Long have I been a fan of Mondrian. My library is full of many books on his work. He would arrange the orientation of some of his canvas in a diamond shape. The work was done with this in mind and it was more than merely going for an unorthodox positioning, the shape was part of the tension and release for the pieces.
I decided to challenge myself, doing my version of this. I cut down a piece of heavy tan multi-media paper to a different shape for me. It was not mere arbitrary move though, I had in mind before starting the rhythm of the piece. To facilitate further evolution, I had in mind to make this cityscape a day time scene since most of my others pulse with a nighttime luminescence.
For a longtime I have been a fan of Ron Carter. There is a new documentary Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes . It is well worth seeing. It shows a man whose lifetime devotion and joy is in serving the process. At a time that I was being pulled in all different directions, it served as the perfect reminder of what’s important.
As is always the case, all the photos used for this were taken by myself. There is no digital magic, I used traditional method of scissors and adhesive applied with a brush.
I always have several things going on at once. Currently I am in the middle of finishing a big project (full length novel) while about to start several others. My CINEFIELD® work tends to start to sprawl across my studio. And despite now vacuuming/sweeping daily when working on one, there is still paper confetti snow flurries and sheets of tiny pieces waiting to be used that find their way onto every available surface.
There is a great pleasure in my working in this medium. Mess aside, they are also very time consuming. I don’t want too long a time to go by without doing a piece as, like all my other mediums, it’s very much become a part of me.
The solution was to do a smaller piece which makes far less mess. Surprisingly though, smaller pieces are more difficult because the already tiny components must be even smaller. And the smaller general area means far less space to create sense of tension and release. (I equate this aspect to way back in the day, early vinyl had technical limitations, so the average record time wise, was shorter than later. Because of this, great jazz soloists, when doing their thing had to take far shorter solos than during the Long Playing era. This limitation forced all the greats to learn to make their statements within the confines of the medium’s limits.) I am always up for a challenge as I feel it facilitates evolution.
Like all my works, ever image used was from photos which I personally took. There is no digital magic, I use scissors & adhesive applied with a brush. The piece is 2×4 inches.
Free Advice: Aside from blogs, most people are on one if not all other social media sites. Adding to the non-stop stream of Twitter. Instagram etc. are new posts from whomever one follows. If a minimum of 500 people are being followed and they are posting every day, when combined with everything else one has going on digitally, it reduces what could be meaningful content (learning something new, interactions etc.) down to white noise babble.
If you are an artist/anything in the arts, then the goal should be interaction, creating an audience who will be curious to what you do next. If you want to exchange ideas/interact, in general, this too will be hindered by the deluge.
Even some of the better blogs would benefit from posting less frequently.
Last time I posted this idea, people got defensive. There are only so many hours in the day a productive person can give to bowing their heads in prayer to the screen of their phone tablet. I am not commenting on anyone’s legitimacy but merely offering way to be a better, more effective blogger.
When I started this Cinefield® I had decided to stretch myself as I had no deadlines. I work no digital magic on my pieces, but the photos I use are of course kept on my computer. Being a little under quarter of the way done with the piece my computer of seven years gave up the ghost.
I wanted to research what best option was for new one as unlike last time i bought one, I had concrete ideas of what I was going to use it for and what I did not need it to do. The research was the first delay. Once I determined what I wanted, it would take about two months for them to make it for me. I cleaned up the paper chad snowdrifts, switched to painting and some of my other visual projects.
As I was not merely sitting on my hands waiting, I did not mind. My third delay, the computer showed up and upon getting it set up, my equally old printer died. The amount of work she had done for me (ships & printers are always referred to in feminine form) made it not so shocking. I had already been looking at new printers anyways. Knowing ahead of time what I wanted and needed made the wait for a new one shorter.
The printer I got is geared towards photo film too. I bought few different types to experiment with while working to finally finish this piece. I was curious if I would be prevented from getting the flush edged fit as happens with my pocket printer mini-cinis. That film is akin to instamatic camera film, this is not, so I am able get the flush fit.
Aside from trying for more diverse color palette a few things made this piece different. The components consists of the paper on the old printer I always used, new printer with different type paper and three types photographic paper also from new printer. It was very different for me too in that I have never put down a Cinefield® for more than a day or so. The extended time away from it was totally new experience for me.
As is always the case, all the images are from photos I personally took. I use my tiny trusty scissors and adhesive applied with glue. The piece is 11×17 inches.
I had been about a quarter of the way through a full sized Cinefield® when my computer gave up the ghost. This meant I couldn’t use my printer, needed for components. I Switched to doing a painting. The computer I ordered taking it’s time to get to me. I missed doing Cinefield® work
I decided to use my pocket printer and do a smaller piece. Having the luxury of no deadline and no expectations of a collector, I decided to try some new things:
I inserted an In the Eights figure into the work (female figure for those not familiar with my 8’s project)
The pictures are printed on thicker, instant film like paper. When I initially was figuring out methodology with these materials, I used my regular adhesive. If that comes in contact with picture side of the film, it immediately clouds it. I Switched to glue sticks. Problem with that was that it secures the pieces only temporarily. Often times I would lay a piece down only to have a different piece fly off. For this piece I used regular adhesive, applied with a tiny brush as to control it. The tricky part was that I had to lay each piece exactly where it was meant to go because of the adhesive. A piece lain wrong I might be able to pick up but then adhesive had touched other parts.
The nature of pocket printer pieces is they are thicker and rigid so it’s an impossibility to get the pieces flat and flush. The visible seams/edge are part of the look.
The piece is 4×4 inches. All the photos are by me except the female photo which was done for me. The clock image is from photo I took of Orsay Museum clock in Paris.
After finishing my last Cinefield® I started a painting. Weather conspired against me with heavy fog & rain. As they do not require same light situations, I switched to doing another Cinefield®. I wanted to make this one look painterly, a further evolution of chops & (artistic) mission.
It proved to be a labor intensive piece. At 11×14 it took me longer to do than some of my far larger pieces. As is always the case, I only used images from photos which I personally took, utilizing my trusty scissors and adhesive applied with a brush. There is no digital magic done after the fact. This is a personal favorite of mine, not just within my Cinefield® work but for my entire oeuvre.
I am finishing up a section of my novel before i stop to type (while continuing to take notes). It has not allowed me to start another CINEFIELD® nor painting. Of course during the interim I have continued to draw & woodshed.
For a while I had only done cityscapes so that I had a portion of my audience only knew me from that. I took a break from it and then ended up not rejecting it, but getting caught up in everything else that I was doing
I decided to return to it and do another one as it would give me the satisfaction I derive from larger projects without the distraction of having equipment out and in my way as I paced the studio as I write.
As I did this piece, i got just as much enjoyment from it as I ever had. My initial conception was to finish it in colored pencil but I felt there would be a loss of detail. Also I wanted to do something a little different from the other cityscapes I have done.
The piece is 11×14. I just used a basic pencil and finished it with a fine marker.
For all my work regardless of medium, emotion is my main goal. One way to ensure this happens is fostering a constant evolution.
I received many great responses to my last collage and it is a personal favorite. For my next one, I knew that I wanted to do something as dense but also different.
I limited my color palette which I have done before but this time i went with darker, more somber colors. There is a return to a more outright sense of narrative in this piece too. The last piece was a beautiful scene but not story. To my core I will always be a city boy and now I have created another one to visit in my daydreams.
As with all my collages, there is no digital magic worked. I utilize the old school method of scissors & adhesive applied w/brush to photos which I personally took. (new camera for photo)
“A Million Ways To Die” 11×14 (the lines visible beneath pieces don’t mean anything , they were resting on piece scrap paper w/discarded sketch)
I can fully appreciate nature. It offers a different kind of inspiration than that of the man made kind. However, I can only go so long without concrete under my feet and the smears of neon streaking the air like forgotten halos.
When based out of Europe some of my friends teased me about this but for them, coming to visit me was their vacation, so it’s understandable that they wanted to see things as would not be encountered elsewhere. A few hours train ride and you can get your fill of mountains, Forrest or ocean. I enjoy it for a day or two, all of it being bearable as I have my pencil in my pocket along with its accompanying little sketch pad.
Right by one of my Parisian watering holes they put up a plaque a few years ago for Poulenc, who had lived in the building. When all his peers were going to Italy, the warmer climes of the South of France & Brazil, he largely preferred to stay in Paris with the concrete under his feet and the availability of a place to stop for a drink every few feet. Now further inoculated against the good natured teasing I swim through the currents of streets and alleys which I could probably now do blindfolded.
“Ok, have fun in Giverny, I am around just working, drop me a line when you guys get back.”
“It’s going to be hot, you sure you won’t come, we can catch a later train.”
“No thank you, I am just working.”
One can not become a connoisseur of a thing without a component of snobbishness. It is an earned right though and so long as it’s not utilized against anyone else, is permissible. I like all kinds of cities and feel the better ones all have something visually to offer by way of inspiration. The older ones, aside from their obvious architectural attractions, have their winding streets and the sense of happy ghosts. The newer ones, a vertical frenzy, which when done right is a poem, when wrong (as is the growing case with San Francisco) a generic sprawling mess of metallic stalagmites.
I tried some new things with both these collages. Both are 12×17. As is always the case, I used no digital magic. My trusty scissors & adhesive applied by brush to photos which I took. Two urban valentines of a favorite city.
“Our Story” & “What Do You Need Two Lighters For?”
I think one of the most important challenges facing an artists in any medium is to establish their voice. Fame, power etc is relative and at best a side effect. I want a recognizable voice but to never lapse into mere mannerism. One way to avoid this is to foster constant evolution. This does not mean one has to reject whatever chops or artistic mission they have established. Leaving your comfort zone of established methodology shakes things up and prevents any sort of procedural laziness.
Another important facilitator is venturing out past established influences and inspirations. Music is my main source of inspiration and while i have definite favorite touchstones which I will never abandon, i also constantly explore. A dormant aspect of creating for many artists now is an openness past what they know and like.
With my collages, once I realized how much i liked doing them I started refining my process. Then I tried challenging myself by changing the size. Further dialogues with myself, and I realized I wanted to be able to do them on the road. I figured out how to do that. I do not want my collages to be enjoyed but also with the underlying sense of “seen one, seen them all”. To keep things fresh I continue to change the size, not eliminating any (sizes) from my repertoire. My two new current challenges are to do an intentional linked series “Boplicty # 1-?” and a triptych.
All my collages are made with images of photos I personally took. I use no digital magic, just my trusty scissors and adhesive applied with a brush. I want to give the viewer a sense of an open ended, dense narrative.