Monday, October 28, 2013

third piece (my "other voice")

So here's a piece I kind of threw together this evening (my third for the weekend). It's a little bit of a departure from my typical collage voice; although I believe that this represents my second collage voice. If you look back at my work, you will see pieces somewhat similar -- perhaps
aesthetically less pleasing, and a little disturbing in a way. This piece takes advantage of a double image ad for a tooth paste marketed to prevent tooth decay.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"Lila Libi" (5.5" x 7.5")

Here's the finished product (framed and unframed). I will be submitting this one and "Sibyl's Sadness" (a bit of a name change) to Bau Gallery in Beacon, NY for the "Saints and Sinners" exhibition. Hopefully they will both be accepted. Stay tuned...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Warming up

I have a couple of projects that I am working on this weekend and decided to start "warming up" last night while cleaning up my work area a little bit. I am excited to submit a couple of pieces next week for an open call for a juried show at Bau Gallery in Beacon, NY with the theme "Saints and Sinners". I was playing around with these elements last night and ended-up liking to "sketch". Here's the interesting part that I wanted to emphasize in this post. I like the ripped paper element that I have included. It's a nice contrast to the rest of the piece methinks (and I love the patina). What I will do tonight, is look for an appropriate and "cool" excerpt (i.e., "slice") from the dictionary I am using. The challenge is that I would like to find something that was in the middle column of the page so that I can do a "clean" rip without the need to piece together something. I came across "sisterhood", but it was on the left-hand side of the page ("Styx" was as well). So this should be fun!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

blurb book

Some of you have expressed interest in purchasing my collage book. The book is not cheap (mostly the cost from the publisher), but I can assure you that it is high quality. If you are interested, you can purchase the book on-line through "" (search my name). I am grateful for your interest!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Sibyl's Sadness" (6.5" x 8.5")

Here's the piece I finished this afternoon. This is a tentative title for the piece. I have included an unframed and a framed version (although I will probably go with a black frame for this piece). I have also included an image which shows the level of precision I try to use with my compositions. It took me over an hour to find exactly what background star scene would work best for this piece. Then I used a very "deliberate" cut-out portion to use as a background in the "porthole" of this composition. THEN, I wanted to make certain that the "starlight" rays coming off the star were in the same orientation as the one in the lower right portion of the composition. It's a detail like this that make a piece "look good" without the viewer necessarily being aware of the detail.

reflecting on the beginning

The last few months have been good ones for me in terms of my collage efforts. I just received my "Blurb" book a couple weeks ago; at the same time I had another successful show here in Utica (at The Dev). I also just had another piece accepted into the annual juried show of the NCS. In the summer I was honored to have had one of my collages accepted to appear on the cover of a prestigious neuroscience journal. Yeah, life is good! It's amazing to me though, how it all "comes about" though. In 2008, I had already spent a year "playing" with assemblage and some minor collaging; but I was far from accomplished. I was still spending lots of my time with my academic research and mentoring students as research assistants. Every spring my goal was to take students to The University of Scranton Undergraduate Research Conference for them to present the work they were doing under my tutelage. In 2009, I was encouraging a student to write an abstract and submit it to Scranton. She was dragging her feet. "The abstract has to be done BY FRIDAY" I remember saying. When she didn't get it to me, I asked the folks at Scranton (who I had known for years) if they would still accept a late abstract. They agreed; but my student didn't hand in the abstract again later. I was NOT HAPPY at all, and reluctantly, pulled the plug on taking her to Scranton. I was disappointed, to say the least. It was then that I revisited a webpage I had come across announcing a collage workshop with Jonathan Talbot. I had no idea who "this guy" was (thank god; because if I had, I might have been too intimidated to participate). I called Jonathan and he informed me that there was only one seat left for the workshop. I told him that I was interested. The workshop was wonderful! Learning Jonathan's technique allowed me to focus on the creative aspects of my collaging instead of being bogged down by the mechanics so much. It changed my life... literally. Soon thereafter, I created a collage for a juried regional exhibition at Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts and won the "Solo Exhibition" award. SInce then, I "haven't looked back". And to think that it all started because of a "delinquent" student (at the time I would have very much preferred to go to the Scranton conference). It's interesting (and a bit scary) how that single event (or non-event) changed my life so much. Of course, I was "primed" for all of it to "come together"; but nonetheless, I am thankful that chance and preparation came together in the way they did on that April weekend in 2009. I am thankful to the Dada artists whose works were inspiring me daily at that time; Joseph Cornell for the beautifully inspiring works that he created in his lifetime; Ray Johnson, genius collagist; Jonathan Talbot - artist, musician, teacher, mentor and friend; and the folks at Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (as well as MANY others now for their support in my artistic efforts)!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

more considerations

In a recent post I presented three background options for a collage featuring Philippe Petit's 1974 highwire event between the World Trade Towers. Before I finished the piece, I wanted to see what effect changing the direction of gaze might have on the "feel" of the piece. I also wanted to make certain that I "knew" who the woman was who I would use in the piece. Here are some intermediate "sketches" and the final piece. BTW, The piece is entitled "Petit Thrall". The woman's name is Mary Thrall, originally from Ann Arbor. Are you "out there" Mary Thrall?

Friday night "sketches"

It's been a busy week at school, but I finally made it back into my studio last night. I really enjoyed it! Here are a couple of things I'm working on. Not sure if these will be the final compositions, but I'm considering. I need to do some trimming and some tweaking before things get "put down". I have an up-coming show at Kirkland Art Center and I'd really like to exhibit some strong pieces.