Sunday, May 13, 2018

Why Collage?

There are many reasons why I am making collage right now. It began long ago really, with my inability to throw something away that might contain 'a possibility'. In printmaking, things can go awry, the corner of the paper can fold over, the ink too heavy, too light, too much color saturation, not enough transparency, and so on. These misprints are not all bad, some have the most interesting passages, and maybe that color does not look right on one thing, does not mean it is without it's usefulness. So, drawers full of prints, trial proofs, color proofs, experiments, ideas, all waiting to have another life.

So delightfully random, these pieces, from many eras, like a quilt made from the children's outgrown clothing, these colorful bits come together in a new and wonderful way.  Watercolor demo pieces, where all went well until the dip-pen dropped a big blot on the bouquet -- a delicate pen and ink drawing, a pear from a reductive print (these prints are a treasure trove of cast-offs), and some hand-painted paper with free-flow writing or rubbings from woodblock prints -- so there is some reference to the woodblocks and textural tone. The sources are many and a challenge to meld them with others.

Economics and the environment. It seems that I could just send the faulty works out to the recycling, but the budget will not allow such a thing. If there is a need for a piece of paper with a particular color or form, I probably already have it, ready made!

Collage has given me the chance to use what is available, not looking elsewhere for answers, and for knowing that a creative solution can come about when you show appreciation for the unique potential of what is right in front of you.

Thank you all for following along.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A Boring Visit

'Stewardship' Woodblock print 9" x 12" 2008
The calendar says it's April and we should be well aware that we are past the equinox, with longer evenings, and warmer weather. This year, not the case, still rainy, very cool more like February and not many chances for plein air painting. Fortunately, our friend and neighbor has a family sized tree farm, with rows of young trees and lovely vistas. It has been easier to paint at his place as my own property is in the middle of the birthing pains that accompany re-zoning land from rural to urban/commercial uses.  I have spent most of my life here, with a few exceptions, and it has been a family farm and private residence since 1925.  In Oregon, we are known to have an additional layer of government which plans future regional changes. This area has been slated for industrial or commercial uses and the ubiquitous development has been vigorous. It is very close now, any time we could get the notice as to our final hour in our own homes.
'Stately yucca' Landscape study, charcoal on sanded gessoed panel
So, as an intuitive painter, the scenes that lay before me at my own place have too much resonance of that heavy handed power, and I feel the inevitable fate of the trees, as they are the first to be cleared. And, so, that is why I find solace and refuge at the tree farm.

'Eastward, morning' 2018, Landscape study
The work from these sketches and studies are the beginning of a series of woodblock prints, black and white or, color reductive prints and a few paintings. There are beautiful mature trees on this property, it is quiet and a peaceful place -- I am hoping that this comes through in the works intended.