Since I Don’t Write Poetry

I am continuing to construct collages on suminagashi marbled paper. The concept of time, during the Covid19 pandemic, is strange and weird. I’ve used the word “time” in the titles of these new collages to encourage thinking about various aspects of the collage.

In poetry there are what I think of as “breaths” between words or phrases. The relationships of shapes, lines, colors and spaces in between function in much the same way in the collage. Is it a stretch to say those relationships may act as metaphors which provoke thoughts (memories?) and feelings?

Here is #1366 “Time Will Tell.”

What are your reactions?

#1366 Time Will Tell collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

#1366 Detail

Compare it to #1367 “Time-less.”

How are the relationships of shapes, colors and lines different? What is the “flow” or rhythm? How does the movement relate to the marbling?

#1367 Time-less collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

Here is #1368 “Another Time.”

#1368 Another Time collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

#1368 Detail

 

This is #1369 “Time For…”

#1369 Time For… collage on suminagashi marbled paper 22×30 2020

The collages were constructed on 22” x 30’” paper. Not small, but not huge. Try to picture that size and think about how near or far you would have to be to take it all in and see the relationships I’m talking about.

This is my wordless poetry.

Ghostly Impressions

I continue to explore the art of collage on suminagashi, marbled paper. In this series, called “Ghostly Impressions”, the collage incorporates a photograph and sun print in addition to areas of monotype and found paper.

The photo is one of many I’ve taken of “remainders” or “ghosts” on old buildings. They often indicate what company owned or leased the building. It’s a nice reminder of the past, which I want to capture. Faded, yes, but still hanging around although maybe, not for long.

The images on the sun print paper appear, like magic, after the paper is washed off. Kids love the process. I do, too! Like the signs on buildings, these images have a “ghostly” appearance.

There are a number of steps in constructing the layers of the collage.

First, the marbled paper is made using special inks, which float on the water in a tray. I swirl the ink into patterns. The paper is laid down on top of the water (carefully!) and lifted off (very carefully!) to reveal the pattern. This technique is old news to those of you who have been following my blog.

Here is what the marbled paper looks like, ready for collage.

Suminagashi marbled paper

Next, using my etching press, I add inked items to create a monotype on the marbled paper which I have dampened. It looks like this.

#1361 Fancy That

I have the ghost sign photo and the sun print ready. I adhere them to the monotype on marbled paper.

#1361 Fancy That

The last layer consists of shapes cut from found paper (i.e. magazines, other ephemera), my discarded prints and cut out marbled paper. Finished!

#1361 Fancy That   collage w. photo, sun print on suminagashi marbled paper, 22×30″ 2019

#1361 Fancy That – Detail

Here is another, partially completed. # 1365 “Layer Up”

#1365 Layer Up

Here it is finished!

#1365 Layer Up  collage w. photo, sun print on suminagashi marbled paper, 22×30 2019

I’ll be posting more from the series on my website soon. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, check out the previous group of prints + sun prints under New Work at https://www.studio7310.com.

Prints, Prints, Prints

My newest group of prints is like a trifecta. In horse racing terms a trifecta is a bet placed for first, second and third place. While I’m not a betting person (generally) I thought about the word as I was assembling these prints.

Here’s how it went.

I printed the top monotype first with some additional monotype elements scattered about. Next, I printed the solar plate etching(s) at the bottom. The space in between was saved for a sun print. That was my first, second and third place print assembly. Finally, I added a few more collage elements. The paper size is 30″x22.”

The monotype is a single print from a plate (plexiglass or metal), in this case, metal. The solar plate etching is made using the sun or a light box as a light source to “etch” the image drawn or painted on a coated plate, thus eliminating the use of toxic chemicals. The sun print is also “solar.” Materials are placed on a light sensitive paper, which is exposed to the sun and rinsed off. The image looks like a cyanotype, but no chemicals are used to print the image.

Here are a few prints from this series.

First, the sun print from #1355 “Take Nothing For Granted.”

#1355 Take Nothing For Granted

Next, the entire print, monotype on top, sun print in the middle, solar plate etching on the bottom, plus some collage.

#1355 Take Nothing For Granted

 

Here is #1357 “Resonance.” There are two solar plate etchings combined in this print.

#1357 Resonance

And, the sun print from “Resonance.”

#1357 Resonance

This is #1358 “Life In The Fast Lane” followed by its sun print.

#1358 Life In The Fast Lane

#1358 Life In The Fast Lane

And, a detail of “Life In The Fast Lane.”

#1358 Life In The Fast Lane

There you have it! My print trifecta!

The entire series will be up on my website www.studio7310.com soon. Stay tuned!

 

The Haiku Project Continues

Seven seemed like a good number for the Haiku Collage series. At least for the time being. Before moving on to something else I thought I would publish a blog with the collages completed since the first few described in “The Haiku Project” – December 2018.

If you remember, the project grew out of a desire to combine, as collage, my cut up prints and found paper with stenciled and cut paper words from haiku poems sent to me by friends. The collage was assembled on marbled paper that I made using the suminagashi technique (Japanese). To refresh your memory about the process of layering in making the collage go to December 2018 in the Archives at the side of the blog.

Here are the new haikus, each followed by the completed collage.

# 1349 Alice’s Haiku

In the library

For fifteen minutes or less

No charge for parking

Alice’s Haiku

Alice’s Haiku – detail

# 1350 Faye’s Haiku

Butterflies in flight

Light as air like free spirits

Spreading joy to all

Faye’s Haiku

Faye’s Haiku – detail

# 1351 Todd’s Haiku

The open dog park

Never the same love again

Without your loved ones

Todd’s Haiku

Todd’s Haiku – detail

# 1352 Kathleen’s Haiku

Realization

Comfort comes in many forms

Sit back let it in

Kathleen’s Haiku

The Haiku Project

In a previous blog, “S” Is For Suminagashi, I described suminagashi as follows:

“Suminagashi is a Japanese marbling technique using special pigment inks. These inks are gently tapped on the surface of water in a tray with fine brushes. The movement of the water and my intervention moves the inks around creating swirls and ripples. The inks are intense but they appear pale and indistinct floating on the water. The magic occurs when the paper is laid on the water and lifted off. The marbled pattern appears!”

Suminagashi literally means “ink-floating.”

I wrote about how I used the marbled paper I made as the basis for collage, recycling pieces of prints (mine) and found paper to create a design where line, shape, color and texture work in tandem with the ebb and flow of the marbling, moving with it and against it across the paper.

I  wanted to do a project using haiku poetry in my work. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry traditionally comprised of seventeen syllables in un-rhymed lines of five, seven and five syllables. Contemporary poets change that up a little using different numbers of syllables.. Haiku poems typically evoke an impression or feeling having to do with nature. Again, contemporary versions may stray from this strict definition and turn inward to express something more personal.

I took me a while to realize that combining a haiku with collage on suminagashi marbled paper was what I was looking for. And so, the Haiku Project was born. I reached out to you, my readers, requesting original haikus. You write the poem, I’ll use it in my art and credit you by using your first name in the title i.e. “Brad’s Haiku.” You responded, generously, sending me beautiful poems.

The collage is built in layers beginning with the marbled paper.

Brad’s Haiku

Next, I write the haiku using stencils with pencil and pastels in a pattern of movement that complements the flow of the marbling.

Dave’s Haiku

 

The cut paper collage elements are next. Here is a detail at that stage.

Dave’s Haiku-detail

Last, the cut out letters (from print scraps) are overlaid on the previously stenciled letters. Still with me? A completed collage looks like this.

Dave’s Haiku

Here are the words for “Brad’s Haiku”, cut from print scraps, which will be the final layer in the collage. Yes, it takes good eyes and steady hands to cut and glue them.

Brad’s Haiku

 

Here is “Brad’s Haiku” with stenciled letters and collage.

Brad’s Haiku

Here is the completed “Brad’s Haiku.”

Brad’s Haiku

And a detail.

Brad’s Haiku-detail

Here is the completed “Marla’s Haiku.”

Marla’s Haiku

My work table!

Work Table

Work Table

Here are the haiku poems in the collages.

“Dave’s Haiku”

winter vacancy

unnoticed till filled by a

red-winged blackbird trill

 

“Brad’s Haiku”

cold dark hotel room

in the middle of Charlotte

wishing I were home

 

“Marla’s Haiku”

darkness in daytime fire

spews round the blackened orb

shining sun returns

For me, it’s poetry in motion. Let me know what you think or feel and do send a haiku if you haven’t already.

To be continued.

 

 

“S Is For Suminagashi

 

I have been working on a series on paper combining Suminagashi marbling and collage. Suminagashi is a Japanese marbling technique using special pigment inks. These inks are gently tapped on the surface of water in a tray with fine brushes. The movement of the water and my intervention moves the inks around creating swirls and ripples. The inks are intense but they appear pale and indistinct floating on the water. The magic occurs when the paper is laid on the water and lifted off. The marbled pattern appears!

I’ve often said I love the unpredictability of printmaking. Suminagashi marbling takes unpredictability to a whole new level.

The collage elements are applied to the dried marbled paper. Like all of my collages there is a combination of my recycled prints and found paper. The colors, shapes and design of the collage work in tandem with the marbling.

To give you an idea of the process from start to finish here is what the marbled paper looks like.

Suminagashi Suite 2 marbled paper

Little by little, collage elements are applied.

Suminagashi Suite 2 in progress

The finished piece!

Suminagashi Suite 2, marbled paper with collage 22×30″ 2017-18

Here is another sequence.

Suminagashi Suite 4 marbled paper

Suminagashi Suite 4 in progress

Suminagashi Suite 4, marbled paper with collage 22×30″ 2017-18

Here are several other finished collages.

Suminagashi Suite 3, marbled paper with collage 22×30″ 2017-18

Suminagashi Suite 5, marbled paper with collage 30×22″ 2017-18

Suminagashi Suite 7, marbled paper with collage 30×22″ 2017-18

To be continued!

In Case You Missed It

The exhibit “Contemporary Collage” opened at the Lincoln Center Art Gallery in Fort Collins, CO on November 10th and included six of my collages.

For this exhibit I selected a group of collages from the series “Have Map Will Travel.” They deal with the kinds of relationships all my work addresses, color, shape, line and texture. I construct the collages on paper using my recycled prints (monotypes, collagraphs, etchings), photos (mine) and found paper.

In this ongoing series I add sections of maps, which I have photographed (I can’t bear to cut up old maps) and printed. The map shapes may or may not denote places where I have traveled. They help lead the eye in and around the collage.

Here are my collages and the gallery information.

Have Map Will Travel 2, collage, 22×30″

Have Map Will Travel 3, collage 22×30″

Have Map Will Travel 4, collage 30×22″

Have Map Will Travel 5, collage 30×22″

Have Map Will Travel 8, collage 24×20″

Have Map Will Travel 9, collage 24×20″

Contemporary Collage

November 10, 2017 – January 9, 2018

Reception: November 10 from 6-8 PM

Gallery hours: Tues – Sat, 12 – 6 PM

Lctix.com/exhibitions

Giustina Renzoni, (970) 416-2737

If you live near Fort Collins I hope you stop by to see the show which ends on January 9, 2018. Viewing art is always in season!

Come To The Bath House

I will have several collages in an exhibit called “The Essential Nature” at the Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas. It opens with a reception on Saturday, September 2, 2017 from 7-9PM. The Bath House Cultural Center is at White Rock Lake, a delightful place to be on a balmy late summer evening.

The collages are from the “Have Map Will Travel” series. They combine pieces of my etchings, monotype and collagraph prints (recycled) and all kinds of found paper. Maps are there, too. The emphasis is on spatial, shape and color relationships. The story is your story.

Here is a sneak preview of the collages. Come see the real thing. I hope you can join me and a terrific group of artists showing a variety of work at the end of summer, almost fall.

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

Have Map Will Travel 9, collage, 24×20, 2015

Exhibit Information

The Essential Nature
The Bath House Cultural Center
521 E. Lawther Dr.
Dallas, TX 75218

Opening Reception: Saturday, September 2, 2017  7-9PM
Exhibit runs through September 30

Crazy For Collage

I often construct my collages on acrylic painted paper. For a recent group of collages I layered stencil shapes cut from discarded prints (monotypes, collagraphs, etchings) and other found paper on the painted background. I needed one more element to make the collage POP. I found it by using acrylic “spreads.” Never heard of them? Spreads are made by painting acrylic paint or paint + gel medium on a releasing surface like plastic, letting it dry really well, then scraping it off and gluing it to the collage paper. They’re a little tricky to make, but they’re fun to make and fun to incorporate into the collage. They add texture and a bit of 3-D to the flat surface.

Here are some examples from the “Hidden In Plain Sight” series.

#1296 Hidden In Plain Sight 1, collage, 16x20", 2016

#1296 Hidden In Plain Sight 1, collage, 16×20″, 2016

#1297 Hidden In Plain Sight 2, collage, 16x20", 2016

#1297 Hidden In Plain Sight 2, collage, 16×20″, 2016

#1298 Hidden In Plain Sight 3, collage, 16x20", 2016

#1298 Hidden In Plain Sight 3, collage, 16×20″, 2016

#1300 Hidden In Plain Sight 5, collage, 16x20", 2016

#1300 Hidden In Plain Sight 5, collage, 16×20″, 2016

I continue to use pieces of my photographs, like the underfoot and graffiti images with discarded (you could say re-purposed) prints and found paper. May I say “ephemera?” It sounds so much more sophisticated. The compositions extend in all directions on a white background.

Here are a few recent examples.

#1301 Remembering The Things You Forgot collage 22x30" 2016

#1301 Remembering The Things You Forgot collage 22×30″ 2016

#1302 Internal:External Forces At Work collage 22x30" 2016

#1302 Internal:External Forces At Work collage 22×30″ 2016

#1303 Chasing The Unexpected collage 30x22" 2016

#1303 Chasing The Unexpected collage 30×22″ 2016

 

Sometimes you have to go “small.” Same idea, collage on painted paper. What happens when you try to downsize? What do you pick and choose to take? Ugh, you say. Well, I have to make the same sort of decisions every time I look at the paper. I made a series of “minis” called “Mini-Go-Round.” They are 6×8”, a lot smaller than 16×20”, 22×30” or 29×41”, my usual sizes for collage. How would you design a collage on a small piece of paper?

Here are my “minis.” Remember, they are small.

#1304 Mini Go Round 1, collage 6x8" 2016

#1304 Mini Go Round 1, collage 6×8″ 2016

#1305 Mini Go Round 2, collage 6x8" 2016

#1305 Mini Go Round 2, collage 6×8″ 2016

#1306 Mini Go Round 3, collage 6x8" 2016

#1306 Mini Go Round 3, collage 6×8″ 2016

#1309 Mini Go Round 6, collage 6x8" 2016

#1309 Mini Go Round 6, collage 6×8″ 2016

#1321 Mini Go Round 18, collage 6x8" 2016

#1321 Mini Go Round 18, collage 6×8″ 2016

Have you made collages? What’s your approach?

The Devil Is In The Details

 

Robert Rauschenberg once said, “Sunsets and strawberries never appear the same.” Margaret Drabble wrote, in The Red Queen, “Nothing comes from nowhere.”

#1274 Razzle, Dazzle, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1274 Razzle, Dazzle, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

 

#1275 Hip, Hip, Hooray, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2" 20

#1275 Hip, Hip, Hooray, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″ 20

When I think about my work (because people ask) I realize it is always about exploring possibilities. Sometimes it’s moving forward, sometimes it’s stepping back. Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere, as complicated as the arc of travel, as simple as the mash up of colors in a bowl of fruit salad. A story, a piece of fabric, architectural details. How do I process all of these sensory experiences? How do I express them?

It’s a balancing act. Assessing, revising, adding, subtracting. The paintings and collages, for instance, are the result of the interplay of line, texture (real or implied), negative and positive space, and color (or lack of). How do the parts relate to the whole?

Where is the harmony? The dissonance? Experience with materials and technique is layered over intuition.

#1276 Going My Way?, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1276 Going My Way?, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

#1277 It Takes Longer Than You Think, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1277 It Takes Longer Than You Think, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

 

One person’s “serious” is another person’s “playful.” What are the connections within a work and to others that form a series? Must it tell a story or can you connect with it on a different level? Do you seek out metaphors as you study it? “… the eye of the beholder” may sound trite but it’s important to note that you, the viewer, bring much to the work to help you understand it.

#1278 Taking The High Road, collage 19 1:2x25 1:2"

#1278 Taking The High Road, collage 19 1:2×25 1:2″

 

#1279 Flights of Fancy, collage 19 1:2x251:2"

#1279 Flights of Fancy, collage 19 1:2×251:2″

 

I have no control over how viewers will interpret or connect with my work. I give up control once I determine it is finished. Then, on to the next.

#1281 Rational Exuberance 2, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22x30"

#1281 Rational Exuberance 2, acrylic painting on paper with collage 22×30″

You can find more collages, plus paintings, prints and photographs on my website www.studio7310.com. Have at it!

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