Thursday, April 30, 2015

flowers and space

Over the last six months or so, I have become increasingly drawn to the beauty of flowers as collage elements. I'm not sure from where that is coming except for the fact that I have stumbled on some beautiful floral elements in my stack of magazines lately. And of course, outer space is a favorite of mine (and many other collagists). I was able to spend some time in my studio again last night (REALLY looking forward to the semester's end when I will have even more time!) and played around with a couple sketches and variations that I thought I would share. Nothing is "put down" yet, but I am really finding these sketches appealing.

Friday, April 24, 2015


I rather like this image

(whatever that means)...

from the depths of the beginning

As I write this entry, I can't help but hear in my mind the old Emerson, Lake and Palmer song "From the Beginning" (I love that song!). My QR code piece is finished and the show is hung in Syracuse, NY. I'm looking forward to the opening at The Tech Garden next Thursday evening! And although I have a boat-load of grading to do for the end of the semester, I am excited to be exploring and prepping for some new collage work! I thought I would share three of the raw elements that I have coated this week. It's always interesting for me to be "at the beginning" of the process with elements like these. I don't really know what will become of the images here or even whether they will end up in a finished composition. But I do love these images. As a teacher, I would tell anyone interested in collage to always be on the lookout for images that  include inherent depth cues (such as these). Although I have seen hundreds of collages that use a "flat field" approach to composition -- to great effect -- I much prefer a composition with strong depth cues.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I noticed recently that many of the page hits for this blog are originating from the Netherlands. This makes me very happy as some of my favorite travel experiences were while I was visiting Amsterdam and Maastricht. If I ever had the opportunity to show my work in either of these cities, I would LOVE to visit again!

Friday, April 17, 2015

collage poem

If you didn't know this was about collage, you might be concerned ;-)


Was I supposed to ask?
It would be a lie if I said it
crossed my mind.
You were lying there;
and you looked so beautiful.
I wanted to use you.
I wanted to cut you.
And whom,
and whom was I supposed to ask
Another drink and I'll decide.
I'll decide
if you should be part of it.
But "it" is not really "a plan".
It's not a premeditated thing,
for the most part.
Sometimes it "just happens"
I'll cut you a bit
and I'll move you around.
The gray color of your skin...
it really is beautiful.

(copyright Steven Specht, 2015)

Student collages

As part of a creativity seminar that I am teaching this semester at Utica College (Utica, NY), I did a collage workshop one evening. Here are some of the collages my students created (the photography was not done under the best lighting conditions; but I think you can appreciate the good work that my students did):

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Synchronicity in Pennsylvania

If you happen to be a regular visitor to this blog, you are aware of how much I like synchronicity and serendipity (are they sisters?). My friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan had a very cool synchronous experience recently. Anthony is owner and chef at The Black Gryphon restaurant in Elizabethtown, PA (just south of Hershey!). Anthony is a great friend of the arts (music and visual... and culinary!). He features artwork from a different artist every quarter at the restaurant (and charges NO commission on sales). This quarter he is featuring the awesome collage art of Joe Castro (from Philadelphia, PA). Whilst hanging Joe's work, Toeny noticed that one of the elements in a 2012 piece of Joe's was identical to one of the elements in Toeny's recent collage (2014), which, interestingly, was meant to be inspired by Joe's style of work. Here are the two collages (Joe's on top, Toeny's under it). Can you see the common element? Toeny thinks it might be from an old LIFE magazine, but he is not certain:

Anthony Morgan

Just wanted to give a "shout out" to my friend and fellow collage artist Anthony Morgan (from Ono, PA). He was one of 16 Award-winners at this year's National Collage Society "Wish You Were Here" Postcard Exhibit. You can see more at Here's Anthony's winning 4" x 6" collage entitled "Boy Wander". Congrats Toeny!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

QR code project update

This has been a tedious (but also an interesting) project. I put it away for a couple weeks because it just didn't seem like I was getting much progress. This past week, I tackled it again. Now I am seeing "the light at the end of the tunnel" and am re-energized to finish it. I would like to have it in the up-coming show in Syracuse (which means it really should be finished this weekend). I will have MUCH more to say about this project when it is complete. I see this work on many different levels (i.e., high tech/low tech; participative/interactive; performance, in a way; self-referential). More soon...