Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Law 161: UPDATE: It's as Cold as... and more Wisconsin Poets' collage

Here on the Upper Chesapeake Bay, (think, B'more hon) we are setting record low temperatures as is most of the rest of the country. My facebook feed this morning was full of low temperature reports from friends in the midwest. Sadly we are shivering right along with them. Of course by the end of the week it will be in the mid 50s during the day. As my honey is fond of saying, there is way too much energy in the system, which accounts for all the extreme weather we are experiencing.

It is a good time to stay inside stay warm and make art. Which is exactly what we have been doing here on Tesla's Revenge. We are looking forward to warmer weather and more adventures, but until then, it is time to make art.

In Truth an Integral Part, 1.16.19
I seem to be exploring questions of identity a lot in this journal project. In part i am sure that this is a reaction to some of the worst impulses we are seeing in the political/cutural currents of today. This is part of an ongoing conversation that Mungo and i conduct. He leans to angry hyperbole and rails, justifably so against current trends as i try to gently point to the pendulum.cyclical nature of culture. Of course when you are up to your ass in the swamp with alligators allround that is not what you want to hear.

Weighing Our Options, 1.19.19

The other part is i love play with surreal imagery, always have besides sometimes it is far easier to get a point across with a little humor.

Walking Through Time, 1.21.19

I almost never use commercial or fashion imagery in my work, preferring most likely because of my training as an artist and educator to use material that has, at least for me art/historical reference points. Walking Through Time and its companion piece really begged for that high fashion, slick photography; luckily we have a subscription to Vanity Fair, which provides more than i can possibly use, along with an occasional good article.

Do you remember as a child how time seemed as slow as the proverbial molasses in January, but now, half a life time later it feels as if you have achieved the physical impossibility of travel at light speed? Well, the child is still part of you.

Holding Tight to Concepts of Personal Identity,1.22.19

I usually only create one of these a day, but some images demand to be spread across two pages, such is the case with the last piece i am sharing with you today. I used part of this very precious image, the scale, in Weighing Our Options, the two figures with the over-sized brains come from the same image; an illustration for a mid 70s article out of Horizon, a now defunct arts and culture magazine. I lucked out early in my collage career and scored a complete set 1950s through the 80s at a library sale. It took me years to actually start using them. I couldn't bring myself to cut them up, they were such a treasure trove of information.

Do We Build Bridges or Barriers, 1.27.19

Well and i made the mistake of going online and checking out their value.... Enough for now, stay warm, be creative.

More later,

Sunday, January 13, 2019

LAW 160: Snow 'Pocalypse, Sorta,

Well if the lines and crowds in the local grocery stores, the insanity in the parking lots were reliable indicators, it wasn't just going to snow, the end of the world was nigh!

No filter, just snow snow snow, from the cockpit

It started snowing around dinner time last night. Fluffy, heavy, wet flakes are still floating down. The weather gurus are currently predicating as much as 8". I'm not sure how my marina mates who have to go to work tomorrow are going to fare. No one has stirred on our dock and i am pretty sure that the driveway and parking lot remain unplowed.

Nope, i don't think they'll be using their kayak today.

 We made sure that we had plenty of water, and of course food and wine before the storm started. I did go out into the cockpit to take pretty pictures. No way i'm getting off the boat.

Magellan is incredibly bored which means he needs lots of play and cuddle time. Uggh, he is such a big lap cat!
There Are Other Solutions, I am Sure, 1.6.19
Still in all, another good day to stay inside and make art, which i did, Mungo is still pounding away on his keyboard. He is sooooooo close to finishing the first draft of his new novel. I'll be proofreading soon.
When You Hold, 1.7.19

I've a few more images to share from the Wisconsin Poets' calendar project. I'm pretty pleased. Its been awhile since i've worked in a narrative/figurative style. i'm having fun playing with surreal imagery.

What in the World Has Happened, 1.8.19
I couldn't resist using the cut-out negative space silhouette from yesterday's piece. I had cut it out very carefully, i guess i was planning on this, but... the question then was, what to fill her with?

An odd, surreal mix of imagery, but i like it.

I'll Never Forget this Night, 1.10.19

There is always a danger when you are working with images that are iconic. Christina's World, by Wyeth is, or should be immediately recognizable by anyone who has ever opened an art history book. But the re-purposing of imagery is afterall at the center of collage making. Contex is everything.

Then I Opened the Door, 1.12.19

As before, all images are 5.25 x 8.5", on card stock. All the text is currently coming from a couple of children's books.

What She Reallt Wanted Was A, 1.13.19

Gotta go and tend the smoked turkey and veggie soup i making for dinner. Stay tuned for more cool art.


Sunday, January 6, 2019

LAW 159: A New Year, A New Project: The Wisconsin Poets' Calendar

Happy New Year to all, here is hoping that 2019 will be a year of great abundance and happiness for us all.

Well, because you always need a picture of your cat!

We all start our new year with good intentions, resolutions to become a better, more, (fill in the blank) person. How long does that last for most of us?

Me, well i started the year of right with a new art project, and did join a fitness club. We will see what happens. I have been resolute with the new art project. My dear friend Brian, amazing poet, gifted me last year with a copy of the Wisconsin Poets' calendar, which he not so coincidentally had a few poems published in. Great poems by the way.

In the order i made them, all images are 5.25 x 8.5", hand cut and torn collage. I am harvesting the text from a couple of children's books.

Camilla Was so Embarrassed

Anyway, the calendar is nicely sized; spiral bound weekly format, with good quality card stock. It runs close to two hundred pages. It seemed far to nice to simply toss in the trash, so my inner re-purposing maven came up with the idea of  using it for an art collage journal.

But She Was Still Afraid to Admit it

So far it has been an every day project; this likely won't last, as i will want to go back to the abstract work after taking a break. That is okay.

She Did Feel Different, but When She(l)/She Looked in the Mirror(r)
I really didn't have any concrete ideas regarding the direction this project would/will take, excepting that i knew i needed to work in a narrative, figurative fashion for awhile. Oh yea, i am absolutely going to use up all those precious little scraps i have been obsessively hoarding.....

I Was in for Another Surprise

So far the imagery appears to be taking on a portrait sort of element, we'll see where it goes from there.

She's Just too Much of a Distraction

That's it so far, one a day since January 1st, although i did the positive/negative spread on the same day.

More later,

Friday, December 28, 2018

LAW 158: Merry Christmas and all that, only a little late

I thought i would share my Christmas card series. Last year i decided that the very few friends and family that were still getting holiday cards from me would each get an original. Since i must stress, there are very few of them, this is a very doable project. In prior years i had designed and printed a card, but somehow this felt like the right thing to do.

And He Needs Me to Light His Way, for my Dad

This year's cards have a common theme; imagery that i sourced from two delightful children's book i scored earlier in the year. One of them, actually a Christmas story itself featured a moon that fell out of the sky. This of course caused Santa all sorts of problems, as there was no moon light to guide him through his Christmas eve travels.

The Next Day When She Awoke, for my Mom

The moon from this book became the unifying element in each of the cards. This felt very apropos: we would experience a full moon for Yule, and after all, the solstice is the time when the balance of light and dark start to change. Thankfully towards the light.

Santa Had Noticed the Change in the Night, Aunt Rita's

The other story, which provided most of the delightful starry cosmos images was about a hedgehog that got to be an astronaut.

He Gave Pleasure, for Brian and Marrianne

The bits and pieces that made each card individual and meaningful to the recipient came from a wide variety of sources; mostly paintings.

At First it Was so Dark, for Maggie

Have a great rest of the holiday season and as always,

More later

Friday, November 16, 2018

LAW: This That and the Other Thing, # ??????

I appear to be a very bad blogger. What can i say, life has a way of getting in the way. We spent a lot of time this fall trying, repeatedly to get the paddle wheel on Tesla's Revenge functional; we are sooooooo close. Sadly we proved once more that you do indeed get what you pay for, viso, cheap, Chinese crap. Which is how almost all Chinese imports, particularly building materials and electronics are (not so fondly) referred to in our house.

A girl has gotta spend time with her cat!

The culprit this time, our replacement for the replacement of the motor controller. It did work, the wheel did turn, for about 15 seconds, before the fusible link in the controller went fissst, up in smoke. Ya think that maybe the specs aren't accurate?
Yes, red is the traditional color for a paddle wheel.

All of this along with normal winterizing of the boat. It seems as if winter is coming a little early this year. We had to make some fairly significant repairs to our flexa-glass enclosure of the cockpit. We will probably get another full year out of this version; but we are surprised and a little disappointed in the performance. Most significantly the flexa-glass shrank enough over the summer, i guess due to the heat that we had to reposition all the snaps. In some places it shrank enough that we are going to have gaps this winter.

Oh yes, you better believe i voted; thought about following the old Chicago axiom, vote early, vote often..... I did however, express my post election anxiety by creating this collage.

9 out of 10 poll watchers agree....

And, yes there is more, we are finally moving our stuff out of storage from the marina basement, to a more permanent, and hopefully drier unit. I hate going through and moving things, terrible fire anyone?

Still and all, i have been making art, and really really yummy food.

Grilled Eggplant Parmagiana
We grilled the last of our local eggplant, served with a homemade ricotta cheese. If you haven't made your own ricotta and butter you should really try it!

On the art news front, my collage, Eternal Logic of a  Butterfly's Wing has been included in the Collage Artists of America FB 2019 calendar. I let you know where it will be available.

A selection of my collages will be showcased in a group show at the Lirodendron Gallery in Belair, Md July 28-Aug 18, 2019. More on this later.

Yesterday we were completely boat bound. The first Nor'easter of the season dumped far more snow and ice on us then predicated, so it was a great day to devote to art making. I realized as i was working on this piece that my recent collages were all dealing with liminal space, with the line that divides. I try to push the narrative/figurative elements of these pieces as far into the background as possible. The parts of paintings that i use for this work are almost exclusively backgrounds, and with figurative work, the edge, the outline of the form.

More later. Hopefully not much later

Sunday, October 21, 2018

LAW 156: New Collages

Summer has come and gone seemingly with out notice, fall seems to be right behind it. Today is a cool, blustery day, alternating brilliant blue skies with heavy cloud cover. I wonder what winter will bring?

The trials and tribulations of Tesla's Revenge are on going. We are ready to install the paddle wheel, sadly the weather is not cooperating with us. During the last month or so i couldn't find the time or energy for a variety of reasons to create any new collages. I am however back on track and thought i would share the last two with you.

Regarding the Clarity of Light

I continue to explore the design possibilities inherent in pre-selecting and limiting the choices available to me during the composition process. I am pleased with the results. The two pieces i am sharing with you were created entirely with the "backgrounds" of other paintings; i say other paintings as i think of these collages as paintings. 

My sources for these works are the Time Life World of (artists). A series of books that my mother subscribed me to, a birthday present from the early 70's. Yes, i have carried these books with me across country more than once!


The imagery for Regarding is derived from Vermeer's walls, i loved the quality of light and intention to detail, that of Searchers from back grounds of sculpture, mainly Rodin's.

The subtle color and texture in these large, flat, mainly subordinate parts of the painting are to me, extremely evocative. I hope you find the work that i am creating interesting and continue to follow me as it develops and changes.

Both pieces are 9 x 12" on book board. I have no intention of matting and/or framing work from this series. The collage is wrapped around the edges and carried completely over the back.

More later,


Monday, August 20, 2018

LAW 155: Summer Bounty, have i said...

Well, not really summer bounty, but feline bounty! I think that perhaps Magellan was allowed to watch too many Roman costume epics as a kitten. Nuff said.

Yes Really!

This is relatively new behavior for him, but if you note the wet spot on the step down, that, that is not new behavior. He has always dragged his water bowl around, spilling water willy nilly, then, and only then will he drink.

Last additions

But really, summer bounty here is crazy, the weather is crazy, perhaps the whole world is crazy. The weather, too hot, too wet, too cloudy has made for a shorter then usual season for the local farmer. Our favorite local farm stand, Zahradka's has already cut back to week-end hours only.

I'm Ready!

We are still wallowing in tomatoes, corn and cucumbers. Oh and eggplant, eggplant has been awesome this summer. Nothing like a grilled eggplant and mozzarella sandwich with fresh garden ripe tomatoes and basil, oh yea! They were so good that we forgot to take pictures!

Love these bowls Darby made us!

Not so the delicious Maryland Crab soup/gumbo. And it was yummy, all locally sourced ingredients. I was enjoying a good, also local IPA. we served the gumbo with the last of our home brewed cider.

Need I say more?

Not bad for a 29 foot converted sailboat with one burner.

More later