I’m all over the map lately with my art. Making collages for various motifs has been a strategy for seeking simplification. Cutting the colors out of paper encourages one to look for big shapes.

That was the idea. But then collage, like any medium, has a way of imposing its own order. It doesn’t necessary take me where I want to go, though it has taken me to nice places so far.

This collage simplified the motif into disappearance and left other imagery in its wake. Be careful what you wish for.


Collage of Citrus Fruits

I have been using collage to learn ways of simplifying images. As to the simplification, it appears that I still have much to learn. But I am enjoying collage nonetheless. I guess it’s just natural that the medium should reflect my natural tendency to make things complicated.

As with all the things I do, drawing plays a role. I have made numerous sometimes idle drawings of the motif in spare moments. These are probably the true route to simplicity for me. Here’s one of those drawings, this one made using colored pencils.

Moving Mountains, One Clump at a Time

Mountains are ungainly large and difficult to move so if you want to move a mountain it’s helpful to break it into pieces and move it one piece at a time. That’s what I’ve done here.

If you’ve ever read this blog, you might recall this mountain scene which began with some small drawings including the one below.

I have obsessively drawn this modest mountain lots of times. And it has transformed into a painting measuring 30 x 40, but the painting is having an identity crisis, so I abjure reproducing it here at present. We’ll let the painting have some privacy for the moment.

Hope anyone reading this sometime blog finds topics of interest. May life treat you well. Be sure to notice all the visual splendor around you.

strange correspondences


When photographs of pictures happen by chance to appear side by side, sometimes you discover relationships between images that you didn’t know were there.  And so it seems that the Little Collage has some sort of parallel relationship to the Lattice painting that I made many years ago.


Maybe I’m crazy.  But I feel as though they share some inner logic, as though they are versions of the same thing.

flowers in boxes

I was thinking about making a still life using pictures of flowers from a calendar.  And I took it a bit literally.  I kept the flowers inside the pages of the calendar and imagined the pages laid out above the vase.  Makes prisoners of the flowers.  And yet a drawing on a sheet of paper with the square edges is a little bit like this idea.  To see the world around you as material for drawing.  Everything being laid down into the square edges of the page.  Lines around everything.  And the pen lines being like thoughts that put them there.

The Real Me

I was going through a closet at my parents’ house, in the back room that was mostly my dad’s domain.  I was very curious what he had squirreled away over the years, and I found plenty of junkque to be sure, but I was very surprised to find hidden away at the bottom of the closet a bunch of drawings I made my first year in college (that would be during the Jurassic period for any geologists reading this).  Thank you, Dad.

Woaw.  It’s like going back in time and meeting yourself.  I found stuff I didn’t remember ever making, as for instance this collage above.  And the collages (there were three of them) were especially intriguing because I thought that my interest in making pictures by cutting up and gluing bits of paper was of fairly recent vintage, but I see that I was doing the Matisse thing for about as long as I’ve been an artist and long before my love affair with Henri.

There’s More to Me than Being Koi

collage flowers

Sometimes I like to use collage to design things.  It’s very freeing.  Almost no matter what shapes you cut out, you get something attractive.  And it’s the ultimate in bold drawing.  There’s no opportunity to hesitate about cutting paper.  No half measures.  It’s all or nothing.  No smudges.

In a painting that I’ve been fiddling with for a long time, a woman sits on a chair covered in exotic flowers, and I have played around with the design of the flowers.  Just for fun.  These cut flowers are one version of my playtime activities.

Kids’ paint.  Scissors.  Glue.  Paper.  That’s all you need.

collage flower

From that Nest Hatched These

I guess the nest pictured in the previous post hatched these.  (Making imaginative allowances for time.)  After I became a mom, actually some many years after I painted the bird’s nest, my daughter drew these baby birds.  I assembled them as a trio and put them into the nest she’d made.  A xerox version of them now appears in a collage I’m using for a picture I’m painting.  It’s the same collage of the “weird lizard.”

One Weird Lizard

There are many paths to invention.  My daughter made this lizard by one of them.  Let me see if I can recall the details because it was a complex process. 

I made a line drawing based on a photograph in a book that sort of resembled this guy to click.  Then I xeroxed the drawing I’d made and cut the xexored copy into several same-sized squares.  I reassembled the squares in random order as individual blocks and taped them down onto some pages.

All together they composed a “drawing test.”  The objective was to redraw each, now very abstract looking individual square, using a set of blank squares (the test paper) the same size as the originals. 

My daughter took my “test” and afterwards we reassembled her lizard “copy,” putting all the boxes into their proper order.  Then she made a new drawing that copied the newly assembled lizard made of little squares.  (Are you still following me?)  The lizard above was the result.  We rexeroxed him to have bragging copies, one of which I put into a collage that became a detail a large painting.  That lizard in the collage is the one pictured above.

I think he’s a perky looking little guy!

You know, funny thing, but I don’t get a lot of people asking me for driving directions.  I wonder why ….

[Top of the post:  Very complicated reconstruction of a Veiled Chameleon, by Aletha Kuschan and daughter]