Sunday, September 2, 2018
Here's another in the "Etching series" related to my previous post. I am not 100% satisfied with how this piece turned out. I had done a couple sketches previously (and now somewhat regret not doing what I had originally sketched... shown below). BUT, the piece has been "put down" so there's no turning back. One of the reasons that I did not do the original sketch, is that I am planning on using the red cloud element with another piece (although I have multiples of that image -- taken from our flight magazines on the plane on our way to Iceland!). Anyway... one of the reasons that I am not as productive as I could be, is because I seem to always wait until a composition really "wows me". I don't want to settle for "good enough". The problem is, I have SO, so many awesome elements in my studio, that I could do collages for the next 7 years and never run out of cool elements. So I am trying to "get over" waiting until I am 100% satisfied with my artworks; and instead get more done. I am still unconvinced that this is the best way for me, personally, to do my art. After all, I am a very fortunate artist, in that I do not rely on my artwork to make a living. My "real job" pays the bills and keeps me in mats and frames ;-) So I decided to finish this piece last night and move on to some of my other collage projects. The jury is still out, in terms of whether this approach will satisfy the high standards I put on myself.
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Here's the piece I finished last night, entitled "Beauty on Trial". It's now the the third piece I have done with some of the etchings from the 19th Century "The Art Journal" (refer to my last post) as my "base" element. I love these etchings and I REALLY enjoy working on collages which enhance (?) the etchings. But here's the conundrum... I'm not at all worried about copyright considerations by using these etchings elements; what I am feeling a little strangely about (and I don't usually have this feeling) is how much "credit" I can take for the inherent beauty in these pieces. The etchings give me a distinct "advantage"; a "head start", if you will, when it comes to the aesthetic appeal of these compositions. I rarely worry about this with other collages I have done. Perhaps I just appreciate so much the technical quality of the etchings. Of course, it will not stop me from doing more collages in this "series'. I am SO happy to be "re-purposing" these images into my collages and letting some of the world see them again after 140 years!
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
As I have mentioned a number of times in my posts over the years, I often travel (with friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan) to the Farmersville Auction in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to procure sources of elements for my collage work. Earlier this summer when we were there, I didn't see much in which I was interested... EXCEPT for three volumes of "The Art Journal" from the late 19th Century. The books themselves were kind of beat up -- one was a mess, in terms of intact cover. But the etchings in these books were preserved and were exquisite! Most of the stuff in this massive weekly auction sells for pretty cheap prices. In the past, I've gotten a number of boxes of vintage books for $5-$10 each. For the past three or four years, though, I have had to deal with some bidding competition from a couple of women who I would assume run either a vintage book store, or some kind of re-purpose home decor shop (I think they sometimes frame individual pages and sell them). This results in books that I want for collage, selling for $12-$25. It's not like I can't afford it; but when you're bidding for things at an auction, sometimes you can run-up a bill. Anyway, the three art journals were not really worth much for resale, given their condition; and I told Anthony that I REALLY wanted them. I also was cognizant that I drove 5 hours and would've felt frustrated if I didn't go home with anything. So, I was committed to getting them. The bidding started at the usual $5; then $10; then $20; then $30. It was this woman and I bidding in rapid succession. When the bidding surpassed $100, a number of people started looking around. I mean, this is A LOT for this auction! And I think folks were wondering why these books were so valuable. We quickly got to $190. I fired back with $200... then she hesitated. I had a good feeling that the books were going to be mine. She bid $210 and I came over the top with $220.... The auctioneer acknowledged, "$220... $230?... $220... $230?". After a moment, he shouted... "SOLD!". My bid held up. The woman next to me said, "People are looking at your like you're crazy". I replied with a smile "That's because I am". I was pretty sure that I got a good deal; but I was certainly not used to bidding that high for something I was going to cut up for collage elements. When I got home and took a closer look, I was SO HAPPY! Here are just a few samples of the images that I now have to work with. They are such detailed etchings. The journal boasts of their "steel etchings" as unique. I must have 50-60 such images. DEFINITELY worth $220 to this collagist! And you'll be seeing remnants of these in my work this year. I think I will dedicate another post to my feelings about "taking credit" when I use these elements.
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Lately, I have been very excited to finally be getting some artwork produced again. The months of chipping away at cleaning and doing a little organizing of my studio has helped; as has having an upcoming show. Last night -- after a lot of experimentation with various elements -- I was able to finalize this composition to have it done in time to bring to the gallery later today. This piece is entitled "Looking Glass". Viewers from the North America who have some familiarity with vintage pop music might be able to guess the reason for that title.
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
I'm really excited to be showing some of the works I've created this summer. I think it's a good grouping that represents my "voice" at this point in time. Here are most of what I will be exhibiting at The Broad Street Gallery (in Hamilton, NY). The opening reception is Saturday, August 4th from 5-7:00...
Sunday, July 22, 2018
The piece entitled "Succulent Palm" (which I posted earlier) was a crowd favorite when I showed it in Syracuse, NY. It was NFS since I had given it to a friend as a holiday gift. The gallery owner actually inquired twice about whether I would reconsider selling. I also showed the piece at a brief exhibit at Sculpture Space, Inc. in Utica, NY and the studio manager "loved it" and wanted to buy it. I said "sorry, it was given as a gift to a friend". Fortunately, I was able to locate another anatomical hand (although one I don't like as much) to try to create a similar piece. I ended-up giving that one away too, to the studio manager as she just left the position at Sculpture Space after 10 years of employment. Here is the piece...