Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dumpster Diving

Here's a beautiful example of 1901 endpapers from the "Encyclopedic Dictionary of American Reference" to add to my collection for collage. My favorite friend procured this cover-less book for me by climbing into the paper dumpster at the town recycling center. Now if that isn't love, what is?

Friday, May 29, 2009

Clearing My Head

Have things been weird for you over the last couple of days? Some find the rain depressing, but it hasn't bothered me yet-- it's making everything so green. And it also serves to keep the chipmunks from raiding the feeders so often.

I am recovering from a severe technology snit. I won't go into detail here because there is no collage about it forthcoming. You can read all about it at my new weblog called The Temporary Blog, created to solve a communication problem.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why I Love Being Here

A deer was born in my backyard this morning. I looked out the back window to see what the chipmunks were chattering about and saw the mother leading her newborn across the yard. When she reached the tall grass in the shady corner she laid down with it for over an hour before moving into the trees.

It was such an amazing sight. At first I was surprised that the deer was crossing the open area so slowly. . . usually they just go bounding through. Then I saw the tiny newborn following her. The mother could see me standing in the window and I was amazed again when she came to rest so close to the house.

I didn't want to intrude with the binoculars or camera. But this picture taken last fall shows where they were resting. The grass is longer now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Romare Bearden

I watched The Art of Romare Bearden last night on Netflix CD. His collages are absolutely amazing. What a good documentary. I'm going to watch it a few more times over the weekend before I send it back. Most of the work shown is stuff I have never seen before. If you love collage you owe it to yourself to check this one out!

A show titled From Process to Print consisting of 75 of Bearden's graphic works is traveling around the country. It will be near me at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine from October 1, 2009 through January 3, 2010.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Cult of Done Manifesto

I came across this cool manifesto of "done" while blog surfing this afternoon. Point five states: "Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it." I'm visualizing all of the unfinished collages I have banished to my Archive of Indecision and wonder if that amounts to abandonment.

I can thoroughly embrace point six: "The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done." From an artistic standpoint, to be finished is frightening. To me it means that I am totally out of ideas. But the idea of finishing one thing to get other things done implies a continuum of new things to do.

Point eight which states, "Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done," is probably the key to getting art finished. Otherwise I might keep on playing it safe and stop before I'm done to avoid missing perfection!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Original Source Material

In creating my found image collages I recycle books, turning their pages, endpapers, covers, and dust jackets into art. Some images seem to be attracted to others and hitherto unrelated topics suddenly connect into stories populated by dots and symbols of significance.

Lately, however, my librarian side has begun to reassert itself. Old discards arranged on shelves by topic become fond friends.

So one possible plan is to make more use of scanned and printed images. I'm conflicted over this, however, because the original papers and inks are so rich. The paper of the jacket above is rubbed and worn to perfection!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fraternal Order

Here's a quick paste-up to see what happens with alternating colors within a block. I start to see crosses and diagonal bands of color. I just might collage this now, in order to play with the cross area to make it pop.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quarter Dot 9-Block

Here's a combination of the original primary quarter dot block with one where the blue has been shifted in photoshop. It sort of vibrates when you look at it the right way. I think the gray background helps this being nebulous and cloudy where dead black or pure white would be too stark. But then again, maybe an infinate void of black might work too. I need to explore this further!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Check Out My Bead Blog

Now and again I have talked about beads here but from now on I will try to stick to "Collage and Life" like the title says. Although you have to admit that "Life" leaves a lot of room for digression!

I now have a new blog called Anita's Bead Blog where I will talk about beads and the jewelry I am designing with them. I may also indulge in occasional rock rambling which I can justify by the fact that I got into the whole "bead thing" through mineral collecting.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Primary Quarter Dots on Gray

I was getting my collage record book up to date and I realized that this little 8x8-inch acrylic with thread on unryu-covered cradled plywood from over a year ago was never recorded. I didn't like it that much at first. Right after I finished it I changed the colors in photoshop and it looked really nice reduced and repeated. I bet I could find a few coated elements filed somewhere.

I plan to stick with the 7-inch square format and try a few versions of this one now that it has captured my attention again. I love the way the thread looks under the unryu.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Decoder Dot Block

Here's a quilt block design made with decoder dots, thai unryu, and thread on watercolor paper. I'm really sorry I added the pink. Below is another version with the pink replaced in Photoshop.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Secret Decoder Dump Dot

I found a cool spinner dot recently at the dump. I couldn't decide which side I liked best so I scanned both. These are going to come in handy for some weird project or other and now I can create different sizes and colors. The original is about 4.25 inches in diameter.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Tribute to Neil Welliver

I am so happy that I took the time to finish my tribute to Neil Welliver, one of my favorite painters of trees and the Maine woods. I mentioned it back in November in a post titled Sneaking Up On Perfect.

This piece is more 3-dimensional than I am accustomed to doing. Previous 3-D pieces include: Blanche Becomes Alanis (with ribbon and thumb-tacks), Caught in a Dream (dreamcatchers and beads), Egg Quilt (decorated flat wooden beads), Curious? (book cover), I Before E (another book cover), and Have A Nice Heart Attack (ribbon and cross).

The ground is chiri-covered cradled masonite. The central element is a wooden cigar box. Some knotty spruce rescued from the kindling pile frames a newspaper advertisement for Welliver's 2005 show at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.

And I included a couple of ravens for my daughter, Marianne.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Collage Artist No. 3

Two posts back I stated that I have recently discovered three new collage artists. The third one is Karl Waldmann. Relegated to obscurity until the fall of the Berlin Wall, Waldmann has left behind an amazing body of 1,000 works which can be seen on one site: the Karl Waldmann Museum.

To be able to study and compare so many collages in one place is an incredible experience. The number itself is mind-boggling to me (someone who turns out a mere 15 or so pieces a year). I watched my daughter make 1,000 paper cranes once for a wedding gift. Make one, then do essentially the same thing 999 times more. . . a lot of work.

To make 1,000 uniquely different items is something else again!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Erwin Blumenfeld's Montages

I learned about another collage artist from Bookforum in a review of Hatje Cantz's Erwin Blumenfeld: Nothing But A Berliner; Dada Montages 1916-1933. Here's a write-up at FOTO8, and another review of the book here. I also found an illustrated article about the book's graphic design. This article is illustrated by a few of the collages. I love "The Smoker." A number of photographs, drawings and collages by Blumenfeld can be seen at San Francisco's Modernism gallery. And for some related information, check this site about Dada.

Lance Letscher's Pie Dots

I've had a couple of issues of Bookforum on my reading pile which came free with another publication. I just got around to looking at them, and as a result, have made three major collage artist discoveries. The first is Lance Letscher.

Letscher takes discarded books and creates amazingly patterned and subtly colored compositions like quilts that can be read. He's taken the dot to a whole new dimension! Here's one at the Howard Scott Gallery in NYC titled Advice to a Young Artist that I absolutely love. And the D. Berman Gallery in Austin, Texas shows Amusing Story, Inner Life, the captivating Blue Flowers, the richly monochromatic Proof, and The Older Student among many others.

University of Texas Press has published the 224 page book Lance Letscher: Collage. And there's a great article from the Austin Chronicle from 2004.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Merz Story Hour

One more tidbit from the May 2009 ARTnews: There is a new book of collected fairy tales written by Dada collage artist Kurt Schwitters published by Princeton University Press titled Lucky Hans and Other Merz Fairy Tales. One is "The Man with the Glass Nose," a story of a man who could smell transparent things including the thoughts of another person.

Schwitters is quoted as having said: "Merz is a way of viewing the world. Its essence is absolute uninhibitedness." I was sorry to learn that the book's illustrations are not by Schwitters. However, after taking a look at some work by Irvine Peacock, I am curious to see more!

Peach Dots at Denise Bibro

The Memory Boxes of Jerry Meyer are at Denise Bibro Fine Art in NYC May 14-June 20, 2009. The ad in ARTnews shows a piece titled Hollywood Time Share and a photo of the artist in his studio. I love Primal Scene-Scape, and The Invention of Voyeurism brings to mind Joseph Cornell. And The Secret Meaning of Examination Dreams is just plain funny!