Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Creative Process

A cool dump find! The Creative Process edited by Brewster Ghiselin is a 1952 reprint of a book originally published in hardcover by the University of California Press. In this fascinating symposium, thirty-eight of the world's outstanding men and women reveal how they actually begin and complete creative work in fields such as art, literature, and science.

In a chapter titled "Inspiration To Order" by Max Ernst, I was interested to read the following:
What is the mechanism of Collage? I think I would say that it amounts to the exploration of the chance meeting on a non-suitable plane of two mutually distant realities (a paraphrase and generalization of the well-known quotation from Lautreamont 'Beautiful as the chance meeting upon a dissecting table of a sewing machine and an umbrella') or, more simply, the cultivation of systematic moving out of place on the lines of Andre Breton's theory: Super-reality must in any case be the function of our will to put everything completely out of place (naturally one could go so far as to put a hand out of place by isolating it from an arm, then the hand thereby gains, as a hand) and, what is more, when we speak of putting things out of place we are not thinking only of space.

A complete, real thing, with a simple function apparently fixed once and for all (an umbrella), coming suddenly into the presence of another real thing, very different and no less incongruous (a sewing machine) in surroundings where both must feel out of place (on a dissecting table), escapes by this very fact from its simple function and its own identity; through a new realtionship its false absolute will be transformed into a different absolute, at once true and poetic: the umbrella and the sewing machine will make love. The mechanism of the process seems to me to be laid bare by this very simple example. Complete transmutation followed by a pure act such as the act of love must necessarily occur every time the given facts make conditions favorable: the pairing of two realities which apparently connot be paired on a plane apparently not suited to them. Speaking of the collage process in 1920 Breton wrote: "It is the marvellous capacity to grasp two mutually distant realities without going beyond the field of our experience and to draw a spark from their juxtaposition; to bring within reach of our senses abstract forms capable of the same intensity and enhancement as any others; and, depriving us of any system of reference, to set us at odds with our own memories. "
I also enjoyed the chapter titled "Making Pictures" by D.H. Lawrence. The opening paragraph reads:
One has to eat one's own words. I remember I used to assert, perhaps I even wrote it: Everything that can possibly be painted has been painted, every brush-stroke that can possibly be laid on canvas has been laid on. The visual arts are at a dead end. Then suddenly, at the age of forty, I begin painting myself and am fascinated.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Kanchev Lace No. 4

I must admit that I am enjoying this Photoshop tangent. I might add some of the Kanchev series to my collage website.

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Clarification

I guess I didn't make it clear in my series of Kanchev posts. The cells, lace, and purple rose are all my designs based on an elements from postage stamps by Stefan Kanchev. They are exercises done in Photoshop, digital collage you might call it. As an example I took the circular element (below) from the stamp (above) and repeated it to create Kanchev Spinner Cell No. 2 .

Kanchev Spinner Cell No. 3

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Kanchev Spinner Cell No. 2

This one reminds me of a "granny square" afghan. Just discovered the Photoshop star and starburst brushes!

Kanchev Spinner Cell

Not sure I like mixing the hard edges with the more diffused but then again, life has too many rules!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kanchev Lace No. 3

Here's another version. It would be fun to make a game board but I really must stop this now!

Kanchev Lace No. 2

I'm learning a lot about Photoshop as this project evolves. At some point I will create one with arch punches and paper!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kanchev Lace

I'd like to play with the colors a little more but I'm running out of time this morning.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Kanchev Roses

I've been looking at a wonderful series of thirty sailing ship postage stamps by Stefan Kanchev. I love the appearance on each one of what reminds me of a compass rose. Each is a patterned dot urging repetition!

Many thanks to Grain Edit for leading me to Kanchev's site. His stamps are the last items on the page.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Never Clean House

I am stupid when I clean. Don't get me wrong, I'm usually not stupid. But I tend to reserve tasks I don't really enjoy to times when I'm feeling tired or angry or depressed. And as a result, I throw things away (which, I later discover, I really should have been kept) in a futile attempt to make space.

As soon as I saw this cool collection of cigarettes in test tubes (with little bits of red acid-free ribbon to facilitate removal of the corks--the same ribbon used to tie bundles of periodicals in libraries, I believe) I thought of two things.
The first was of Joseph Cornell and how nice the collection would look arranged by him in a box.

And the second thought was of the box of pyrex petri dishes that I saved from the trash back in 1978--how cool the round glass dishes would look in a collage. I'm so hoping that they survived my last house-cleaning purge!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Scrap Book Museum

I recently confessed to my Yahoo! Collage Artist Group that there has been no art since July (actually, make that June) when I made the poster for the Gafney Library Fundraiser. I just ordered some new paper so I can experiment further with the overlay and thick string technique used for it. Nothing like new art materials to supply motivation!

And to further encourage me, some interesting piles of old book pages, book jackets, and other interesting ephemera have been collecting on the table in my studio which could turn into some nice collages. Although I must admit that my librarian side has been coming out lately, turning me into even more of a pack rat.

I want to share these posts from AmassBlog. I've collected a few bookseller labels here and there, but no where near enough to make such a wonderful array!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

From Max Huber to Voluntary Art

I checked into Grain Edit this morning to see what was new, was side-tracked from there to looking into the Max Huber issue of IDEA Magazine along with the Huber monograph published by Phaidon, and ended up with an article on something called "voluntary art." Interesting term. It seems almost redundant. I don't think of "voluntary breathing," I just breathe.

The same with art. I can think of nothing "involuntary" about my art (except, maybe, the need to create stuff) and nothing can keep me from doing it. Including lack of funds. So there you go, I've been a Voluntary Artist all along and never realized it.

The issue of public funding of art through the "government’s coercively gath­ered funds" is something I haven't given much thought to until I saw this article .

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Old Home Week

A Boston businessman returns to visit the old farm back in New Hampshire in 1907. The book is filled with black and white photographs of familiar city scenes including the Swan Boats in the Public Garden, Trinity Church in Copley Square, and the House of Seven Gables in Salem. Also included is this nice shot of the Old Man:

The tradition of Old Home Week was started by former governor of the State of New Hampshire Frank W. Rollins.


Wonderful cover! This dump rescue was inscribed by the author just 14 days prior to his death on March 7th 1953: "To Mr. G. Burger, A fellow with lots of Logic and a swell personality - D. J. Calicchio MD." There is a newspaper clipping of the author's obituary taped underneath the inscription.

Intriguing subject matter also!