Wednesday, October 28, 2015

"Moonflower" "secrets" revealed! ;-)

The substrate is Gainsborough's "The Honorable Frances Duncombe" (1777):
To which I added 4 elements:
But not before I painted the edges of each of the elements so that the "inner" white of the page did not "shine" from the edges of the elements. When you paint the edges first, it creates a much "flatter" and, more importantly, integrated composition:

And interestingly (at least I think), the "planet" was not really a planet image, but a cut out circular section of an image of a vintage bell. This was a serendipitous (and very fortunate) moment for me (and the composition). I've shown the cut here, replaced with a slight rotation (an idea for another composition?):

Then I made a slit along the edge of the finger on her left hand so that the black-and-white rose could be placed "into" her hand rather than being placed on top of it. It certainly gives it a more natural and integrated look:
Finally... all the minute experimentation with placement of the other flower and the two orbs so that the balance is JUST right (as well as the cropping with the mat. Viola! "Moonflower" 2015 (8" x 5"):

Monday, October 26, 2015

Alas, the bard will be cut!

I presume that perhaps I have written before on this blog about the dilemma I am now facing... again. But I contend that it is worth rewriting about. I am really struggling with an issue. I recently procured a set of three beautiful volumes of Shakespeare from 1858-1859 (i.e., The Comedies; The Tragedies; The Histories). I did include an image of these books on a short blog post on May 20th. The volumes are complete; but I would say are probably poor-to-fair quality (I think). I suspect that, as a set, the books might fetch $100-200 if I were to sell them on e-bay (although maybe not). But I am not interested in the money, per se. The beautiful etchings in the books are "worth" far more to me personally as elements for use in collage! So what is the "real" dilemma if not the conflict of the money vs. a set of beautiful collage elements? Well, part of it is the "intact" nature of this set of books. If I use the images for collage, these beautiful and historical books will be ruined. However, I have already decided that I am not going to sell them to anyone else for $100-200. I will use the images for collage! But I feel so badly about "destroying" the books. On the other hand, I know that probably more people will enjoy these beautiful etchings if I "re-purpose" them in various collages than if they remain "locked away" between the leather covers of these book. The books just seem "precious" to me (even if not very valuable in the monetary sense). Why not make photocopies of the images, you ask? Well... I pride myself on using only original images in my work (yes, a self-imposed and perhaps a silly restriction!). I recall with some vividness, the admonition by my mentor and collage master Jonathan Talbot, to beware of making any books too "sacred" to use in collage (I remember him tearing out a piece of a 17th Century book for a collage at one of his workshops). I will cut out these etchings. But I will do it will respect for the source. And hopefully, I will not be "paralyzed" by the respect for such unique and rare beauty as to avoid making the decision to finally "commit" to an image when I should be using it. I sometimes "save" a really striking image for fear that a composition won't be "good enough" for inclusion of a particular element. Can you sense the struggle that I am experiencing? It so real and so interesting to me. But it is actually another of the MANY reasons why I enjoy this medium SO much! Although somewhat reluctant... I look forward to using some of these elements in my upcoming collages...

Monday, October 19, 2015


Here's another short post. Is it weird to say I enjoy this photo? These are some elements I got last week (split 30 of these identical images with Toeny Morgan) at Farmersville auction in Lancaster Co. PA. You just never know what you're gonna find at that auction ;-)  I must say, I appreciate the fact that LBJ refused to run for President (or accept the nomination) because he was so upset about the Vietnam War and what it did to our country.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

short post

Just looking at my new auction purchase tonight (beautiful vintage oak frame!). Getting some initial thoughts and emotions goin'...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

3 exhibits

Very excited to have had two pieces accepted into this year's annual juried exhibit of the National Collage Society! My entries were rejected last year (perhaps making this year's acceptances sweeter). And within 24 hours of receiving that great news, I was informed that I had a piece accepted into a small works show at a small venue in Clifton Springs, NY. They had over 600 entries and chose one of three that I had submitted. So I am feeling very good about my work this evening. AND, I just completed this piece for a show at The Tech Garden in Syracuse, NY with "Machines" as its theme (once again, curated by a great artist and local arts promoter Steve Nyland). It's all good! A couple words about this piece (which I have yet to entitle). The "main character" is one of the original "Marlboro Men" prototypes (a sailor), before they had settled on the cowboy as their advertising brand. The gears on his forehead and the one on the right side (over the number table) are collage transfers. I hadn't done a transfer in a while and it was good to get back to it again (I think they create a nice effect).