Sunday, November 26, 2017

Diners, Dogs & Don't Forget

A lot of my collages are thematic; ways of expressing a feeling, a situation, what's on my mind.  But others are inspired by what has caught my eye, often a single image.  It speaks to me, shouts out loud and then I have the fun of the search for other images that resonate with the key image.  I really love how the colors, shapes, meanings find each other and emerge on my digital canvas.  I can immerse myself in this journey for a long time.  A few years ago I started calling these collages 'Anonymous Content' and now have a series of them.

Diner began as an Anonymous Content collage and the most wonderful dog was the key figure.  I just love this dog.  He's just alive with 'dog-ness'.  He is actually a working dog who is trained to sniff out a specific endangered Salamander!   The magical red dress woman showed up next and red began to become the link.  Patty Smith & her old-school camera showed up and a little red colorizing made her fit in perfectly. And early Edith Piaf with her accordion found her way to me. When I came across the diner background, while doing a search totally not diner, the collage went from Anonymous to Diner.  And I would love to be in a diner with this crowd.  I have a 16x20 print of this in my office/studio and love coming in the door to see that super K-9 face and friends.

Diner collage

I collect quotes and sayings.  Things that seem perfect little reminders of this and that.  And I have a series of Quote collages as a result.  Recently I was feeling a bit overwhelmed, managing some things and worrying about some other things, when I realized these were not actually my own things.  I was looking only at these stressful aspects and forgetting that, while I was helping, they were not actually mine.  And in that, it was also too easy to forget the  good things present with you everyday.  So these are my two current 'reminders'.

Stay in Your Own Life ~ Quote Collage

When you Don't Get What You Want ~ Quote Collage

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Community! Art at the Augusta County Virginia Library ~ October 2, 2017 thru January 6,2018

I'm participating in an art show at the August County Library on Community.  The invitation originally focused on the idea of works featuring the city of Staunton, then the county and then
evolved to varied themes by area artists.

I've contributed along the lines of the first theme, with my Staunton Girls and two pieces from my Waynesboro Series. Always fun to have art out and about.

Ben Thomas is the show coordinator and we had great fun associating the Pinky's collage to Pink Flamingo, John Waters, Baltimore and more.

In the area? The Library is located at 1759 Jefferson Hwy, [Route 250], Fishersville, VA.

Pinky's ~ Waynesboro Series

Staunton Girls

Weasie's ~ Waynesboro Series

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Elective Knee, Way Out Back and Love

So I am moving along in my recovery from my knee surgery, or as the docs specifically say, 'elective' knee replacement.  I'm am improving steadily and as my husband pointed out to me, walk better than I did for the few months before the surgery.  It took awhile for the energy to capture the experience in collage to emerge and as I worked, I discovered that the blood clots emerged as the primary point.  I love this robot girl, who I have embraced as my knee replacement avatar.  She is from Mr. Whiskers at Mischief Circus, a favorite image resource of mine.  

The Elective Knee

Awhile back I was taken by a photograph from my friend, Jen Jones, a fellow artist at the Shenandoah Valley Art Center. She called it Way Out Back. She kindly gave me permission to use it in a collage whenever I was so moved.  We both love the kind of 'rusty gold' that you can discover and let it find its way into art. 

Recently I came across a wonderful photograph of Howard Finster, truly one of the giants of outsider art.  I discovered him years and years ago and am ever drawn to and moved by his work. Although he is no longer with us, his art is more present than ever before.  Howard and Way Out Back made a perfect match. The background in this collage is Jen's photograph, amplified and altered and all the other images, except for my signature spirals, are of Finster's art, some amplified, others just as they are.

Howard Way Out Back

This collage emerged from a conversation about the movement to share is it's own expression of love. 'I was deep into this book and I kept thinking that I wanted to share it with you.'

Bacteria to Bach Love

Monday, August 14, 2017

Local Landmarks & Landscapes, Millennial Barbies and Out of Action

It's been awhile since I've been here.  I had knee replacement surgery in June, had a few set-backs with it and am just now feeling energized enough to collage and blog.

But some of my art has been out and about.  I was delighted to learn that both of my 'gothic'  pieces in the Shenandoah Valley Art Center members show sold!  WooHoo.
LOCAL banner

There was another great group show at SVAC, which I'm sorry I didn't let you know about at the time.  The concept was art based on local landmarks and landscapes.  The project used an interesting device, in which artists chose from a list of locations.  50 in all.  I chose a wonderful home on Cherry Avenue and went with that 'Cherrified' inspiration in a big way.  Literal can be fun!  A book of the show was produced as well.

A few favorites ~

Assemblage - Jen Jones
Ice Tower - John Ball
Downtown Waynesboro - Caro Mayo

Cherry Avenue collage

Art took a back seat while recuperating,. I did do a couple birthday cards, but it was just recently that I had the energy and ability to stay at my computer, to do a collage.  Came across this image of the new line of Millennial Barbies - and their Kens - and off I went. I do like the retro baker accenting the hipsters. A bit of fun.  Eclairs and donuts too!

Millennial Barbies collage

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Member Show 2017 - Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Shenandoah Valley Art Center - SVAC - 122 S Wayne Ave, Waynesboro, VA

I was especially geared up for the annual SVAC member show because I had two collages from my new vintage-gothic palette that I wanted to feature.  These pieces also called for more interesting framing than the simple lines I like for the large prints of my amplified retro collages.  So I had a frame hunt and a bit of embellishment as well.

At the opening of the show, I was greeted with the lovely surprise that my new works had garnered an Honorable Mention.  So nice indeed.  A new image palette, a new image vocabulary and an award. Cool beans indeed.

If you're in the area, do stop by.  And coming June 16th is another show in our 416 Main Street Gallery, LOCAL - all images of Waynesboro and the area. 50 participants, including myself. More on that in a next blog.

RadioReactive collage

Sestra collage

Honorable Mention

It was a great turn out with heaps o'art.  Check out some friends' work

Behatted Miss Betty and Friend

This striking portrait by Deborah Rose Guterblock really caught my eye.  If it was for sale and I had more wall space, I would love to have this.

Untitled  by Deborah Rose Guterbock

Jessie McCoy and I often talk art and life at lunch at the wonderful Silk Road restaurant in town. These hammered torsos are so compelling.

Torsos - Jessie McCoy

Jen Jones photographs really speak to me.  And - woohoo she's given me permission to use 'The Out Back' in a collage.  Lucky me.

Please Don't Call Me A Terrorist
The Out Back
by Jen Jones


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Another Image Palette

When things get stressful, my art self seems to hunker down.  She'll arise for special occasions, birthday, celebrations and the like - 'Time to make a card!', but otherwise I sit with a blank digital canvas and after awhile, go look at cute animals on the internet.

I was drawn to do some free-form collages for an art journal, and got the cover going in my usual style, but still had the 'blank canvas block'.

Terms of Use collage

Then I got my weekly email from Mischief Circus and was inspired by their image collections. Many of the images are more Victorian-ish or gothic that my typical Retro, saturated colors, hyper-realism palette. It came to me that it might be an interesting device to do some work only in this other image language. And indeed, it has been refreshing, another travel.  Hope you like the trip as well. Bi-lingual!

Withdraw collage

Guardian collage

Sad Hope collage

She Need A Little Travel collage

Friday, February 3, 2017

Savannah 2017 Farewell

My Savannah time is coming to an end. 2016 was a very stressful year that required a lot of focus and attention and in that, energy for art often went by the wayside.  This Winter travel, which I am most fortunate to have had, really gave me a great infusion of time and energy. I've managed to stay off email and other 'duties' as much as possible  and in that opened space and open mental space, I've had a grand time collage-ing.  The funky island architecture of Cedar Key and the more formal but in their own way, funky, grand buildings of Savannah just speak to me so deeply.  

I'd love to say these blue doors are 'haint blue', but I don't really know.  Haint Blue is often found in the South and is related to the Gullah people. The blue is a reminder of water and is said to serve as protection from 'Haints', restless spirits of the dead who, for whatever reason, have not moved from the physical world' and who are afraid of water. Haint Blue is most typically used on windows and doors and porch ceilings.  In any event, I saw these large old blue doors outside an antique shop and they caught my eye.

Blue Savannah collage 

I looked up and loved the fact that the porches on this house at the corner of Barnard and Charlton streets had framed paintings on the walls. Outdoor porch art-yes! Of course, in my world, art often calls for pie as well.

Porched in Savannah

The Streamliner is a rescued diner, part of SCAD's ongoing renovations projects.  It  is a 1938 classic dining car, originally in New Hampshire, relocated to Savannah in 1990. In 1995, a popular BBQ joint, Sandfly took over the dining operation as a second location, downtown on Barnard Street. Lucky SCAD students can use their dining cards here.

The Streamliner - Savannah

Well, you can't come to Savannah without some reference to 'The Book' or 'The Movie', as the locals call it [so I read anyway] - Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, which chronicles the tale of Jim Williams, well known antique dealer and home restorer and his trial for murder.  I have a little tradition of watching the movie while I'm in Savannah. This year I took special note how very much The Lady Chablis steals the show, The blue gown peeking up on the roof is from the famous Cotillion scene in the film.  Sadly, she died of pneumonia last September.

The Lady Chablis at the Mercer-Williams House - Savannah

I found among my images a wonderful Bulldog, a
nd I altered him a bit into a Blue Bulldog [why not blue!]  and found I was drawn to use him quite a bit in my Savannah collages. 

Later, while watching Midnight In the Garden I discovered a bulldog plays a role - he is Uga the famous University of Georgia football team mascot. I don't know if I subconsciously remembered the bulldog from watching the film before, but it I got a laugh when I discovered I had been using the same motif.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Roots Up Gallery - Savannah 2017

Roots Up Gallery is just a terrific place.  Up the stairs you go to enter a world of 'rootsy' art, outsider art and other oddling art - all in a lovely Savannah vintage building. Like visiting your favorite eccentric aunt. No auntie, but you'll be pleased to meet the charming Russell or Leslie Lovell, the owner.

I posted about Roots Up last year, when I was lucky enough to get a piece by Reverend Johnny Ace. My husband saw how taken I was with it and got it for me for my birthday. Woo hoo.

Everyday Scenes in Rock & Roll Heaven by Rev. Johnny Ace

This year I fell in love with the oddlings created by Lisa Ocampo, a Savannah artist. I loved this painting of this unique 'couple' and got myself a print of the lovely Wanda and Her Death Heads Moth. Was also excited to see some Howard Finster  - an iconoclast rootsy artist - pieces for sale and work of his grandson, Michael Finster.  

Lisa Ocampo

But most exciting was the mixed-media assemblage by Betty Nathan.  I was especially attracted by the fact that all the components within the piece were totally vintage, but it was not for sale.  I then learned Mz Betty had lived into her late 80's and Roots Up were working with her estate to begin valuing and sharing her work. I considered that because of her lengthy life, Mz Betty could actually have done this piece not with vintage items, but contemporary ones.  Join the Roots Up mailing list to be apprised of when Mz. Betty's work will be available.

Mixed-Media Assemblage by Betty Nathan @ Roots Up Gallery

So Roots Up is a favorite Savannah place.  And I'm totally sure Patsy Kline would appreciate Roots Up too.

Roots Up - Savannah

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

SCAD Art - Savannah 2017

SCAD - Savannah College of Art & Design - pops up all over town.  The SCAD Museum of Art showcases amazing contemporary art.  There is a wonderful courtyard/garden area that features this very cool installation of oversize plastic chairs and sofas, which I found caught my fancy.

Chairs SCAD Museum of Art Courtyard

Garden Party @ SCAD - Savannah

Sofa With Pink @ SCAD - Savannah

The SCAD shop on Bull Street - ShopSCAD - is another place where I like to wander.  It features student and other artists work and artsy fun things and jewelry, and offers an online store.  And being right down the street from our favorite coffee place, Gallery Espresso,  makes it a great place for frequent browsing.

I was quite taken by the huge painting in the window, The Guardian by Alea Hurst, a SCAD student, The painting features an Indonesian mask as the subject's head. I am all about altering heads in both my collage and assemblage - animal heads, appliance heads, musical instrument heads - so this really spoke to me.  Here's my little tip-o-the-hat to The Guardian.  More about Alea below.

Shop SCAD - homage to The Guardian by Alea Hurst

  See Alea Hurst's work at her website  aleahurst,com

Here's a great interview with Alea  at Common Creative about her work and  what drew her to masks.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Savannah! 2017

Savannah is such a favorite city of mine.  It's home to SCAD - Savannah College of Art & Design, and that adds such a vibrant element to the Historic & Midtown districts. In addition to art and creativity, SCAD is involved in preserving buildings, for the school use and more.  An eminently walkable town, it fills my cravings for the urban walk-about vibe,   

We're here longer than other times and that has opened up a lot of creative space for collage.  Like in Cedar Key, I am inspired by the sights I find in our wanderings and all these collages are based on my own photographs. Amplified and altered, of course.  I said to my husband that I'm a regional artist who goes to other regions.

Garden of Lambs - Savannah

Eat Pie - Savannah

I couldn't help but have my own response to the Ascension Parking Only sign.  These vintage characters were perfect for the mood,

Ascension - Savannah

Bradley's Lock & Key was founded in 1893 and is still fixing, unlocking, re-keying and so on. Peering through the windows, the place is chock full of vintage things of all kinds. Bradley's also has a ghost past.  Savannah supposedly is the most haunted city. I loved the sign.

We Fix Anything But A Broken Heart - Savannah

You can check out previous years' Savannah posts by entering Savannah in the blog search box.