Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Black Gryphon (Elizabethtown, PA)

Once again, thanks to friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan, Tony Thompson and I have a number of pieces on exhibit at The Black Gryphon in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. If you find yourself in the Harrisburg/Hershey area, stop by for some great farm-to-table food at this great restaurant and enjoy some of these collages:

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Thompson-Specht collaboration

Here's another collaboration I completed with a friend and fellow artist from the Utica (NY) area. Tony Thompson does great artwork inspired by his days as a tagger (graffiti artist) and his interest in psychological responses to nervous system challenges. For this collaboration project, Tony presented me with a few options for "base" paintings that he had done (and which he felt were "incomplete"). Here's the one I chose...
He titled this one "Deal". I was very excited to see what I could add to this already-cool painting. One of the challenges with adding collage elements to Tony's work is that I did not want to compromise his style -- which includes many loose lines. That is, covering with opaque elements would obscure those lines. So, of course, I was leaning toward some use of transfers. Here are some intermediates and the final piece (which I re-titled "Android Deal"):

Saturday, August 17, 2019

A birthday present for Mary Carol

The majority of my time in the early part of the summer of 2019 was spent on music. I finally got a band together that seemed to work and we had a show in Boston and one locally here in Utica, NY. The second half of the summer has been dedicated to collage and golf. I finished a collage project this past week, just in time to present it as a 60th birthday gift to my wife, Mary Carol. The germ of the idea arose from looking at some of the beautiful vases and decorative framing that I found in a late 19th century volume of The Art Journal.
You can see the basic layout here. I thought I could "fill in" with some flower elements made into something like a "collage bouquet". I knew I was going to have to spend some time doing some "micro-cutting" with the intricate vase... and with the top element. That's where I started...

I am more comfortable using a single-edged razor blade than an exact knife, because I feel that my fingers are closer to the cutting and it gives me more comfort and control. I call this "micro-cutting" because I tend to cut VERY small pieces at a time. The middle image above shows you a cut portion under the wings compared to the uncut portion. In the last two images, my finger is pointed to the tiny piece that was cut from the element. I spent approximately two hours straight (I was "in the zone"... FLOW!) micro cutting these elements on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I kind of wasted a bit of time cutting the decorative vase... because after I placed the flower elements into the composition, I realized that this vase was simply too "busy" to integrate with the "busy-ness" of the various flower petals. Fortunately, I had prepared a number of potential elements for this particular piece incase I needed alternatives. The vase I ultimately used, was simpler and was a better complement to the flowers...

Here's the completed composition, entitled "Nouveau Flora Luna". I have entered this piece for consideration for this year's annual juried show of the National Collage Society. I hope it gets accepted (my work has not been accepted for the last two years, unfortunately).

Friday, June 14, 2019

"How I saw myself"

Here's a piece I finished yesterday. It is a two-element piece with a substrate (the little boy's photo) covered with a transferred image of an anatomical image of a breast with surrounding musculature and blood vessels. I wasn't sure how the transfer would turn-out, given that it involved much more than a simple line drawing (like other transferred images I have done in the past); that is. this image had lots of gray areas representing the musculature. I also had to be very careful with the placement. I wanted the anatomical nipple to be precisely over the boy's left eye. If you are familiar with transfer, this was particularly challenging because you have to be able to see "through" the paper (and the substrate of the boy's photo). I was able to accomplish this with the large cone lights in my studio. Then I realized that, in order for the image to look like it was "on" the boy's face, I needed to trim the transfer image to conform with the face (another step that required looking at the papers through a bright light course. I am VERY pleased with how this transferred image turned-out; and I am VERY pleased with the collage itself (the way some of the contours of the transferred image integrate with the boy's face fit so well and were basically serendipitous). This two-element collage reminds me of some of the work of one of my favorite collage artists -- John Stezaker.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Collages from Kirkland Museum in Denver

I just returned from a trip to Denver. It was a bit of a debacle. I was suppose to play golf at a beautiful resort course called Fossil Trace; but they got about an inch of snow on Monday and I was sick with a head/chest cold (in a hotel bed) for most of the time there! On Thursday, however, I was able to venture out a bit with my wife and went to the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art in downtown Denver (named after Colorado artist Vance Kirkland). The museum featured mostly furniture, jewelry and ceramics; but had a fair amount of framed paintings as well (focusing mostly on Colorado-based artists, living and deceased). I would HIGHLY recommend a visit to this museum... it's wonderful!. Anyway, here are a number of collages that were featured in the collection. The first three are works by Barbara Locketz - which include metal panels (2nd and 3rd pieces); The next piece reminds me a bit of Kurt Schwitters; but is by artist, George Cecil Carter; The next piece reminds me of Jean Arp's work and is by artist, James Mills; the last piece shown here is my favorite of the group and is by Emilio Lobato.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

more to come

I will try to update this blog again on a regular basis (although I will be spending a week in Denver starting tomorrow) and get up-to-date with my what has happened this spring. For now, I will put up this "teaser". This is a piece entitled "I have something to tell you" (7" x 7"/11" x 11" framed) and recently sold at an exhibit at Kirkland Art Center in Clinton, NY.

Too late?

I have not posted on this blog since November 2018. That's WAY too long to leave this blog "unattended" and I do apologize most sincerely to my followers. It has been a very long, productive and somewhat stressful school year. Yes, I am still active with collage. In fact, I decided during the holidays that I would get back into doing a bit of "art hustling", by looking into submitting to some different venues. My work paid off and I was able to show works at a number of new and interesting places this spring. In January, I showed three pieces in an exhibit called "Inside/Outside" at the Upstream Gallery in Hasting-On-Hudson, NY (near Tarrytown). The exhibit was well-attended and the village was wonderful. I was especially honored that my mentor Jonathan Talbot made the drive to attend the opening. I also appreciated the fact that my sister-in-law Donna, her man Jay and my niece Vivian (in the beret) also came down for the event. In addition, I met Terrence Fine, a fellow collage artist who also likes to use celestial backgrounds in her work. Here are some photos from the opening: