Monday, January 19, 2015

hiatus... stay tuned

Just returned from a week in The Dominican Republic and realized on vacation how much I miss being in my studio (my "in home" vacation spot). This week is going to be spent mostly on catching up with school prep work for the beginning of the semester... but then it's back to the cutting table for more collage. Just wanted to let folks know about the absence of posts in recent days.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Reste forte!

Tonight my thoughts are with the people of Paris and all of France...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Untitled" (8" x 10")

I typically am opposed to using "Untitled" as a "title" for my artwork. I usually have fun with titles and consider them to be an integral part of not only the creative process, but the actual work itself. Some of my titles are obscure, but I can't think of a time when I have not entitled a work. But I have decided to title this piece (yes, I did finalize this from the sketches from the other night)... "Untitled". I suppose I could have entitled it "Them, Charlie'"... but that would have been quite "obvious" and certainly would have been no fun. But why "Untitled"? Well, this may be disappointing to some readers of this blog, but I am not inclined to explain why; in a way, that would ruin the purpose of my selection of "Untitled". Sorry ;-)  Comments welcome...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

sketches and synchronicity

This is not the first post in which I have written about synchronicity (and I suspect it won't be the last). I was having fun last night in my studio area working on some collage sketches, and created two which I think I will pursue. One of the sketches involves cropping as an "element" in a way. I have a beautiful photo of craters on the moon (I believe from Life magazine) with the quote "We is down among them, Charlie". I have had this image for a while as it strikes me as particularly aesthetic partly because of its beautiful patina. When I was playing with different elements to place on this image, I realized that I could crop the quote to leave only "them, Charlie'". I found this to be particularly intriguing in its decontextualized form. The image of the child is from a 1964 "Encyclopedia of Photography" source. I usually try to match the grey patinas of various elements within a composition to create a seamless image. But in this case, the patina of the craters and the boy produce an interesting contrast methinks. I need to look at this piece more before I decide whether I like it enough to finalize the piece.
The second sketch (with the eye) is a bit of an unusual composition for me as I was experimenting with an open mind. I would like to create a piece to give as a gift to Jonathan Talbot (hmm, I wonder if he reads this blog) and have a great substrate piece that was a book cover with the beginning of the title being "Jonathan and his Continent". I was playing with additional elements and decided that I kind of like the "big eye" image in this context. Of course, whenever I see a single "big eye" I am reminded of works by Odilon Redon. So here's where the synchronicity comes in. I am currently working on a paper presentation about the salience of psychosexuality in the creative works of Joseph Cornell. I am reading Lindsay Blair's book entitled "Joseph Cornell's Vision of Spiritual Order". The book has many images of Cornell's various collages and assemblages but only a few of other artists' works. One of these other works which I happened to come across just this morning was the Lithograph of Redon's shown below. Blair writes of the importance of "chance connections" for Cornell: "Synchronicity is seen as a signal, a guide to be trusted. All manner of unlikely relationships are thus established". But since I feel like my own life is flooded with synchronicities, I was particularly interested in Blair's follow-up statements: "Even so, they [synchronicities] are not thought of as fate or as coincidence, which are seen as outside agencies, but as quite the opposite -- the mind as director, albeit at times the unwitting director of association. Cornell developed strategies to encourage his mind to make connections, to be in a state of readiness, of receptivity" (pp. 143-144). This is the best explanation for the apparent flood of synchronicities in my life.

Holiday fun

Just thought I would post the collage that were created by my niece Vivian and her friend Paige when they visited us over the holidays. I think they both did a nice niece piece ;-)