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.”

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!

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)

 

 

 

 

 

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.

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