Come A Little Closer

It’s time for a straight-forward combination of the elements I often work with, in collage. The geometric shapes are readily apparent but how are there two colors on what seems like one layer of a monotype print? The mystery lies in the use of two “plates” into which coils of string are incised by the weight of the etching press. They are inked with two different colors and printed. Paper circles are placed on the second plate before printing. When they are removed the color of the first plate shows through as circles. Mystery solved!

As I’ve done in the past, I construct the collage on the printed monotype. It’s a step by step, layer by layer process using parts of collagraph (textured) prints and monotype prints.

Here is the first set of three. They are horizontal.

#1394 To Do Or Not To Do monotype w. collage, 15.5×23.5, 2022

#1395 Peripheral Vision monotype w. collage, 15.5×23.5, 2022

#1396 Now You See It monotype w. collage, 15.5×23.5, 2022

If you look the second set of three, which are vertical, can you tell that each collage is assembled on a print from only one plate? Bet you can! That monotype print is the “ghost” image. It is the impression from the image left on the first plate after printing. The vertical collages are constructed in the same way as the horizontal ones step by step, layer by layer.

Here are the three vertical collages.

#1397 Super Duper monotype w. collage, 23.5×15.5, 2022

#1398 What Goes ’round Comes ’round monotype w. collage, 23.5×15.5 2022

#1399 Say When monotype w. collage, 23.5×15.5, 20

Don’t let the “process” get in the way of seeing the whole collage. Enjoy the experience of exploring the relationships of line, shape, color, and texture. Look at the whole, notice the parts, then look at the whole again.

Party on!

Another Opening of Another Show

The cultural jewel of Evanston, IL, close to Chicago, is the Evanston Art Center. A selection of my collages from the past few years is included in the exhibit Expressive Exuberance. My work and that of several other talented artists will be exhibited from April 16 – May 22, 2022. If you are in the area I hope you’ll come to the opening reception on Saturday April 16 from 5 to 8PM. It will be an exuberant experience!

If you can’t make it here are my collages that will be in the show. They include recycled prints and found paper assembled on monotype printed or painted paper as well as collage on suminagashi marbled paper. One is “Brad’s Haiku.” Yes, that Brad!

#1290 Have Map Will Travel 8, collage, 24×20, 2015

#1326 Time and Time Again, monotype w. collage, 30×22 2017

#1326 Detail

#1327 Time After Time, monotype w. collage, 30×22 2017

#1327 Detail

#1331 Kaleidoscope 4, collage on acrylic painted paper, pastels 18×24 2017

#1331 Detail

#1338 Suminagashi Suite 5 marbled paper, collage 25×19.5 2017

#1348 Brad’s Haiku, suminagashi marbled paper, collage 30×22 2018

Additional exhibit details are on my website’s Home Page (Announcements) at www.studio7310.com

Winter Musings

 

It’s that time of year in N. Texas when “iffy” is the operative word. Late winter means the days are getting longer but the temperature can go from 20’s one day (O.K., several days) to 65 the next. Brilliant sunshine, blue skies, then thunderstorms, hail, “wintry mix” (that means freezing rain, maybe snow). I kid you not. February seems to be the “it” month. February 2021 had 139 hours of below freezing temperature. We Texans are not cut out for that sort of thing. This February we had only 48 hours of “freeze.” Fingers crossed that will be it. The daffodils are popping up, a good sign.

During my “hunker down” days I thought about all the fun road trips my best friend, SF, and I took during our almost 59 years of marriage. Of the many stops we made while passing through small town(s) U.S.A. the fun and memorable ones were often at country cafes, roadside luncheonettes, gas station bar-b-q’s and soda fountains at the back (or front) of “emporiums.”

So, here’s to those special places where there’s always a “howdy” welcome and a slice of homemade pie or ice cream soda, sometimes both. If you are SF a chocolate ice cream sundae will do just fine.

Enjoy the ride unless you’re skiing.

St. Jo, TX

Clines Corners, NM

Homer, AK

Round Top, TX

Bells, TX

Canton, TX

Somewhere in OK

Minturn, CO

Eagle, CO

Redstone, CO

Marble, CO

Steamboat Springs, CO

Jefferson, TX

Jefferson, TX

Hico, TX

P.S. SF is Stanley Feld (which you probably guessed) for whom there can never be enough chocolate ice cream.

Piece By Piece

 

Piece by piece and layer by layer. Bye, bye suminagashi marbling (for now), hello acrylic painting on paper. This will be the base layer on top of which I will construct a new collage. It will go from simple to complex. As you scroll through the images, slowly and thoughtfully (I hope), here are some questions to ponder. You might find them simplistic but here they are, anyway.

  1. What are the similarities? Differences?
  2. Do you see relationships of color, line, shape, texture?
  3. Is there one focal point or several? What connections are there from one area to another?
  4. What difference does the change in orientation of the central collage make?

And now, the collages!

Here is the “process” sequence.

First, acrylic painting on paper.

Process #1391- acrylic

Next layer, monotype added.

Process #1391- monotype

After that, collage of sun prints + photos.

Process #1391-monotype w. sun print, photo

A few more collage elements and voila! The completed collage.

#1391 Breaking Loose

The same sequence occurs in #1392 and #1393.

#1392 Grab Bag

#1393 Sort Of

Here is another group with the same layering sequence except that the orientation of the central collage of sun prints and photos is vertical instead of horizontal.

#1387 Hold On It’s Gonna Be A Rough Ride monotype, sun print, photo collage 25.5×19.5 2021

#1387 detail

#1388 Nice Work If You Can Get It monotype, sun print, photo collage 25.5×19.5 2021

#1388 Detail

#1389 Bending The Rules monotype, sun print, photo collage 25.5×19.5 2021

#1390 The One That Got Away monotype, sun print, photo collage 25.5×19.5 2021

Now, leave all the dissecting and analyzing behind. Go back, look at the completed collages and have FUN! Think “joyfull”, “playfull.” Have a romp! I did!

 

“Wait for the right horse and you will walk.” (anonymous)

 

 

 

 

 

‘S Wonderful, ‘S Marbelous

It’s a new day! It’s the start of a new group of collages. Once again, suminagashi marbling is calling to me. It says, ”put me next to one of my relatives (preferably the nice one)” or “separate me from my relative and see how we act toward each other.” Then introduce friends in a variety of colorful lines and shapes, textures, too. What a party!

Here’s how it goes.

  1. Make marbled paper.
  2. Twosies or threesies together side by side.
  3. Make monotype of inked shapes on background paper and marbled shapes.
  4. Introduce cut up piece of collagraph or photo.
  5. Add additional found paper and/or inked stencil shapes.

You can see how the collage comes together by comparing #1380 (in progress) to #1380 (final).

#1380

#1380 All Together Now 2021 suminagashi marbled paper, monotype collage 22×30

or #1383 (in progress) to #1383 (final).

I wish you could see all the collages as actual works on paper rather than on one of your devices (even a large monitor). Then you could see real color and texture as well as the nuances of light and shadow and positive and negative space, all the components in their relationship to one another.

The seven collages in the group have a lot in common. What similarities do you see? What differences? Maybe it’s easier to describe a feeling you get when you look at the work.

Here are the other finished collages, most with the work in progress.

#1381 Give In To It 2021 suminagashi marbled paper, monotype collage 22×30

#1382

#1382 Truer Than…2021 suminagashi marbled paper, monotype collage

#1384

#1384 Happenstance 2021 suminagashi marbled paperr, monotype collage 22×30

#1385

#1385 Riddle Me This 2021 suminagashi marbled paper, monotype collage 22×30

#1386

#1386 Required Reading 2021 suminagashi marbled paper, monotype collage 22z30

Just for fun – my table with inks and table with assorted stencils and cutouts to ink.

printing inks

stencils & shapes to ink

I hope you find viewing my new work rewarding. Use it as a way to slow down and contemplate in an otherwise frantic workday/week. If my art reaches you on mind or heart level please share it with family, friends or colleagues.

Stay awhile.

Breathe.

Artfully yours,

Cecelia

www.studio7310.com

www.studio7310.com/ArtEveryday

A Part of My HeART

I have been building collages on marbled paper for several years and have blogged about the process. For those of you who are new to my blog it’s important to note that I do the marbling using the Japanese suminagashi technique. I never get tired of manipulating the inks on the surface of water which is contained in a large tray. The surprise comes at “lift off” after the paper, which has been gently (and briefly) laid on top of the water, is pulled up and away. The pattern of floating, swirling shapes is transferred to the paper. Once the paper is dry, I can construct the collage on it.

The ebb and flow of the marbled patterns lead me in different directions regarding the sizes, shapes, colors and placement of the collage elements. I think of the process as marbling mystery.

In my latest series I have added images of graffiti or wall art which I photographed and printed. The photos are rectangular and echo the shape of the paper. They are in free fall, floating around on the marbled background, anchored by the other collage elements. Everything goes round and round, up and down, over and under. Some parts are subtle, some not so subtle. They go with and against the flow.

Now, for the workflow, the sequence, where all will be revealed.

First, the marbled paper. It actually takes a while before I add anything. I love it all by itself!

#1377 – the beginning

#1377 – a few additions

#1377 – the finished collage. “Unexpected Encounters” collage with photo on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30” 2021

Here is #1376 with just the photos.

#1376 – with some collage

#1376 – the finished collage. “Hop-Scotch”

#1378 – with photos

#1378 – the finished collage. “A Succession of Circles”

#1379 – with photos

#1379 – the finished collage. “In Praise of Purple Martins”

 

And, for good measure, a detail of #1379.

As always, the interpretation is up to you. What do you make of what I made?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Texas Rambles

I came to Dallas in 1969. From then, until Covid-19, hubby and I traveled a lot. We traveled to countries near and far, throughout the U.S. and much of Texas. We have not seen all of Texas, it is big, you know, but we have seen a lot; large, medium and small cities and towns and parts that are still rural and undeveloped, although for how much longer I can’t say.

Recently, looking at photos taken during those travelin’ days, I was reminded of the impact that those places had on me. How extraordinary the most ordinary things can seem if looked at in a different way.

With that in mind, I invite you to join me as I mosey down the highways and (mostly) byways of Texas, a big state with similarities throughout and great differences east to west and north to south. The stops along the way are in no particular order but they are real places and can be found on any Texas map.

Along many country roads there are buildings, still standing, which make a statement, sometimes hard to miss, sometimes easy to dismiss. They arouse my sense of curiosity and make me want to stop and ponder – who, when, why?

 

St. Jo

Honey Grove

Round Top

Whitewright

Honey Grove

Whitewright

Bells

You have to slow down (literally) when small towns are along your route or your destination. Main Street, where businesses once thrived still have “Antique” stores containing all those reminders of bygone days.

Comfort

Comfort

Honey Grove

Sherman

Nacoma

McKinney

The local café was always a place to stop, stretch and grab a bite. Some had quite a reputation.

Round Top

Round Top

Jefferson

Jefferson

Ferris

As I walked the streets of these small cities and towns I found myself hoping that the attempts at gentrifying and repurposing the neglected or vacant buildings would be successful. The parts of town that are not front and center often have “character” which is a way of saying they were once important and in some cases still are although they could use a good dose of TLC. Then there’s the question, “If you build it, will they come?”

Cisco

Honey Grove

Whitewright

Denison

Nacoma

McKinney

Texans are generally gregarious and like to gather at auctions, on front porches and county fairs. Small towns are famous for all of those.

Denison

Denison

Ravenna

Whitewright

Fannin County Fair

We went to Marfa, in West Texas, many years ago. Marfa gained notoriety when the Chinati Foundation was established; Donald Judd’s sculptures are displayed inside and outside on the many acres around the building. It became a mecca for tourists and gave a decided “bump” to the town where Judd lived.

Chinati, Marfa

Chinati, Marfa

There are more places on my Texas Rambles list, too many for one blog. When travel once again becomes a reality (I hope), remind yourself that the ordinary can become the extraordinary if you stop and look, really look.

McKinney

McKinney

As one of my favorite country singers says, “I can’t wait to get on the road again.”

 

 

 

Who’s On First?

This is about ball caps, specifically those belonging to Stanley Feld. In an effort to de-clutter, a la Marie Kondo (“The Art of Tidying Up”), I persuaded Stan to document all his caps, keep the most beloved, and donate the rest. Thus was born the Ball Cap Project. What better way to start 2021, ten months into the pandemic?

Would you believe me if I told you there were more than 100 caps in various places all over the house? I know there is a song or poem there. This abundance of headgear fell into several categories; sports teams, travel, farm/ranch, hotels/resorts, bands, entertainment venues, and colleges/universities.

As we sorted through the piles I feared Stan would get lost in a sea of nostalgia, reminiscing about where, why and how he acquired each cap. But he was a good trooper and happily posed for a keepsake photo in each one he kept. That kept us moving along nicely. Still too many in my opinion, but you can’t win ‘em all. Another time, another Marie Kondo try.

To quote Rod Stewart, “he is my lover, he’s my best friend…”

And so, here’s to my guy, Stan the man.

Florida Marlins

Colorado Rockies

Dallas Cowboys

San Francisco Giants

Univ. of Kansas

Univ. of Illinois

California Angels

Boston Red Sox

Cleveland Indians

Univ. of Illinois

California Angels

Boston Red Sox

Univ. of Nebraska

St. Louis Cardinals

Univ. of Utah

Dallas Mavericks

Univ. of Missouri

Omaha Royals

Minn.

NY Yankees

Texas Rangers

Astros/Rangers

NY Mets

Texas Tech

Midland Angels

Chicago White Sox

Montreal Canadians

Seattle Mariners

Philadelphia Phillies

Baltimore Orioles

Montreal Expos

Brooklyn Dodgers

Detroit Tigers

It’s A Wrap

The collage series TIME is finished (maybe). The previous blog, “Since I Don’t Write Poetry”, described the how and why of #1366-1369. I posted questions in that blog that I asked you to ponder. The last two collages in the series are #1370 and #1371.

Each element in the collage is a shape that can be named and exists as a ‘thing.” When it becomes part of another thing it becomes something else. Continuing to add elements continues the change even further. The parts lose their identity, as they become the new entity. The end result (the collage) is the sum of its parts.

Here is #1370 “This Time”

#1370 This Time

I thought it might be fun to show a bit of the sequence in assembling the collage. It may take the fun out of guessing how it all comes together but I’m not really giving away any secrets. So, here are some shots showing areas before and after collage elements have been added to #1371 which is at the end.

#1371

#1371

#1371

#1371

#1371

#1371

 

Here is the finished collage #1371 with all of its relationships for you to consider.

#1371 That Time

The idea of mindfulness in meditation is what I apply to my art practice. It is being present and open to the possibilities that arise during the time spent working on a project. I’ve been doing this for a long, long time. I just didn’t know what it was called. I have the following poem tacked to my studio wall. It is a powerful reminder of the need for mindfulness, in art and life, especially now.

WORDS FOR EACH DAY

Daisen-In Temple (Zen), Kyoto, Japan

Each day in life is training.

Training for myself.

Though failure is possible.

Living each moment.

Equal to anything.

Ready for everything.

I am alive.

I am this moment.

My future is here and now.

For if I cannot endure today when and where will I.

 

Be well, my friends, and practice mindfulness.

JOY

I’ve been thinking about the meaning of the word joy and how to find it and embrace it in this off-kilter time, the year 2020.

I have come upon scenes of joy in so many places all around the world. I explored my archives and found images of people and places that caught my attention for their expression of joy. Often, something in a place that made me smile. People, young and old, near and far, anytime, anywhere doing something that makes them happy. Smiles. Joy!

Here is what I found.

Eat Dessert First

CU Boulder

Feld Days Spring Creek E.S.

Vietnam

Japan

Japan

Japan

Japan

Chile

Buenos Aires, Arg.

Cape Breton, Nova Scotia

A Must Have, NYC

Music In The Subway, NYC

Boston

Redstone, CO

Music at the Met, NYC

An Unexpected Pleasure, NYC

Ljubljana

So Many To Choose, Ljubljana

Beaver Creek, Co

Cinque Terre, Italy

What a Ride, Cinque Terre, Italy

Travel and photography are experiences that bring me joy. Another, which occupies more of my time, especially during these months of isolation, is working in my studio. It is the joy of discovery working with familiar or unfamiliar materials. The what-ifs, maybes and perhaps. Keep this, change that, see what happens. The road to discovery can be straight-ahead or long and winding. Minutes, hours, days, or weeks. No matter. I sink down into the work at hand and emerge at some point thinking “finished” or “unfinished.” That’s it. Next.

My Studio

Outside my studio is the natural beauty of my farm in North Texas. It exerts its special brand of calmness on me and brings me huge amounts of joy. A special part is the Tally-Ho Trail, named by my granddaughter when she was young. It meanders through the woods, gently rising and falling, twisting and turning, following the creek. It’s not Colorado, but it’s our little piece of heaven in Texas. I’ll be on it as soon as it cools off. Summer does seem to last forever here.

Tally Ho Trail

Joy can be a small thing or a big thing. If we open our hearts to the possibility of giving and receiving JOY who knows what might happen?

Life Is Art