Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Well, I guess that will do it for another year. I was hoping to have more posts this year than last; but I ran a little short (mostly because of my sabbatical). I am so pleased to have become a Signature Member of the National Collage Society this year. I consider it my biggest accomplishment of the year! I was also happy to show my work at Arkell (in Canajoharie, NY) and at the Old Forge Library (in Old Forge, NY) with my friend and art comrade Sue Firsching. I am REALLY looking forward to "The End is Near" exhibit at Utica College this spring with 10 other interesting collage artists. And of course, I am happy to be helping Jonathan Talbot with his workshop at Utica College. Not sure what else the new year will bring. I have a number of works-in-progress and I feel like trying some new things. Thanks to all of you who check out this blog site every once in a while. Like teaching, artists need very little reinforcement... but we do need some (and it is always greatly appreciated). Wishing anyone who reads this a very healthy, happy and productive year to come! Enjoy!

Friday, December 30, 2011

mat and frame

I posted this piece as an image on Nov. 18th, but just got the mat and frame done for it. I am always impressed with how much the correct "treatment" can enhance an artwork. I'm very pleased with the way this ne looks now framed. I am working on a "partner" piece for it now. Enjoy!

South Side Sally?

Just finished this piece today. Seems a propos for the upcoming New Year's Eve celebrations. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jacques de la Villegle

Saw this piece in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City the weekend before Christmas and just thought I'd share it here. It's entitled "bleu O noir" (1955). Enjoy!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


I work quite often on my collages. I really enjoy the process, so why not. In fact, I think I am officially obsessed with collage. I really enjoy looking for elements; I really enjoy looking at others' collages; I think about my on-going collage projects pretty regularly; I really enjoy talking to other people (who are interested) about art in general and my collage efforts specifically; I even occasionally finish a piece here and there ;-) Most of the collages I create I "like" (which is probably pretty natural); but others I create I "REALLY like" (or "love"). I was very excited yesterday (Christmas eve day) to finally complete, mat and frame a piece I've been working on for a couple weeks. This is a piece I think I "love". I show it here from collage "surgery" to finished and framed. It's entitled "I began to experience the effects at around 3000" (8" x 6"). Enjoy!


I found 6 of these small frames at a garage sale... cheap. They're kind of nice because the way they're cut, they have a "built in" spacer, which gives a slightly shadow-boxy look. Anyway, here is a small format collage (only 4.5 x 5.5") that I just kind of threw together for the frame. I liked the way it turned out. Enjoy!

continued serendipity

Whilst I was coating this vintage (and colorized) photo recently, two interesting things happened. Since the photo is hand-colored, when I was brushing the acrylic medium onto the surface, it started to smear the paint (it must be water-soluble). I quickly became much more careful about applying the medium. Here's the other thing... I have to apply the medium to both sides and when I turned the photo over, I noticed how beautiful were the colors and pattern of the ripped paper on the back of the photo. I will consider using the back rather than the photo itself when I use this piece (although I have n immediate plans for it at this point). You just never know what you'l "happen across" with this medium. Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

coincidence or subliminal?

Last night I was reading "Collage: Assembling contemporary art" (Black Dog Publishing) when I came across this image of a piece entitled "Pleiades" by Max Ernst (1920). I was struck by the Ernst's inclusion of a colored leg (I'm still not certain whether it is painted or another collage element), because I was playing with this idea last week in my studio (see man braced with one arm). I have had that book for a while (and haven't looked at it in over a year) but don't consciously remember ever seeing the Ernst image. Interesting. Either this is a cool coincidence or some kind of vaguely subliminal influence (which I seriously question). Nonetheless, I think it's kind of cool. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cornell in NYC?

I was struck by this holiday window treatment at the Russian Samovar in New York City. It was so Cornellian! I should have asked the owners if they were inspired by Cornell or if the similarity to some of Cornell's work was coincidental. Enjoy!

Reverse collage photo?

I was in New York City this past weekend. I still enjoy taking "tourist-y" shots in NY. I posted this one on FB and it got MANY positive comments; so I thought I would share it here as well. In some ways, it reminds me of some of my collage work, except the stars are in front of the building instead of behind it. Enjoy!

the finished product

Here's what I put on "the canvas". I'm not really sure I like how it turned out; but it would be difficult to change at this point. You can see it "live" next week at The Green Onion on Genesee St. in Utica, NY. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

the "canvas"

Last of the flight holders for The Onion in Utica. This is a work-in-progress. I have put down the "background" elements and now will continue with placements of weird images. This one is a bit of a departure from the earth-tone palette of the first three. I'll be very interested in how folks respond to this style after seeing the other. Will post the finished product soon! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rome Art and Community Center exhibit

Two of my artist friends are showing work at the Rome Art and Community Center through January 13th. Tom McCarthy is a colleague of mine at Utica College. He studies invertebrate behavior (lots of cricket work) and teaches biology. But he is also an award-winning photographer who is particularly interested in the way light can produce weird effects in his photography. Sybil Johnson I met when I was taking watercolor classes with Ralph Murray (RIP). Sybil is an accomplished painter who is regularly working on commissions for all sorts of folks. The exhibits are definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Arkell Annual Juried Exhibit

Here are a few pieces from the current exhibit at The Arkell Museum in Canajoharie, NY. In my opinion, the exhibit is REALLY strong... definitely worth the trip to see. "Mother and Child" by Sally Dill; "Arizona 1" by Linda Hinckle; "Loving It" by Paul G. Kant and of course, yours truly standing next to "It's Not Always Black-and-White". And finally, someone spelled "Steven" correctly with a "V" rather than a "Ph". Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

classic cowboy paint-by-number

I got this painting as part of a box lot at an auction (already painted by someone else). Initially, I had no plans to use it for collage. But the image has really grown on me and it looks great coated with acrylic medium. Now I'm really excited about starting to play with placement of various elements onto (into?) the scene. This is something different for me and I'm psyched! I'll post a finished product soon. Enjoy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

another flight

Here's the third flight holder I have collaged for The Green Onion in Utica, NY. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

holiday treat

Here's one I'm entitling "In the Fishbowl" (5 x 7"). It's a bit more colorful than my pieces tend to be; but I like it. It seems to have a holiday feel to it, I think. I have included some of my intermediary "thoughts" to give those of you who are interested some insight into the process. It's pretty typical of my work (and of others I presume) as we collagists make our way to a final product. Enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Have I mentioned how nice it is to be back in the studio? I love it! Ideas seem to be flowing freely. The "problem" is that I now have about 6 actual projects "in the works". That can sometimes be a bit distracting for a monkeybrain like me. Last night while I was juggling the ongoing projects, I put together a few remnants that I had laying around. I used a small aperture mat and "found" the germ for lovely this composition. I tacked it down this morning and will frame it. Although I made a couple of lapel pins a while ago, this is the smallest of my "real" collages yet. I tend to like the small format collages. It's only 2.75 x 2.75 inches (7 X 7 cm). Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

collage pilot?

I'm not exactly sure why they call them "flights", but some bars serve a sampling of 5 or 6 small glasses of beer. My favorite bar in the Utica area is called The Green Onion (located near the Uptown Theater in South Utica). It's one of very few bars that does not have a television in it (yay!). Anyway, a couple months ago, I collaged one of their flight holders. On Monday I finished a second one. They certainly are unique and fit in well with the quirkiness of the bar. It was amazing for me to see the similarity of this one with the previous one. I hadn't looked at the first one while I was doing this one. Interesting. So this was my second "flight". Maybe I should now refer to myself as the collage pilot? Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2011

ephemera and history

Good morning all! One of the reasons why I love to do collage is that I learn so much (weird stuff) as I search for elements to include in my collages. When I look through old books and magazines, I get warm feelings of nostalgia, mixed with piqued interests in retro science, mixed with an appreciation for historical context, mixed with the excitement of creative potential. Who could ask for anything more in an artistic endeavor? I was recently paging through a 1903 Cosmopolitan magazine which I purchased at an auction a couple years ago. I LOVE looking at the old advertisements especially. I used to teach a course entitled "Drugs & Behavior" when I was at Lebanon Valley College and covered the historical/chronological aspects of drug regulations. Many students are surprised to learn that the opiates and cocaine were not illegal in this country until 1914. So you could get patent medications with cocaine and opiates from mail-order catalogs like Sears & Robuck. Of course, free access meant that many individuals would become addicted to such substances. Anyway, here's two pages of advertisements which include no less than 6 ads for help with opiate addiction (but two ads which are for a syrup which contains cocaine). Notice as well the two ads to help women gain weight. The times, they are a changin' (or they have changed and are changin' still). Enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Susan and Philip Morgan

Just wanted to express my gratitude to Philip and Susan Morgan for patronizing my creative efforts. Here, Susan is shown with the piece she purchased at the recent charity auction for the Heritage House in Elizabethtown, PA. They now own a watercolor painting I did years ago and this recent collage. The piece is entitled "Perhaps you should think about writing down your good ideas". Thank you for your continued love and support! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

old friend

As I wrote in an earlier post, I have not been working on art regularly lately. Mostly the hiatus was self-imposed as I have been working on my sabbatical writing and I felt I was at a natural break point from my major art goals. On Sunday evening, I "returned" to my workspace (studio?). Wow, I didn't even realize how much I had missed being in "art space"! It was great! Last night I returned again and began working on some stuff. I probably shouldn't post until I have a piece finished, but I just can't help sharing something representing "my return". It feels like I'm seeing (and being?) and old friend again after a couple months. I'm looking forward to getting back into the thick of creating art again. The woman over south side NYC is a work-in-progress. Who knows if the finished product will even look anything like this ;-) The trachea/blood vessel image is beautiful enough to show unmanipulated, I think. I'm excited to see what becomes of it. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Collage by Dan

My cousin Dan is a collector of Mexican movie memorabilia (mostly posters and books) and other ephemera. So it's not surprising that when he has been up from Guadalajara to visit, he enjoys working on collages. I taught him the Jonathan Talbot technique and , of course, this has allowed him to exercise his creativity without worrying about other "messier" techniques. Dan has created some really nice collages; but I think this is one of his best. Color composition is exquisite and if you notice, he uses a depth cue which is not too common. The background is printed in a way that makes it look somewhat blurry (especially relative to the crystal clear face). This creates something akin to atmospheric gradient and enhances the depth in the piece. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

where have I been?

Argh! I have really been neglecting this blog over the past weeks. The problem is that I am on sabbatical. You might think that this is a good thing, and at some level it is of course. I am working on a book (a textbook perhaps) about research design. It's pretty dry stuff indeed. It has turned out to be much more difficult writing it than I had anticipated. But probably the biggest problem for me in terms of artwork is that my work day (and work week) is very open-ended. There's not much of a defined end to my day or week so that I can say at some point, "Cool, it's time to create some art!" As most of us are aware, creating art and playing music are the first casualties of a busy "work" or family schedule. Fortunately, these "problems" happen to coincide with what I am perceiving as a natural break point in my work. I have had a very satisfying and successful couple of years. But I do have a little something to share in terms of a new image. My mother-in-law went with us to Italy recently and loved it. For her birthday (today), I decided to do a souvenir-type collage. I think she'll like it. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

from the sea

On Friday evening after dinner, MC, Dan Sue and I sat down and poured over the sea glass and tumbled stones we brought home from Italy. We each "designed some jewelry pieces" (nothing was fixed) and shared with each other our favorites. It's almost like jewelry collage. What a fun time! Enjoy!