Sunday, May 31, 2015

May day

Well, it's the last day in May. Since I have been trying to post a bit more lately, I thought I would do one more post before June begins. I finished this piece yesterday and posted it on Facebook with a statement that I didn't like some of the technical aspects of it. Let me explain with a little background. I have begun to accumulate quite a pile of elements (some of which are coated and "ready-to-go"). I actually enjoy doing "the search" for potential elements through magazine, yearbooks, and other vintage (and contemporary) publications. And I even enjoy the mundane task of coating the materials with polymer acrylic medium (Golden's). In addition, it also seems like my studio space is in need of cleaning/re-organizing. These tasks are straight-forward and enjoyable whilst I play some of my favorite music. Of course, creating pieces of artwork is sometimes much more daunting (albeit enjoyable and rewarding too). I think I have relatively high standards for myself and so sometimes I think I make the creation process more daunting. I have decided to try to be a bit more productive with the elements I have collected and coated thus far and to be a bit more "accepting" if a piece doesn't reach my high personal standards. I have also collected numerous frames from garage sales, auctions and the road-side that I would like to begin to use (and get rid of). SOoo... here is the piece (9.5" x 7.5"):

There are the three technical aspects of the piece with which I am not totally comfortable. Firstly, the mat perhaps should have come over enough to be flush with the vertical cut on the left side of the woman's dress. I have mixed feelings about this; because in one way, it sort of looks cool truncated as it is (but still a bit uncomfortable). Secondly, it would have been nice for the vertical cut near the phone to "fuse" with the reflection on the floor, rather than to be separated as it is. Of course, I could have "made this happen"; but I didn't for the following reason. Behind the head of the phoning woman, there is a woman sitting near the window reading and drinking a beverage. The large blue-green paper cup from which she was drinking, would have been a distracting background element to the composition; so I wanted to cover it up. The problem that created (in addition to separating the phone and floor reflection) was that it allowed the woman's body to be seen around the head of the phoning woman. Not sure I like this. BUT, I wanted to get this piece "off the table" and done... so I did it. I don't "hate" the piece; but it doesn't quite meet my standards in terms of paying attention to detail. I suppose I would give it a "B". The frame is a "found frame" and so I will be able to put a lower price n this one when (if?) I show it. Wow... I initially thought this post was going to be a quickie ;-)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Details matter

I finished a piece today that is comprised of two elements. Easy, right? Well, this piece gives me a perfect opportunity to "explain" how I go about creating my collages. It's so much more than "slapping' things together". The piece originated by a the "negative space" element that was left over after I carefully cut out the head muscle element shown here:

Quite serendipitously, I placed the negative space element over a beautiful violet-colored rose element... actually just about in the "correct" orientation. But what do I mean when I say "correct" orientation? Here are some possible orientations for the underlying flower element:


The different placements of the underlying floral element do not vary much in actual spatial terms (i.e., they vary by only millimeters). But the orientation relative to the facial/head outline created by the negative space is crucial methinks. So which one seems to "work best"? Here's what the finished piece looks like (unframed and framed) based one the orientation I thought worked best (btw, it took a significant amount of time to get it "just right"):

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mining Farmersville

Utica College's graduation ceremony was Sunday; so most of my intense school work is now over for a little bit (although I have a full day of academic paperwork to do today). On Monday I headed down to Pennsylvania to visit my friend and fellow collagist Anthony Morgan (who won an award for his work in this year's NCS postcard show). Yesterday, we went to the Farmersville auction in Lancaster County, PA. It's exciting to search through all the stuff and find interesting vintage materials for collage! Of course, in the "old days", Anthony wasn't as interested in finding collage materials. These days, we "compete" a little bit. Anyway, here are some of the gems we found yesterday...

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

Yesterday, we celebrated Mother's Day here in the United States (a holiday which became official in 1914 under Woodrow Wilson's Presidency). My mother has been a loving and supportive role model as I have made my journey through life. She's an amazing woman! Although she often claims that she "doesn't understand my art" she regularly comes to my openings to support my creative efforts. She also keeps an eye out for materials for me when she goes to garage and estate sales. In some ways, she understands my artwork quite well I would say. Here's an awesome element that she picked up for me for $1 recently at a garage sale. I'm very excited to see what becomes of this substrate (it's already coated!). I also included a photo of me and my mom when we were in Amsterdam. THANKS FOR EVERYTHING MOM!

Friday, May 1, 2015

QR project a success!

Last night was the opening reception for the "Id/Ego/Superego" exhibit last night at The Tech Garden in Syracuse, NY. As I wrote on this blog a little while ago, I was going to test whether my QR code collage worked at this opening. Here are some photos from last night... and I am VERY pleased to announce that... IT WORKED!!! My analog collage of the digital QR code, when scanned, brings you to this blogsite and now references itself in the cyber universe!