A Constituency of Circles

Sometimes, in my work, more is more. That’s the case in the group of prints made after the Fortune Cookie project (previous blog). I could call it “Back to the Future” since, once again, circles are the main motif. They are the last layer (collage) of a monotype whose other layers are overlapping textures of inked mesh and embossed string.

Let your eyes wander around. Let the embossed lines guide you as they playfully connect the circles. Can you see that the ghost image of the monotype print has an added layer of inked mesh on top of which is a new layer of string embossing? Then, the circles!

Here are the two sets of prints and a detail of #1420.

#1420 It Is What It Is monotype, embossing, collage 30×22″ 2023

#1421 All Of It monotype, embossing, collage 30×22″ 2023

#1421 Detail

#1422 Not The First, Not The Last monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2023

#1423 Chance:Choice monotype, embossing, collage 22×30 2023

Where will this take me next? Stay tuned!

Your Fortune In A Cookie

You’ve finished that delicious Chinese dinner, one from column A, two from column B, not too spicy, not too salty. Everyone’s happy. Last, but not least, the little baked object in plastic arrives. The Fortune Cookie! Yay! You break it open, eat the cookie and read your fortune on the little piece of paper inside. You say “yeah” or “meh” and leave it on the table. Maybe you make note of the lottery numbers on the back for your next lottery ticket purchase, the one that’s going to be the winner. If you are like me, you press it flat and take it.

While I don’t eat Chinese food often, I seem to have amassed quite a collection of those little slips of paper. They have been waiting patiently for the time (a long time) when I would do something with them. And so, the FORTUNE COOKIE PROJECT was born.

COLLAGE was the perfect vehicle for the fortunes. Here’s how it went.

I started by printing a monotype on paper. Stencils of leaf shapes were inked and  printed at the same time as the monotype. Why leaves? I thought the implied floating would work well with the words moving across the paper (added later).There are four pairs of prints in the series because I worked on the “ghost” print of each monotype. The ghost image is what remains on the plate after the first impression is pulled.

Here is the sequence for the first collage:

  1. Monotype with overlay of leaf stencils inked and printed (#1412.1).

#1412.1 Fortune Cookie-Don’t Pursue Happiness-Create It

  1. Additional collaged cut out shapes (#1412.2)

#1412.2 Fortune Cookie-Don’t Pursue Happiness-Create It

  1. Final layer/final collage with FORTUNE words as collage (pencil, colored pencil and cut out letters from old prints). #1412

#1412 Fortune Cookie-Don’t Pursue Happiness-Create It monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

The ghost print of the pair shows the lighter main color with ghostly leaves plus additional inked and printed leaves, additional collaged shapes, and fortune cookie words (#1413.1, #1413.2, #1413

#1413.1 Fortune Cookie-Trust Your Intuition

#1413.2 Fortune Cookie-Trust Your Intuition

#1413 Fortune Cookie-Trust Your Intuition monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

Here is the second pair showing only the final print/collage. #1414 and #1415

#1414 Fortune Cookie-Your Mind Is Creative, Original, and Alert monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

#1415 Fortune Cookie-Big Journeys Begin With A Single Step monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

Here is the third pair. #1416 and #1417

#1416 Fortune Cookie-Your Example Will Inspeire Others monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

#1417 Fortune Cookie-Your Virtues Are Priceless monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

And, the fourth pair. (#1418 and #1419)

#1418 Fortune Cookie-Endurance and Persistence Will Be Rewarded monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

#1419 Fortune Cookie-You Are Talented In Many Ways monotype w. pencil, collage 30×22 2023

In this series, as in everything I do, I explored the POSSIBILITIES of doing/making. I encourage you to EXPLORE the possibilities of seeing/thinking.

I chose the most positive and uplifting fortunes from my collection. I hope they read that way to you. Feel free to take to heart any or all of them.

From Geoffrey Holder dancer, choreographer, actor, singer:

“Say yes to everything – then figure out how to make it work.”

Circle Suite

I like to work in layers. That’s the beauty of combining printmaking with collage. Throw in some embossing and you have the perfect trifecta. Circle Suite is a new group of three sets of related color monotypes with collage for a total of nine.

This group of collages began with creating textured monotypes and laying tangles of string on top before the monotype was printed. The paper remained white where the string had been pressed (embossed) into the paper. Boy, did I have fun deciding where the tangles of string should fall on the surface of the print. They may look random but are not. O.K. maybe a little. They did seem to have a mind of their own but ultimately it was my decision.

Each monotype with lines was then ready for the “circle” treatment. I floated circles from painted paper, my old prints and photos and ephemera across the surface adding some other cut out shapes. Look closely and you can see the interplay of circles and lines.

Large cut out circles are the anchors moving the eye from place to place and exerting some control over what may appear to be utter chaos but is not.

Here are three collages showing the monotype with embossed lines before adding the circles.

#1403 Leave Well Enough Alone monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2022

#1406 Et Cetera, Et Cetera monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2022

#1409 How Goes It monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2023

Here are the same pieces finished.

#1403 Leave Well Enough Alone monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2022

#1406 Et Cetera, Et Cetera monotype, embossing, collage 2022

#1409 How Goes It monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2023

Here are the other six completed colleges.

#1404 They Went That a Way monotype, embossing, collage 2022

#1405 Tingle Tangle monotype, embossing, collage 22×30″ 2022

#1407 Cascade monotype, embossing, collage 22×30 2023

#1408 Lickity Split monotype, embossing, collage 22×30 2023

#1410 Euphoria monotype, embossing, collage 22×30 2023

#1411 Bring It On monotype, embossing, collage 22×30 2023

And a quote from author Dean Koontz. “…at the end of each day I regret having to stop. I’ve got to know what happens next.”

The Past Is Present

 

A new life for old photos. Monotype print + vintage photo + collage = new work.

The collages began with monotypes left over from the “Mystere” series of years ago. They lay waiting for something. So did my collection of vintage photos of people, many of them as postcards which were sent to friends and family. Who were these people, anyway? I think of that as I sift through them, looking for the right one to add to the monotype. If I wait much longer the monotype print will also be “vintage.”

This is not the first time I have used vintage photos in my work. Years ago, I made Xerox (when did we stop using that word?) copies of photos and transferred them to monotype prints. Here are some examples of that combination.

#590 Untitled Monotype Xerox Transfer 22.5×15 1995

#630 Untitled monotype, xerox transfer 22×12 1995

I have also adhered actual photos to monotypes like these.

#570 Untitled monotype, collage 22×30 1994

#579 Mama,1886, monotype,collage 30×22 1994

#593 In The Pursuit of… monotype, xerox transfer 25.5×19.5 1995

This time I photographed the original vintage photo and printed it from my computer rather than use the actual photo. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe, in case I wanted to do something with them in the future. Who knows?

There are only three finished pieces in this series. Each starts with the faint tangle of lines across the “Mystere” monotype. The posed people (staid, aren’t they?) in the photograph are a foil for the swirling lines all over the monotype. Etched shapes and printed shapes are added. Lastly, additional paper collage elements move in, over and around the photos, anchoring them to the page.

#1400 Long Ago and Far Away 1 a. monotype, collage 22×302022

#1400 Long Ago and Far Away 1 b monotype, collage 22×30 2022

#1400 Long Ago and Far Away 1c monotype, collage 22×30 2022

Here are the other two pieces in the group. Just the final piece.

#1401 Long Ago and Far Away 2 monotype, collage 22×30 2022

#1402 Long Ago and Far Away 3 monotype, collage 22×30″ 2022

The mysterious people from a different era now inhabit our world. They’ve been brought forward into this century. I hope they are happy.

 

 

 

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

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.