The Golden Mean - Fibonacci Series

The Golden Mean, the golden spiral, the golden section. They all stand for the same thing...a special proportion found prevalently both in nature and also in classical architecture and art. The proportion is almost magical in its ability to create a pleasing ratio of space. I feel it is a perfect example of the math behind the scenes at work. I have read a lot on this topic over the last few years. The concept was revealed to me when I read this book on Maxfield Parrish and learned of Dynamic Symmetry. This is another mathematical-related formula upon which a supposedly superior arrangement of space is based.
I find the math behind things most fascinating. The connections between these ratios and music, art, architecture and even more important, species in nature is most amazing and probably more than coincidental.
I at one point was doing collage on pieces of paper that I had cut to golden mean proportions. I really enjoyed working with a slightly longer piece of paper. However, framing these works is much more expensive. They are not a standard size and mattes and frames had to have custom sizes. I haven't delved into framing too many of these older works due to the financial cost of this. But I won't deny that I still am tweaked over the idea of using the Golden Mean. In fact, reading about this book for sale has me all fired up again to do something with all this math.
"Because of its aesthetic qualities, embodied in its unique ability to relate the parts to the whole," writes Olsen, "golden ratios are used in the design of many modern household items." Credit cards, for instance, are very close to the 8 by 5 Fibonacci approximation of phi. Surely no one ever designed the first credit cards to reflect phi, but the ratio does seem to be inherently attractive. Olsen demonstrates that phi shows up in spirals of DNA, in human proportions, in icosahedrons, and so many other places. His handsome and accessible book is an exercise in an appealing numerology."
Recently I ordered this book from Amazon called The Elements of Dynamic Symmetry. It is heavy on math and quite deep. I am not certain I need to go over the top anal about this, but I want to incorporate this idea into my work further.

Human Artefakts in Christchurch, NZ

The Centre of Contemporary Art in New Zealand is hosting the Human Artefakts exhibit. This show was formed by a core group of collage artists from the yahoo collage group. This group, which is spearheaded by Cecil Touchon, is a great place to find other people that work in layers.
This exhibit has traveled across the world and been shown in the USA, Germany and Australia before heading to New Zealand. Works can be seen here online, at the site of Dale Copeland, who is a New Zealand resident and an established collage and assemblage artist.
Another exhibit called the Mini Artefakts exhibit will be shown in San Diego in August. More on this soon.
I have 2 works that were in this show, but they were something I tried on canvas, and not representational of my usual work. I had thought about pulling them and sending along 2 others, but the logistics behind the scenes of having this amount of artwork traveling together across so many borders already caused havoc & work for those involed. I didn't want to rock the boat and add more stress to them by switching things around. I have also moved twice since the exhibit started and that also seemed like a bothersome thing to have to inform them about.
I really like this marketing idea. Having the exhibit online allows a gallery to see the works and preview what will be shown in their space. Is this being done "out there" in artland? I am too naive and far removed from any gallery scene to be able to know about these things...I may end up sending an email to Eva Lake and find out what her thoughts are on the subject. I have been reading her blog lately and there is a lot of good stuff there.


a new look

today this blog sports a new look. i don't have the time to design html for my own unique template page right now, but i did get a chance to do a small tweak!

i really feel as tho this whole moving thing is like a huge turning over of compost. first of all, in my stuff, since i have uprooted everything and made a huge and complicated mess of 7 years worth of collage clippings! second of all, because during my small studio hiatus, i have been doing a lot of thinking, a lot of sorting, and a lot of starting over. i look forward to trying a new approach and doing something phresh when i get set up.

as usual, things seem to bleed across all levels in life. i have changed the look of collage clearinghouse. why not change and start over on a new level even on this blog?
in fact, i think i shall change my desktop picture too. this digital life sometimes needs an update.

Kerry James Marshall

Lost Boys: AKA Baby Brother (1992)

Kerry James Marshall does some very thoughtful work. I have seen his Lost Boys series a couple of times, but I didn't really see the depth in them until after I checked into them further. In an interview Kerry relates his reasoning behind the use of collage in one of his Lost Boys works, "And as far as those images, before I started the Lost Boys paintings, I had been doing a series of paintings with the covers of Harlequin romance novels collaged onto the canvas, and those images in the background of the AKA Baby Brother painting, are from those Harlequin romance novel covers. One of the things I was thinking about while working on that painting was in a way, you look at those images on the Harlequin romance novel covers, and they're a certain type of stereotype themselves. They are a stereotype of white women, they're a certain kind of stereotype of the beauty of white women. And then you have this image of Baby Brother, who is this guy . . . I mean that plastic bag on his head. It's like, the shower cap, the Jheri curl cap, and stuff. Well, in a way they're sort of clashing two different kinds of stereotypes in that painting. One is to say something about beauty and desire and the other which says something about a combination of desire and repulsiveness at the same time."

His artwork, oftentimes but not always infused with collage imagery, show an entirely different side of human condition, one from the perspective of a black person. I think it is quite refreshing.

acrylic and collage on canvas
91-7/8 x 91-3/4 in.
credit line
Gift of the Women's Committee of the Corcoran Gallery of Art
Accession Number


i liked this quote

When science becomes art and when art
> > > > > becomes a way of life, living
> > > > > > becomes momentary realized ever present Art.


moving day

today is the big day of the big move. i have been moving progressively for a week or 2 now, and I am anxious to have all this behind me instead of in front of me! the last thing i packed and moved is the studio stuff. i wanted to be able to do any projects i could up till the last minute. as i went briefly thru all the boxes of ephemera i was pulled in like a magnet. before i knew it i was on the the floor pouring thru it all....in anticipation of my new digs...NOT NOW! i told myself, as i wanted to do some art right then and there. sigh. lets get this over with!!

i will return tomorrow with pix of the new studio and the chaos that is before me!


David Hochbaum

I can't believe that I haven't mentioned David Hochbaum in this blog yet. The man does some seriously illustrative and creative work!!! I love the story telling nature of his pieces.
"David Hochbaum's art is the construction of paintings built on photographs and images that are not only the contemplation of human behavior, but also a reaction to history, astronomy, sex, and iconoclastic symbols....David Hochbaum's medium is built from a melange of wood, metal, and paper, both photographic and printed matter. Each work is painted with oil, acrylics, varnishes, pencils and inks. These images are layered physically as well as historically, combining the figurative approach of the 19th century photographer with the medieval alchemist projected through the eyes of a 20th century cubist."
There is a decent explanation of his technique on his site. He uses posed photographs as his basis for these beautifully haunting and involved stylistic works. I am not certain about his collage techniques, it's all so mysterious.


Susanna Lakner

Interesting german collage work i found today looking thru the humus zine. Susanna has a surreal sensitivity. I liked her work enough to travel out to her site. It's worth a peak!

Samantha AllFlatt

"I use very fine pilot pens on paper, MDF, or wood sheets. These are worked on directly without being primed or sanded, so that the pen, on this raw surface, works almost the same way as a tattoo needle does on one's skin:
the ink doesn't flow easily onto the grain."
Fascinating Flowing technique and use of materials. Visit her portfolio.

A J Bocchino

Shock and Awe (March 22, 2003), 2006, Digital c-print, L.72 in. x W.132 in.

Found this on re-title.
With incredible precision A J Bocchino creates collages with snippets from the NY Times. Very intellectual, and apparently highly planned, these linear works contain messages pertinent to our times. More can be found here.

Mini Artefakts Exhibition

Pure Honey
4 x 6 on L'anaquarelle mounted on board
acrylic, lomo colorsplash photo, cough drop label, caution sticker, honey label, tea bag label, rice label, vintage wallpaper, vintage yellow ribbon, mirror handle, leather cord, wire, vintage costume jewelry

The Mini Artefakts Exhibit is an exhibit that is still in the gathering stage. This is one of the 3 pieces I am entering. I will have more on this later.

Borrelli Space Gallery
4411 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92116
Opening: Monday, July 30, 2007
Reception: Saturday, August 18, 2007
4pm-6pm public and 6pm-8pm Gallery party for participants and invited guests
Closing: Thursday, August 30, 2007


Zero Sum Art Project

I read about The Zero Sum Art Project while digging around at diggingpitt. I had to look further into the situation and turns out this is quite an interesting project.
Basically, "The goal of the Zero Sum Art project is to create a financially isolated studio environment, in which every cost and every profit is documented and made visible to the viewer, and see if it is possible to create a self-sustaining studio practice." It is quite a fascinating idea, and the fact that Marc Snyder is turning it over and making it happen is very encouraging!
Even more interesting to me of course, is the fact that Marc is creating collages, and he is documenting is work on them with his blog, the internet, and ebay. I really like the documentation of the artwork. Cool idea.
Check it out. The details can be found here.

Zero Sum #12, Marc Snyder, 2007
pencil, charcoal, acrylic matte medium, acrylic paint, a NASA postcard, and 4 postage stamps on white BFK Rives paper, attached to a larger sheet of white BFK Rives.

The Art is Only Half of It

I have spent most of my lifetime learning and growing into the artist that I am today. I have experimented with media, techniques and ideas. I have a nice foothold in my own style, and I am just starting to fulfill the dream that i AM indeed an artist. Being published in a couple of books, selling my own independent works, the stacks of finished art in the corners of my apartment, are my evidence.
As I work to now try to bring my artwork out of hiding and into the spotlight and the hands of collectors, I am finding that even with all the learning and reading and creating that I have done, I still have so much more to learn. In fact, I am a babe in the virtual art woods. There is an entire side of art that I was unaware of. The business side.
How could it be that I have spent years in fact a couple of decades learning and growing as an artist, but yet I am totally clueless about the art "system"?? I know so little about it all! With the internet at my fingertips, I have been spending countless hours reading reviews, reading reports, looking at exhibits...and what a world of things I have found out that I didn't know!! There seems to be so much information out there. How could I be so naiive about it all?
Truly! I thought about the nice little family that makes a fairly decent living in their little middle class home, sitting in their living room with empty walls pining away for a piece of art. How they will "happen" across my artwork, fall in love with a piece, and just HAVE to purchase it for their home. Good grief, how could I have been so far away from the mark here? This scenario is NOT the way it works. As I read about the political part of collecting over at Ed Winklemans blog, it scares me. I read articles about artists being chosen by age (or good grief, gender!!! what century are we in?) over at Anonymous Female Artist, or the tale of art market rookie Susan Hancock and how she bought artworks because someone else did which I read on artnet. There is just so much going on behind the scenes in the business of Selling Art. I had no idea.
I am wondering about the real meat behind all this bullshit. The art. Doesn't that matter at all? Does it really come down to gender? age? or good grief, mass popularity??? How entirely depressing! And discouraging.
The art apparently is only half of it. The smaller half.
Well it's a damn good thing that money and fame are not what drives me to create! I end up not wanting to read anymore about it, and depressed, I go Make More Art!


Collage Workshops with Jonathan Talbot

I received this email from Jonathan Talbot this past week. Here is some relevant information:

I have scheduled a 4-DAY COLLAGE INTENSIVE WORKSHOP called NEW EXPLORATIONS IN TECHNIQUES & CREATIVITY at my studio in Warwick, NY from Tuesday, July 31st thru Friday, August 3rd, 2007. Warwick is 1/2 hour from Stewart International Airport(SWF) and a little over an hour from Newark International Airport (EWR, one of New York City's 3 big airports).

The material to be covered during this 4-day workshop will be determined jointly by all the participants when we gather Tuesday morning. Possible topics for exploration include: Composition, Creating a Personal Style, Adhesive Options (including Collage without Liquid Adhesives), "Getting Started," Accessing our Creative Energies, "Paperless" Transfer of Printed and Photocopied Images, Preserving Found Materials, Collages on Canvas, Preparation of Substrates, Collage / Construction, Sources of Tools and Materials, Presentation and Framing of Finished Works, Marketing our Works, Copyright Issues, Computers and Creativity, and more.

The workshop is limited to 7 participants. The workshop fee for 4 days is $500 which includes all Materials, Lunches, Refreshments and Optional Evening Hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday at no extra cost.

Registrations will be honored in the order in which they are received. For a registration form you can print out and send in visit this link. On the same webpage you can also find a link to accommodations information within the specific workshop description.

If you have questions please e-mail me at jonathan@talbot1.com. If you wish to speak with me on the phone put your phone number in your e-mail and tell me when it is best to call you.

Please consider passing this message along to others who might be interested.



the gateway keepers

the gateway keepers
Originally uploaded by misphit
I really have to wonder about my muse. There are 2 projects going on for me at the moment (besides moving and a full time job!!). One is a super hot project, 3 small collages for the Mini Artefakts exhibition. This is due in 2 days. The other is a large piece that I started last week, not with a deadline--it is "just" a personal work. So which one do you think I keep working on? Well of course it isn't the project with the deadline. You know sometimes the muse is uncooperative with such things. I WANTED to work on the big work. I kept finding the right pieces, I was in a green mood, I was FEELING the gateway...I know I was supposed to do the smaller ones that are due. But why is it that I couldn't tear myself away from this one?
I seem to work under this semi-rebellious mode.
"What???!! I am doing art!" I say to myself, "As long as I get something done, I am okay."
So now tonite, I have to be right on my game and get to finishing those 3 little mini pieces. No procrastination.


Charles Farrell Blog

I got an email from Charles Farrell the other day in which he shared the link to his wondrously colorful blog. I really do like visual blogs. Of course, i like to read stuff, don't we all? But there is something nice about browsing through images...
Looking through Charles' work I felt as though I was going thru layers of time. The people he uses in his work are from disparate centuries, places and times. Seeing them posed together seemed to make the specifics disappear. Underneath, I found commentary on the human condition.


Clearing House

I must apologize to any faithful readers who may have realized that the clearinghouse is slow these days.

I am Clearing House!
I am in the process of moving to a new personal residence. This means the usual packing, sorting, throwing away, and moving of many boxes, but also it involves the massive movement of an art studio full of unorganized and unwieldly ephemera. I have an extreme and vast collection of old papers. Some are all neat and precious and in white folders which are like huge security doors to me when i am working. They scream at me when I open them....DONT CUT THESE UP! Others are boxes that are falling apart and busting at the seams with paper dripping over the edges. Then there are not 1 but TWO cabinets full of vintage magazines in various states of disarray some with covers missing, pages in signatures. There are boxes and boxes of cut up papers and good pages that were never used that i might use some future day. There are paints, brushes, and collage mediums, pencils rulers photos food labels Did I mention the 2 bookshelves full of books I am destroying? The other 2 bookcases of reference books? The roll of tyvek, the yupo, the paper moose signs I picked up at the lumber yard, boxes of beads, fabrics lace and birch bark???...um, The list seems endless. Organizing all this is a major undertaking and it has me stretched to the limits...and at my wits END! it is tantalizing to handle all these wondrous textures but not be able to address them. I get a strong pull from the ephemera as I sort thru it. It wants me to express myself!!! I fight the urge, but I am saving up a huge creative burst for when I get situated. That is certain.

The time needed to devote myself to seeking out endless collage fodder online just hasn't been there as of late. On August 1, the move will be officially over and at that point I will resume my quest to report collage items of interest. For now I will continue to post simple things....images....but not with too much commentary!


First Friday Collage in Burlington, VT

There is a First Friday Art Walk in Burlington, VT on July 6, 2007. Included in the art walk is an exhibit by Sara Altieri at One Wall Gallery of her paintings and collage work. More info can be found at her site.
Studio D-3 and The One Wall Gallery
420 Pine Street, Second Floor
(802) 922-8005
The One Wall Gallery: “Beautiful Faces”: Acrylic collage and paintings on canvas by Sara Altieri; Marie Davis: polymer clay jewelry and sculpture; Aaron Stein: license plate art; Ginny O’Reilly: watercolor paintings; Carol Norton: paintings in watercolor and oil. Open for First Friday Art Walk and by appointment.

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.