's award-winning restaurant -- The Black Gryphon -- to set-up for a "Dinner & Collage" event on Tuesday evening. My friend -- Anthony Morgan -- is a collage artist himself (and had his first piece accepted into the NCS Annual Juried Exhibit this year!) and is having me and a couple other collagists (including Joe Castro) create some collaged "place mats" for the restaurant. Here is mine entitled "The Title of This Piece is Not "Dive In'".

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Gary Leising's poetry book

I am SO excited and humbled to be the cover artist for the latest poetry chapbook by my friend and colleague Gary Leising. He's an award-winning poet -- because his poems are awesome! For $10, it's a great holiday stocking stuffer! You can get the book at:

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday

It's so discouraging that people make such a big deal out of a commercially-driven shopping day. Consumption, consumption, consumption! If 10% of the people who are in constant consumption mode would turn some of their energy to PRODUCTION, I think the world would be a better place. There SO much unused creative energy in the human race. So of course, I spent my entire day in my work space. It was awesome! I decided that spending some "quality time" in my collage space would be my top priority. I ended-up finishing a piece that I had conceived earlier this week and I created another "from scratch" out of a prepped substrate that I have had hanging around for a while. I will show the finished pieces for now, but I may do another post tomorrow showing some of the intermediates for the flower portrait piece (there's some things worth discussing methinks).

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Teaser question

Okay, this is a little teaser for an upcoming post (I hope). It is a philosophical question for all y'all. Is it possible to create a collage with only one element? I suppose that it depends upon your definition of "collage". Do you need at least two elements to create a collage? Input will be greatly appreciated...

intense lighting

I absolutely love this element -- it's black-and-white; it's "earthy"; it's dramatically lit; and it's surprisingly large for the subject matter. I MUST use it in a piece, of course. Last night I started with some sketches.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

time to "flow"

As I get more "serious" about my artwork (actually, I really don't believe I am too much more serious... but I do care more than I used to ;-)... I have come to realize that it takes some time to get into a state of creative "flow". I have learned to be patient (although it's not always easy for me) and just "plug away" at it. Today/tonight it seemed to take a while to reach the level of "flow"... but I think it finally happened. I am really liking the sketches that I did with this B&W church pew substrate and the other elements. I will probably go with the "art woman" as the focal element (can anyone help me identify her?).... although I do like the foot too. I thought these might be "cool" enough to share now...