Following Where Water Flows

May 23, 2008 at 9:20 am | Posted in Art Studio, Mask Collage Series | Leave a comment
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Hydros Goat

Can weather be bi-polar? Today the thermometer has flipped over to 50 and it’s drizzling rain.

It’s a good time to introduce the goat mask image.  Hydros is the Greek word for water. You may have noticed that many of the mask images have Greek names. The goat represents the aspects of water in the story: blue watered creeks winding through the woods, deep dark purple pools, and bubbling water running over rocks.

Opposites Attract

May 16, 2008 at 9:04 am | Posted in Art Studio, Mask Collage Series | Leave a comment
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Mandarin Fox

For several months this past winter two gray foxes visited in the evening. One has lived alone around here for years, and at some point completely lost his tail. He’s a strange sight, like discovering a new animal species. The new fox is smaller and sports a long, lush tail. I’m hoping it’s a vixen.

As the design work on the collages continued, a thin story thread dangled in front of me. The collages became more symmetrical in design and more symbolic. Masks are symbolic. Look at the symbol and there is often another level of masking underneath. The collage animals all represent certain character traits but there’s also a color-wheel relationship between the bull & the fox.

Where Has All The Cerulean Gone?

May 5, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Posted in Art Studio, Considering Ideas, Mask Collage Series | Leave a comment
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Cyanea Monkey

Someone is monkeying with the color of the sky. The sky here used to be intense blue at times, bright cerulean, straight out of the paint tube blue. That’s rare these days. Today it is a subdued light blue, grayish blue in the South East, evidence of the wildfires burning in Southern California. Looking toward the West there’s a definite yellow tinge to the blue where the air comes up from the populated central valley. There’s some green in it where it sits on the mountains.

We see color because of the light and its various qualities, reflections, refractions, and affected by weather conditions, seasons, etc. We know that the appearance of color changes throughout the day as the light changes, a concept fully explored in the work of the French Impressionist painters, particularly by Claude Monet. At the same time colors appear differently depending on where you are in the world.

I’ve been wondering if that will also apply to various periods in history. Would the Impressionists find that the colors in the south of France look the same today as they did in the late 19th century? Amid all of the discussion, through hard facts and figures, of the human impact on the world, of global warming, and climate change, what I’ve noticed here, is that the blues in the sky are changing.


while painting in Bordighera, Italy

I haven’t yet managed to capture the colour of this landscape; there are moments when I’m appalled at the colours I’m having to use, I’m afraid what I’m doing is just dreadful and yet I really am understating it; the light is simply terrifying. -Claude Monet

Approaching Collage

April 14, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Posted in Considering Ideas, Mask Collage Series | 1 Comment
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Shadow the Bulldog

The thirteen images that form the heart of the Stranger Than Fiction Mask Image Collage Series were created on watercolor paper using exotic papers, rice papers, and other handmade papers I’ve collected.

At first with The Lion collage, or My What Big Teeth You Have, I was working rather blindly, that is, arranging colors, textures, and shapes until a direction/idea began to form about what it was going to be. I use several different approaches when creating a work. With the initial collage it began purely as a design process. It could have remained at that stage, pure design, a composition of color and shapes that pleased me. However, a lion mask emerged, perhaps as I started that collage during August ’07…so I followed where it led me to the final content and the idea that the series would be about mask images.

Probably this explanation could make some people nervous, but what I’m really doing is trusting the process. The approach is essentially intuitive knowing there are ideas kept inside me, just waiting for their chance to come out and make themselves heard.

I continued the basic design approach with the next two collages and it wasn’t until I was working on this fourth collage, Shadow the Bulldog, that I was able to visualize the whole series. That it would be revolve around the natural world and animal masks.

The Lion didn’t make the final cut for the thirteen, I love the image but you’ll notice it sits on the paper different that the other two, and all the ones to follow. Oh, and this one’s a French Bulldog!

Don’t wait for inspiration. It comes while one is working.-Henri Matisse

From The Studio: The Stranger Than Fiction Mask Image Collage Series

April 8, 2008 at 11:01 am | Posted in Art Studio, Mask Collage Series | 1 Comment
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My What Big Teeth You Have-The Lion

I’ve often created collages as mock-ups for paintings. It’s a step beyond doing a thumbnail sketch as prep for a painting. It’s a quick way to consider colors, placement and overall design, particularly for more representational work.

These particular collages did not begin as considerations for paintings; rather they were created for the Tenth International Collage Exhibit & Exchange. While working on the first few, the idea of a series developed. This was the image that led it off.

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