Saturday, June 19, 2021

periodic hiatus

If you look back at previous posts on this blog, you will notice that my posting history is cyclical (sounds better than "sporadic", doesn't it?). I think it is natural, when you are not a "full-time artist", to do more creative endeavors when other responsibilities ebb and flow -- which they often do in academics. Interestingly (I suppose), the end of a LONG year-and-a-half of stressful teaching-during-COVID ended in the middle of May, and yet I have not been very active creatively or on this blog since. This time, unfortunately, my hiatus coincides with a bout of depression that I am experiencing. Strange how depression works. It's irrational, for sure. I have SO many thing NOT to be depressed about -- my life is generally pretty excellent. But alas. And so I am working things out, I hope. Last night was the first time I have been in the studio for a while; and I "re-entered" by doing one of the things I like to do -- looking through old stacks of individual pages I have ripped from magazines and books over the years. I ofetn have forgotten about interesting elements that I have collected over the years. I've made posts of these sessions before, and I think they're fun. So here's the latest installment.

Sunday, June 6, 2021

Chemistry and collage

Since I will be moving into a new office this fall in the new science center at Utica College, I have decided to do a "deep purge" of all the STUFF I have accumulated over the years. It's been a LONG time since I was an undergraduate chemistry major at Oswego State (I ended-up getting a degree in psychology; but used a lot of my chemistry background for my Ph.D. in psychobiology). Anyway, I decided that it was time to get rid of my intro. chemistry textbook and my organic textbook as well. Interestingly, the textbook I had for intro. chemistry included a make-shift stereoscope to look at the illustrations in the textbook of chemical structure to render them three-dimensional. Very cool idea, methinks! Unfortunately, I have very poor binocular vision; so it never really worked for me. Here are some of the illustrations that were created to make the 3-D effects. I cut them from the book as potential transfer images (and will probably share half with my friend and fellow collagist Anthony Morgan). Collage is always "pan-disciplinary"! Oh yeah, I also included this interesting "note to self", for fun.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

4 Elements presentation

I was SO happy to see a number of my artist friends (and others!) at my presentation at 4 Elements Studio this past Saturday. These are the people that inspire me and support my efforts. Great group of folks! I spoke about my creative process and emphasized the fact that in order to be creative, you need time, and time. The reason I say time twice, is because of an insightful video of a talk about creativity by John Cleese I saw years ago. He suggested that one needs to carve out time out of one's busy schedule to be able to be creative... BUT, you also need a certain amount of time to "get into the modality" of being creative. That is, even if one can find an hour, for example, to devote to being creative, it may not be enough time to get into the "open mode". It may take 30-45 mins to "escape" the "closed mode" (work-a-day world mode). I also talked about the fact that as an artist, I am mostly an "explorer" and "experimenter", and that in addition to time, and time, I need to immerse myself in my materials (that's why my studio is so "messy"). From immersion, comes emergence (of creative ideas and compositions). 
After the talk, we were able to have what was close to a "real" reception for my exhibition... THANKFULLY. And I sold a couple more pieces!
Very appreciative of those who came! Thank you for your interest and support!

Saturday, May 8, 2021


 So... you may have gotten to this site by scanning the "QR Monkeybrain" collage at my exhibit today. If that is the avenue of your arrival, I want to thank you for coming to the talk and checking out my artwork! I truly appreciate your interest and support. Hope you enjoyed the artwork! Have a great day!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Namesake -- Specht

Last week, while I was perusing the many layers of elements that I have accrued over the years, I came across this page. I vaguely remember ripping it out of a vintage book because I love the images. At the time I did that -- perhaps 2 years ago -- I did not realize that the artist shares my last name! I was so surprised when I realized it this time. SO funny (especially for a "monkeybrain"!). So many layers of interesting experiences surround this wonderful medium of collage!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Gallery visit

 It was such a pleasure to have some of my life-long friends (and my mother) come to the gallery yesterday to see my artwork. I have very much appreciated their continued support over the years.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Collage of life

As some of you know, I am interested in various forms of creative expression, including collage, music and poetry. I am thrilled to have been accepted to be part of the "Write Out Loud" event in Cooperstown, NY. Here is a the video that will be played as part of the virtual festivities: