Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Collaborative with Tony Thompson

I am so glad that my artist friend Tony Thompson agreed to do a collaborative piece based on a previous collage that I did in 2013. Here is the original collage (which I was never too pleased with), and the piece as enhanced with Tony's painting! I love it!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

another finished piece

So... last month when I was at the reception at Kirkland Art Center (in Clinton, NY), my friend and fellow artist Steve Nyland (please check out his blog; listed on my blogsites) informed me that I would be having a show next month at The Dev (in Utica, NY). He said "It's a tradition". Granted, I had show there for the last two Septembers. But I didn't want to be presumptuous. I am excited to be showing there again with my fellow collagist Anthony Morgan! And it's just what I needed to get me "finishing" some pieces that have been lingering in my studio, half-done. I posted a sketch of this piece on this blog back on April 30th (wow! I thought it was just a couple weeks ago). I needed to get it finished, because I want to show it (and because my friend and fellow creative spirit Gabe Lockwood encouraged me, because he loved the unfinished piece so much). So, here it is in its final form (I found the perfect space background... for which Toeny will bust my chops)...

Saturday, August 6, 2016

finished product!

I didn't think I was going to finish this piece today; but alas, it happened! Pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Mary Carol will receive it for her birthday when we are in Stockholm!

art deco frame

I decided to post this "work in progress" because I am excited about it. I have also, once again, taken some intermediate photographs and thought some of you who follow this blog might appreciate "seeing the process" again. I got this beautiful vintage "art deco" frame at the Farmersville auction (in Lancaster, PA). The dimensions for the art is only 3.5" x 10.5". The book cover that I am showing here was also procured at the auction. I love the patina and the design; so I wanted to match it up with the frame. Unfortunately, the book cover was a little bit short in the length dimension; so I needed to do some cutting to make "extensions". I also decided to cut out some of the design "lines". It seems to be coming together, but I still have work to do (including painting the edges of the "lines"). You can begin to see what the finished product will look like (with the flowers and the green background). I need to get this piece finished this week, before we head out on our Scandanavian cruise; as this will be a birthday present for my wife (I also hope she doesn't look at this blog before we go ;-)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Night Swimming"

This is a piece I finished last night. I have tentatively entitled it "Night Swimming" (with deliberate allusion to the R.E.M. song). Oftentimes when I am in the throes of creative activity, I am not in the "mode" of documenting the actual process photographically. In the case of this piece, however, I was able to make photos of some of the intermediate steps. I think that I was compelled to do this by virtue of how the piece "emerged". I was working on another, bigger piece and had cut out a portion of that background element (shown below with the dog). I hadn't planned to do anything with that cut-out (i.e., I had presumed it would be a throw away piece). I even ripped off a small portion of the throw-away piece. Then, for some reason, I looked at it as a potential substrate. I was particularly drawn to the color of the ripped portion and the dried-up crackly glue that had been left behind from when I took the old mat off. I started "sketching" with some other elements that were laying around the studio and it started to "speak" to me. I even ended-up using both a new mat and an old mat with its yellowed edge. I'm really enjoying this piece and I think, in a way, it serves as a good example of how the creative process often works and, in fact, how eventual "success" is often not predictable in a linear fashion. I am so happy that I have some photographic record of how this piece came together. I may use it in my teaching.

Monday, July 25, 2016


If you have any history reading this blog, you are well aware of the fact that I certainly love playing with titles of pieces (as Jo Murray recently acknowledged). In fact, as I have mentioned before in this blog, I think titles are integral parts of a piece of art... they're part of the "collage" of collage. In this spirit, I enjoyed entitling this piece. This one is a bit of a different composition style for me... I was experimenting a little tonight. The title of this piece is "Her Stories During Family Night Often Reminded Him of When He Was a Young Girl". For those readers who may not have English as their first language, I will assure you that you have read that title correctly. It's a funky play on words and images... it's part of the "collage" of thoughts. I hope you enjoy it (even in its weirdness). By the way, this photo is not the finished work (I have done some touch-ups and will add a final piece tomorrow).

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


I found out last week that I will be exhibiting this September at a place in Utica, NY called The Dev. The curator - Steve Nyland - said that "it's a tradition"! That's cool. I have shown the past two Septembers there; but wasn't assuming that I would be this year. Anyway, I'm excited about it!  The Dev is a bar/music venue/art gallery. They do a great job at all three and attract many of the young "arterrati" in Utica. Being informed that I have an up-coming exhibit is just the kick-in-the-ass I needed to get me creating (instead of cleaning and organizing forever). Of course, the cleaning and organizing has helped me with the creative process as well. I'm heading to Copenhagen, Helsinki, and St. Petersburg in August for 10 days; so I'm actually feeling a little pressure to get pieces cranked out (without compromising on quality, of course). I could show pieces I have already made; but I like trying to create as many new pieces for exhibits as I can. I also have a somewhat interested following of my work in the Utica area, so I want to show them new work. Here are a couple I completed today. One is entitled "Her Name Rhymed with a Part of the Human Body". The other is entitled "The Sabine Family Scrabble Game Got WAY Out of Control".