Tree Cartoon, the School of Fish

Every once in a while here, I post a collage or a “cartoon.”  This cartoon (large compositional study for a painting) belongs to the Big Tree idea that I posted in mid-June.

Other collages I’ve posted include this abstract image, this idea for a child’s mural, and this study of a detail of a painting.  It’s fun to organize them so that they can be compared.  I’ve never seen them together except here on line.

For almost every subject I undertake, I do studies.  Some of these studies take the form of collage. Collage is such a free and expressive media.  You can organize large areas of a picture in one swoop.

I like to explore the possibilities and details of the images I design.  Often these studies vary enough from the original to suggest new projects.  This particular collage was supposed to help me figure out the tree idea, but became more about the fish.  It takes on a new interest for me now as I embark on a new round of paintings of fish swimming.  Meanwhile the fish in this collage have found themselves quite a nice little pond where they bob up and down like corks.

[Top of the post: Cartoon for the painting “Big Tree,” by Aletha Kuschan, Xeroxed pictures glued to paper with crayon drawing]

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Sea Shell

Summer thoughts lead one to the oceanside.  I’m far inland, and yet I still have ocean thoughts.  I’ve taken a long walk this morning along the sandy paths of the neighborhood that once were ancient ocean floor.

This shell wafts in on ocean currents that began when I was in high school.  I had a friend named Walt Wooton, and I visited his house once during summer vacation. Walter was a writer.  In his family’s cool basement we talked.  I happened to express my admiration for a beautiful sea shell on display.

Some days later, Walter arrived unexpectedly at my house.  He had a gift for me.  It was the same sea shell.  In every era of my artistic life I have turned to this shell to explore ideas.  Its forms are as great and as varied as a continent’s.  I will never discover all its passages and shadows, its paths and heights.  But I return to it again and again to make my journey.

[Top of the post:  Sea Shell by Aletha Kuschan]