Valentine Slayers

Valentine Slayers
Originally uploaded by misphit
Celebrate love.

Fox and Squirrel

Fox and Squirrel
Originally uploaded by misphit
Worked on this one last week and finished it up this weekend. I had used Yes glue on all of the photos, and it needed time to set up. I have a minor amount of waving on this piece. Also, the channels between the photos have made indentations with the upper layers of paper. Interesting, but hopefully not distracting.

It's a bit cropped due to the scanner, but the landscape continues out on the sides. I had a blast blending 3 different photos with some laser prints...the challenge was to get the laser prints flat. I used yes glue, had minor wrinkling, and as I worked on it, while the glue was still wet, I kept pressing them and oozing out anything that was in the way of flat. It was a challenge, but all in all, results were not bad!

I've been possessing the blog with some of my own recent exploits on projects lately. I thought sharing my difficulties and small triumphs might be of benefit to some other poor collage artist soul out there in the aether who sometimes struggles for perfection on those quiet winter nights.


NY Brand Mushrooms and The Many Glues

She offers you her finest selection from her personal collection of young budding New York Brand mushrooms.

Mixed Media on L'Anaquarelle 9 x 12
Acrylic, packaging from China, lomo fisheye pictures, Victorian paper doll, vintage photo, GEM salad oil cardboard box, laser print from Magnesia Spring (The upside down fisheye pic is of a decaying corn crib)

My own personal critique...These are the types of things that go on in my mind as I work on a collage.

This piece was pretty annoying to me, and even now I am not entirely satisfied. I did the background acrylic on it, and the colors were amazingly striking together. The center, immediately underneath her body the the top portion of the windows....there's the most beautiful bloom of green and brown acrylic!! But, as it seems to go with collage sometimes, you need to cover up things for the design, and the cool stuff gets buried. Makes me wonder if I need to toss these great paint pieces aside, and do another if I plan to cover the coolest part.

On this one, I managed to solve some of my weird glue issues. I haven't been happy with the Golden collage medium on certain materials. Photos are one of them. Altho the medium will certainly hold the glossies down, the excess medium is potentially destructive. There's almost always extra goo...and it leaks out and gets on the surface of the glossy. I use baby wipes (possibly alcohol based?) to clean this excess stuff off, but sometimes it ends up altering the photo surface, which is something I want to remain. So, inspired by David Hochbaum and my discovery of the different materials he uses, I looked into other glues that might work better. I used YES on this piece. Worked wonderfully...the tack that YES has keeps the photos from wanting to curl (another potential issue with the medium, particularly if you have torn the edges) and also keeps them nice and flat against my substrate. Sweet. Only drawback, I had to wait overnight so they stayed in position. They like to float if they are touched, and I am super anal weird about lining up images at times. (such as the little piece that rests at the bottom of the circle on her skirt. that HAD to line up properly. if it was crooked, it didn't look convincing)
I have graduated to combo glues! Instead of using Golden matte medium all the time, I am learning to be more discerning when choosing the sticky stuff. For this piece, I used YES on the photos, glue stick on the scrolls and medium for the piece on top and the green ribbed chinese packaging. Makes for a flat product, which I am hoping for on these types of works. Yay for the use of the many glues!

I did like the added green that is on the glossy bottom portion of her skirt. That worked well. However, I am critical of the embellishments on the tops and upper side of this, and then the bottom just hangs out. Not sure, but I was considering some sepia pen and ink to continue the lines out...That possibly will make it too busy, and whatever was cool that was showing from the bottom of the acrylic will then disappear entirely.

Sigh. Sometimes it's tough to know when to stop, or when to know a piece is done. I really liked this at first. I am considering the fact that I ruined it by adding those final 3 green scrolls. I like the fact that the green stripes repeat the bottom of the skirt. That's where I think my problem lies. There are no stripes in the center/bottom of ther skirt to echo this thought. I may have to go back one more time to this piece to address that. (no pun intended!ha!) But at this point, it's a delicate thing to touch it. I hate to add more confusion and totally ruin the lines I already established.


Robert Mars

One Of A Kind 2008
48'' x 60''
Mixed Media

Superb Stuff! I found Robert Mars' stuff on Blurb, where I was searching around for options on publishing my book. WHAT beauteous maximous stuff!
I love his stark colors. The retro subjects. yummmmmy! Feels good on these cold winter snowy sleety days. Plus it's maximum masculinity I feel from these. Me likey. There's a whole bunch of his art on his site.

Come Back Soon 2007
30'' x 24''
Mixed Media


Work in Progress

Personal shroom harvest
Originally uploaded by misphit
Using Lomo fisheye prints as a basis for this one. I really enjoy using photography in my work. It poses a serious challenge for blending into backgrounds however!



Originally uploaded by misphit
Working on blending the backgrounds into the foregrounds. For me it requires some painting. Today I used the fan brush. I love that thing.


Shepard Fairey - Copyright - Orphan Works - and YOU!

Come on, by now you have to have seen it. The Shepard Fairey Obama posters and images that have been an iconic symbol if our new Presidents' election days. His work is popular as hell and there's even a website that let you create your own Fairey-esque poster of yourself!
The thing everyone doesn't know, except maybe pro-active artists and people that actually read and keep up with the news, is that Shepard Fairey is quite a controversial artist. He uses images from questionable sources. He openly admits to his free use of grabbing images from wherever he can find them, including a google search, and adapting them in his work. There are those that champion his defiance and his huge sense of graphic style. There are those that are horrified by his practices and expose him when his actions deem it necessary.
There's an absolute MUST READ article over on the Myartspace blog about the source of one of Faireys' works. In essence, a blogger named Michael Cramer took it upon himself to locate the source of a particular photo of President Obama that Fairey freely admitted he simply Google searched. Sure enough, the photo was found, and then the photographer! Questions were asked of him as to why he isn't pursuing his interests on this particular image. Since he was the creator, he has rights to it's use...including it's use in these political posters. The ArtSpace article is hugely informative. It's also got a serious comment section a mile long.

Definitely take time to acquaint yourself with these copyright issues. This is a case that is easily understood and followed. Put yourself in the place of each of the players...Shepard Fairey and his production crew, Jim Young, the photographer. Put yourself in the place of the decision makers...Obama... and yourself. Keep informed. Make an opinion. Join the discussion. Help decide the future.
Upon writing this post, even as I write this...I found this little conversation on Flickr, where perhaps ANOTHER photo was the source. Obviously....this is a sticky issue. The source of the photo isn't clear to anyone but perhaps Fairey and his team.
Thought provoking stuff.


The Passing of Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth has passed away at the ripe old age of 91. Wow. This was a serious painter. An icon. One of my personal art heroes.
My infatuation with Andrew Wyeth began 10 years ago when I was working in Utica. I was new in town and spent quite a bit of time taking out books from the library. I was working on watercolor techniques and was putting myself thru a rigorous private tutorial of how to do it. I was doing plein air studies and learning from the masters thru books and pictures. I really found myself drawn to Homer first. And next was Wyeth. His work was raw. It represented landscapes that were so similar to the ones that surround me here in upstate NY so I could easily relate. His subjects were intense German folk...they reminded me of my own German relatives. I felt the intensity in his work and immediately was drawn into it. Such inspiration! Damn. I remember taking out book after book from the library, and staring and staring at the genius represented in the pages...studying.

Then I discovered his Helga Pictures. OMG, these are some powerfully painted works! They still move me to this day the same way they did when I first saw them. The fluid watercolor, the way the paint blends into the trees blends into her flesh, the lighting!!!

It makes me reel. I can remember pouring over the Helga Pictures book...hours and hours. I felt as though Wyeth was the pinnacle, the ultimate expressor...the detail man above the others. His light depiction was crazy and something to aspire to. I don't care what critics say. I know what moves ME.
So later on in life, I find myself working in Canajoharie, NY. Canajoharie has this most excellent little library and a gallery attached with pieces of art done by several famous artists, including Homer...and Wyeth. Turns out, Mr. Arkell was a great art collector and donated a huge amount of art to the town. The museum holds the collection. There's this one painting that the museum owns done by Wyeth. It graced the wall not to long ago when they had a special Wyeth composite exhibit with works by N.C. and Jamie. It's haunting. And I love the fact that every now and then the museum exposes it for us, and I can go see it up close and swoon over the brushstrokes that provide such strong realism and emotion from me.

The painting in Arkell that i get to see up close sometimes...

So I am sad he has passed away although I know for all of us our time will also come. I just went to our local library and took out the Helga Pictures book. I had to see them again, in memoriam.


Salon @ David Hochbaum's NY Studio

The doorway into the studio

When David Hochbaum sent out an invitation for a Salon he was holding at his NY studio last December, I was sad to have to decline. Family obligations and holiday cheer overload took precedence and I had to put my art needs on the back burner. But I promised myself... I SWEAR, the next time he holds a Salon, I will be there. It isn't every day that an artist you admire actually goes out of their way to open their heart and home in order to help along others on the path.
And so when the email arrived a couple of weeks ago that David was hosting his 2nd salon on January 18th, I realized I would have the opportunity to keep that promise. My finances were not in much better shape then they were before Christmas, and in order to pull this off I would end up dumping all the change I have been stashing next to my dresser for the past year into the machine at Price Chopper so I could afford it! I booked a room in NY and got ready for some learning experiences.
I arrived early ahead of the pack on Sunday night. Salon started @ 7:00, but I had already been roaming the streets of NY between Grand Central and St. Marks for 3 hours, my feet were starting to hurt, plus I was so psyched I couldn't help myself! So with nerves of steel or maybe rust, I rang the buzzer. As I walked up the stairway, David peeked out of his studio to greet me. I was glad he wasn't annoyed at my early arrival, and relieved that I could gather my bearings in this setting that was so vastly different than what I am used to before people arrived.

David constructing framework

He was busy...working on creating new framework for the next set of Hochbaum masterpieces. Mitre saws, wood trim, luan, toolbox, tools, I started to focus on all the things around me. Packed to the max, the studio was everything I expected. Cluttered, loaded with little pieces of David's personal inspiration, ships--lots of ships, photos, ladders, cameras, tripod, paintings, paints, books, fonts spilling onto the floor, patterns exploding across walls, tables, and so many layers of life...in every corner I could feel the energy, the beating pulse of art in various states of completion complexity and contemplation. We talked some personal collage talk about techniques and products for a bit. It was in these moments when I began to realize that this was a very humble person. He didn't laud his popularity and obvious talent, and despite his being busy and working the whole time we talked, I could feel his intensity with regard to our discussion about our work. He was so very helpful when I asked about the materials he used or how he achieved certain results. There was not a hint of arrogance and he was not condescending in the least. I experience arrogance a lot in my day job, as a Mac Tech. I have dealt with people that feel they are "it" and I recognize an attitude when I see one. But in this case, I have to say, I was so very impressed by the graciousness and jovial humbleness that I received. What a treasure of information I received in such a small amount of time. I didn't want to disturb the last moments he had to complete his tasks. I watched while he whisked around the studio to prepare for the salon.

Work in progress

Marcus, Davids' roommate, a fellow artist and salon participant, came out and joined us first, and soon enough guests began to arrive, wine and drinks were poured and merry introductions were made. I apologize that I didn't have everyone's complete name to list here on the blog...(links provided if I had one!)

Douglas ? (a friend of David's father, also art friend of Davids--lucky dude!) - Collagist
Samantha Levin - Mixed media, assemblage, painting
Danielle Ezzo - photography and painting (this link doesn't seem right. Danielle, if you read this please send me your link)
Ivan Lee Mora - Glass artisan
Dina Gregg - graphics and painting
Marcus - box constructions
Clarissa - Marcus' girlfriend
Julie - me! - collage
Yasha Young - gallerist (she brought along a friend, and I am so sorry to not have remembered her name!)
David Hochbaum - of course! duh!

David gathered us all around 2 very art splattered tables and opened the discussion. One by one, each artist opened up their souls and shared their work in the darkness of a cold snowy January winter night. Typical of the times, the types of art display were varied...pictures on a flash drive, slides, pictures on the internet, pictures on cell phone and some people also brought actual art. There was quite a variety of mediums represented including collage, painting, assemblage, glass work, photography, and even installation work. We were also lucky enough to be able to here the gallerists' point of view, as Yasha Young showed up to lend her insight! Explanations were given as to the methodology and thoughts behind each persons' examples. The group moved and morphed around the room, examining the work, and giving each person some very serious thought and commentary. Each person was very earnest and tried hard to give helpful comments.

They are critiquing my work!

You would think that in his own home, in his own studio, on his own turf, at his own salon, the strength of David's work would overpower the group. Quite the opposite! He facilitated the event and set the tone of learning and understanding. The most amazing thing to me was the complete lack of ego in the room! Even on the part of the guests! I didn't ever feel insignificant or hick or out of place. These people were all into being helpful and learning and sharing. It was infectious. And wondrous for an insignificant little hick like myself!

Marcus, showing his fascinating boxes

After a few hours of heavy art talk, the critique was over the the disco party began! We all made merry while other art friends of David's filtered in, like David Stoupakis...another fine artist in the GMSH!! And Wylie Perlitz, who is having his first solo show at HIFI...big sigh.
It was getting late, I was feeling beat. I said my farewells and sped away into the cold night high on life and full of art love.

Yasha greets David Stoupakis

My message to you dear reader person...Please do step out of your box. Sometimes, you have to reach --far-- in order to find the your way along the path. The world is out there waiting for you. Go and get it.

update: David informed me that David Stoupakis is not a member of GMSH. Sorry about that misinfo. However, his fascinating artwork can be found here.


Pale Tale 11

Pale Tale 11
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 10

Pale Tale 10
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 9

Pale Tale 9
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 8

Pale Tale 8
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 7

Pale Tale 7
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 6

Pale Tale 6
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 5

Pale Tale 5
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 4

Pale Tale 4
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 3

Pale Tale 3
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 2

Pale Tale 2
Originally uploaded by misphit

Pale Tale 1

Pale Tale 1
Originally uploaded by misphit

This story can be found on flickr. Click the pic.


Lady of the Lake

Lady of the Lake
Originally uploaded by misphit
Couldn't sleep last night. I hate it when that happens. Some nights I can just kind of float back to sleep and all is wonderful. Other nights, like last night, my mind is on some kind of warp speed and I end up awake laying there thinking of 2000 things I could be doing. So last night, instead of getting annoyed in bed, I got up. It was 3 am. Made myself some hot chocolate to warm me on such a cold evening...and settled down at my studio table to complete this piece.
It's been sitting there since Thanksgiving, just a primed canvas with 2 photos glued to it. I couldn't come to terms with the front composition and so it got buried over the holidays.
I picked it up yesterday when I got home from work and dug into it with vigor. Finally I settled down on what it would become, and believe me, that was difficult...Before I glued it down for final, I wanted to sleep on it first
Yea, right. Like I said, I woke up chewing on it. So anyhow...back to the story.
I ended up not liking it at 3am. Damn, I hate it when that happens. The head was bothersome...I didn't have the birds right, in fact the original bird I pulled out and replaced with 2 others and added 2 more. I got crazy at 3 am and basically rebuilt the piece. AND glued it down with no hesitation.
I guess I knew earlier before I went to bed it wasn't stable. My dreams had other ideas. And in the wee hours, after I sent Jack Frost out the door with a couple of logs in the woodstove...I solved all image problems with ease.
Another small thing to note. I also had difficulties with the sides. The left had side had all those twigs, and the right hand side had none. I wanted some balance. Originally I had some paper pieces set up to compose a fake bunch of twigs. But at 3am, I threw them on the floor, picked up the pen and ink, and drew in some trees.
And so, the Lady of the Lake rose up from the dawn.

Oh. Did ya notice? The left hand photo is upside down. Intentionally.
So what's up with the middle of the night creativity burst? I don't know. But I liked it. Till 4:30. By then, after the heat of the moment when I had finished up this work, my feet turned ICE cold. I wanted to be warm..and I snuggled back into my bed till it was time to go to work.


Facebook yet?

"Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them."
It's viral. Honestly.
I joined facebook in October of '07. It was quiet out there back then. Not many people had signed on I guess and for a time there...I forgot it even existed. Till my local friends and the people at my day job started to discover it over the last few weeks. And now it's a crazy phenom. I hate to admit...the gene pool is pretty small here and everyone is either related, or was related and got divorced. A lot of people signed up and then encouraged their family, and the next thing you knowBut if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.
So by association, I have been dragged into the crazy communicative world of Facebook. I see a lot of artists out there...it's the new MySpace they say.
Since I am surrounded by facebook freaks at this point, I decided to go ahead and upload some art and try to do some interacting. I started a group called Collage as Fine Art. You know how hard I try to portray collage as a professional thing...and not a hobby. I don't know what the group will accomplish, or where it will lead, but I am announcing it here so that if you are on Facebook, you can look me up, befriend me, and Join the Group! Post your pics...maybe we can do some critiques there! Instead of the usual "oh, that's cool!" comments I would think we could all benefit from some real commentary. Some Meat. (sorry vegans.)

Here's a link to my facebook profile page.
I am Julie Sadler if you need to do a search and the link doesn't work.
Peace out peeps.


1000 Journals Film AVAILABLE ON DVD NOW!!!

Yes, it's true!
The 1000 journals DVD is available on DVD. I was so excited to see my artwork on the cover of the DVD jacket...upper right hand corner! Woo hoo!
I have posted several times about the 1000 Journals/1000 Journals Film experience. It was and still is an inspiration. Congratulations to Andrea and Someguy for following through and creating a life changing event for many people!!!
For those who need to know more:
1000 Journals Project
1000 Journals Film Project
1001 Journals Project
Andrea just sent me another link...
Try this!


The Tactful Decline of All Future Advances

Elbow-Toe is one of my favorite street artists. He was featured in Juxtapoz readers art the very same time as me a few years ago, and so we became artfully acquainted. While in NYC, filming for the 1000 journals film, I came across a piece of beautiful elbow toe work raw and phresh on the streets...He does just amazing pieces, with such detail. Yummmmm.
His latest endeavor includes collage. What beautifully rendered pieces. I just love his grittiness...the way in which the colors are incorporated into the flesh....SUCH gorgeousness.
He's got a super fantastic set of these on flickr. Seriously, click on the image and check these out. They are simply amazing.



Originally uploaded by misphit
Spent a moment to add some cheer to my sister.
Used up some scrap things that were already cut from previous pix, but that were never used.
Handy little devils.

Trenton Doyle Hancock

Depending on where you go to look for collage, you can find a million ways it is represented. Sometimes collage is portrayed as an extension of scrapbooking craft for bored housewives who want to make stuff. Sometimes collage is edgy, and in the news and bigger than life. Sometimes collage is fineart, shown in a gallery setting.
Today I found these most mahvelous works in the fineart setting. Trenton Doyle Hancock has a show going on at the James Cohan Gallery. The show ends on January 10, Saturday, so if you are in New York you might want to take this in.
Trenton Doyle Hancock has created a very fascinating fantasy scenario and turned it into an elaborately illustrated tale using various media.
From the James Cohan Gallery site...
"In this new body of work, which includes paintings, wall drawings and prints, Hancock continues a retelling of his sprawling, epic battle between the forces of good, as represented by Mounds and their color-filled world, and evil, as embodied by the skeletal Vegans who live underground in a world of black and white. Peaceful creatures, Mounds survive on Mound Meat, a pink substance that once ingested allows all to experience a life of color. At the center of Hancock's tale are two pivotal characters: Vegan leader, Betto Watchow, and enlightened Vegan prophet, St. Sesom, who introduces Vegans to the world of color. Betto views Sesom's proselytizing as traitorous and fears his increasing power. In reaction, Betto launches an all out war against Sesom, his disciples, and the Mounds."
Bizarre right? But thought provoking to be sure.

I really liked these, especially this one above, with the super effective pink and black background. Sweet!
The James Cohan Gallery site is here. There's a lot more pix and the rest of the press release there waiting for you. OH, and don't forget Trenton Doyle Hancocks' artwork! That's waiting for you too...at the gallery till Saturday! Get thee there!


FREE 2009 Calendar—Impossible Impossibilities!

Matthew Rose has graciously created a super surreal cool calendar that one can download for FREE. Yes, Free. Imagine that, quality art in your very hands and on your own little computer, all for FREE. So far I love 2009!
Get it here!


Commercialism and Blogs

Blogs started out for me as something personal, an online diary where I could share stuff with a small network of friends that I had met online. Through LiveJournal I posted all about my personal relationships, my artwork, my life in general. I got creeped out and paranoid about this during my divorce, and I ended the blog rather abruptly.
At this point I started this here Collage Clearinghouse gig. It wouldn't contain too many personal references and I could be more bold about what I said. That has finally been worked out.
But now I face the idea of commercialism. Ad people have written me and asked me about posting ads on the blog, or links...and I am caught again in my own corner. But stick with me, I found a revelation thru this...
So this started last year, and after much agonizing about the idea, I put up one ad for some website about doing fine (basically a chat room where you could say how great things were)...I couldn't see how it was relevant, but intrigued, I posted the ad. It didn't last long cuz I pulled it after awhile and I made zero for revenue.
I didn't think it enhanced the blog experience, but maybe it took something away from it. I didn't want to promote something I wasn't exactly involved in. I felt as tho I was betraying someone who may read my blog. I don't know it must be a personal thing with me. In fact I got on my soapbox at this point and ended up being kind of anti-ad. I decided that there should be a place for people to deal with art and not have to put up with the bombardment of someone trying to sell me something. I didn't want an allegiance with anyone and I just wanted to be my own little entity with only my own influence. Sometimes I just want to focus on the art and nothing else. (I can't always explain my actions, I just am reporting them.)
And so that is the way it's been here at the clearinghouse. Ads don't bring discourse. They actually may take a person away from the blog...altho I do realize that the blog then could be a resource where one would go because of the ads, such as the cool things happening on Design Sponge or Poppytalk. These blogs are pretty social blogs tho, and the whole idea of them is to promote others and they do a really good job at it and there's ads there like crazy. I mean, isn't that the idea? We are promoting each other somehow??? I just don't think that all by my lonesome I could do anything that could compare. Seriously.
But back to the ads.
I find myself looking at things again here on the blog and wonder if I should succumb to some ads, or amazon book links, google ad sense???... Am I being foolish by ignoring these sources of revenue? Could I see all this blog work actually become some kind of monetary profit for me? My bills suck, I could always use the money....and maybe this is a reason I am not making a living from my art. 'Cuz I am actively refusing it.

(And here's the revelation part.)
I got really upset inside to answer these questions. "Art isn't about money! I do this cuz i love it, not for the cash. I do collage cuz I have to! It's the way that I express myself the best! I don't need money to do my art!"
You see....in that conversation about the art BLOG, I had turned it around to be about my ART>Obviously there's a connection between the reason why I refuse to become insane about selling my work or promoting myself 24/7 and the reason why I don't want to have ads on this blog. I feel it compromises me somehow. Whether that is true or not doesn't matter really. What does matter that I finally have come to the center of my issues with galleries, shows, online sales, pricing, et al. It starts with ME and how I feel about my art.
I bitch myself out all the time for not being able to make my living off of my creativity! Well, come to find out the only place in my life that I have not used creativity is in the making of money! And I purposefully am doing this. So I can no longer complain I am not this generations' DaVinci. I won't be. I am Julie Sadler. And apparently I have discovered I have an aversion to the commercial portion of being an artist and blogger.
This blows me away of course, and now I have no more reason to sit and stew about how I am lacking. In fact, I now need to embrace this issue and get it solved. Starting right here with this blog and the idea of ads.
WHAT do you think? Does it matter? Do ads bum you out? Will ads keep you from visiting this blog? Are you convinced I am totally insane and that I need to take sedatives? Does your blog use ads...? Does is offer a degree of professionalism? Do you look at ads as a service or a drag???
I would love to hear your opinion.


Personal Technique Issues

Uhu glu stick, one of my favorite brands...

Sometimes I like to use glue sticks. These suckers are so convenient, I can't stand not to use them. No water, no brush, no mess--except for the sticky stuff gets all over my fingers and then I wipe it on my crappy art jeans and my messed up paint shirts, and then little jeans threads get caught in my fingerprints from the glue, and when I go to smooth something down all neat and clean, I get this awful smudge or even worse I add glue to the surface! I have learned to keep baby wipes at the studio table, and I use 'em freely. (Turns out they work great for wiping the collage mediums and glues off of glossy photos. Who knew?)
Differentiating between glossy and matte is huge for me--I am a texture person, and I do like the fact that original surfaces remain intact because you are not covering it with anything...that means glossy things stay gloss and foil things stay foil. My favorite thing about glue stix is the fact that it's a dry glue...meaning that it can be used and it doesn't make one paper or another crinkle up. It's moisture that makes the papers go crinkle crazy, and the less moisture involved in adhering things the better. Glue stick requires nothing but itself so it's supreme. However, I am not convinced it is the perfect collage glue. Some paper edges invariably come loose, curl or peel, probably cuz I hate the burnishing step--I am in a frenzy here! Larger pieces require an insane amount of glue sticking. And finally, the end product seems less than professional to me. Personal preference.

Golden Matte Medium I would die for you

I like to use Golden or Liquitex matte medium as my main collage glue--and I prefer Golden over Liquitex... I like the way it makes things stick, no matter what the substrate, if I glob on enough medium, as long as the pieces are relatively light it will work. It's the messiest stuff ever, and when it gets on my hands it takes a lot of time to wash it off. It's my favorite tho. There is one annoying thing about it however. It has moisture. And sensitive papers pick up on the fact that one side has glue or moisture, so I have issues with wrinkles at times. I have become pretty good at removing them, or finding techniques to avoid them. I have even found that sometimes just leaving them alone will allow the papers time to relax and they may disappear all by themselves. In the Orbit piece that I posted the other day, I had this problem with the blueprints. They were of a strange light paper, and as soon as the medium was applied, the papers began to curl. I groaned, cuz I knew that if a background paper has the wrinkles, everything and anything placed above it also will. This SUCKS! I have tried peeling it off and re applying. I have tried smoothing it over. I have tried applying both top and bottom and allowing the paper to stretch entirely and then gluing it down. But it also is a problem if the substrate has a different moisture level. I can't saturate the base....This gets entirely too complicated!!!
So it's a personal technique issue. I think it is a detriment to some of my work. If I am professional about it, these things wouldn't/shouldn't happen. I don't think it looks good on a piece I am charging $400 for to have wrinkles. And most of the times I have used rare or special papers, so doing over isn't an option.
I don't have this problem all the time. In fact, most of the time I can keep it under control. But it requires constant attention and monitoring and quite frankly when I get in that creative frenzy all I want to do is put it together, and not spend time fussing over glue details! (picture an Einstein-like scene, with an obsessively crazed artist standing over the work pulling out her hair which is stand straight up on her head, while she glues manically!)
In order to solve some of this, at times I use combo glues on one piece. Some Medium over here, glue stick over there. But here's the crux of the matter (and the crux of this post!). When I have used acrylic paints or collage medium first, it appears as though sometimes it repels the glue stick. It's crazy hard to get a paper to stick to the collage medium with glue stick after it's already had a layer of collage medium. Same thing on the Golden acrylic paints. If I paint a background, and then I try to stick something with gluestick, it takes a serious amount of heavy flattening to get it to stick, I mean it will but like I said, I want to finish this artwork sometime this year.... I have to be super liberal about it, and do glue stick on both top paper and bottom substrate even to get it to stick. This drives me crazy, almost crazier than the fact that it may crinkle.
I am looking for an answer to this problem. The wrinkling...the glue stick not sticking to the medium. Anyone got any ideas out there to keep me from totally unraveling on this?



I like night time skies. They impress me, especially in winter time. We are so far removed from the world around us. The closer we live to city-suburban-land the further away the starry nights become. I am fortunate enough to get plenty of clear glimpses of crescent moons and celestial events both real and of my own imagination. I know the real ones pretty well and can recognize several in the sky. My favorite is Orion....for some reason I really like the stars in the belt....I like to make up my own constellations, too.
I did this piece imagining myself in the sky, swooping along a celestial birds' shoulders and morphing within it and into it. I wish I could have imposed more twisting and flowing in this one, but it's already quite busy. The background blueprints always remind me of an astrological map, so I tried to alter this gear print a bit and make it appear as though it was part of my quantum sky plan with white ink and stars. I can't really add flowing stuff or the whole thing will implode.
It's good to be within my own head playing around again. Not sure if my wonder and playful happiness comes through in the work. I guess that's the internal part, the part I do it all for...it's the feeling of loss within the work and the feeling of my own alternative reality. I WAS flying in the nighttime sky. I just want you to join me there.


Crow Count!!!!

OMG! I am a crow freak. Don't know why. Always have been. I always am hoarding crows in imagery, and I stare at them in the empty cornfields, and damn if there isn't a fine exhibit going on at the virtual tart site of Dale Copeland that has load of crows to look at and drool over.
Laura Lein-Svencner, a really active and super nice collage artist living in Illinois, US, has a really bizarre collage exhibit happening called Crow Count. I love them based series. I love the way it allows an artist to explore a them and go deeper and deeper.
These are some really nice works worth crowing about.
(sorry 'bout the pun. I am in a whippy mood today!)
Congrats to Laura for this fine work!

scrapfairy 2

scrapfairy 2
Originally uploaded by misphit
Sometimes as you clean up the collage mess, (over and over and over again) you place the scraps just right and something happens when you aren't watching. The scrap goblins run and rearrange them and other beings come to life. This very thing happened to me just yesterday when I was working on trying to find my studio table. (I had lent it to Santa's elves over the holiday.)
These are pretty vanilla collages. But sometimes it takes me a bit of time to get reacquainted with just what the heck I was doing before all these holiday festivities!
I am happy to be back in my life again. Now it's time for some serious art.

Emily Pothast — Music + Art

One of the coolest things about collage is the fact that you can create an interesting whole, and this appeals to some of your senses. And then, upon a closer look, you find out that what you saw wasn't exactly what you saw, but something else. That's magical.
Emily Pothast has this concept down to perfection. I took a look at this poetic artistic interpretation of a spiritual icon, the stained glass window and smiled thinking of days past as little girl in church with Dad, staring at at colorful windows and ignoring the speeches....
Then I took that closer look, and was amused to find the SALE sale sale papers that made up this glorious image. What a super delightful smack in the head commentary back to reality. I love it.
She does a lot of this making textures out of unsuspecting ephemera. It's tricky.
Emily is a well rounded artist, with a sprinkling of music thrown in there for good measure. I used to be a pianist (took 14 years of lessons...) and a flautist (took 16 years of lessons...) and in fact I was headed for collage as a music major until I decided that my parents were WAY to obnoxious about the whole practice practice practice thing and all I wanted to do was hang out in high school like normal kids and party party party. Also there was this horrible thing that happened to me now and then when I was on stage for a solo performance on the flute, and the whole audience is staring at me...and here I go to play and F-CK....my lips start to twitch or tremble!!! As a flute player is concerned with lip position (embouchure) in order to play nice listenable music, having your lips tremble IN public ON stage could really suck! I decided somewhere in there to take my creativity into my own private room. I could do art in private and get as hot shit as I wanted. My lips could quiver, my head could shake, hell I could dance around the room, but no one would see the finished product till I said so. It's all about control!
I think that having lots of creative talent is a plus for anyone, and I encourage any types of creative endeavors. I used to dance too....a little clutzy ballerina....good grief, it's painful to think about me dancing gracefully on stage I am such a spazz, however it was creative! Somehow it all relates, a musical phrase, a choreographed dance...a visual punctuation.
Sorry, I seriously digress!
Back to Emily!

She has a show going on at the Grey Gallery and Lounge...in one of the coolest places ever, Seattle, WA. Info on the gallery and her show can be found here. She also has a website and a really bizarre blog that I still need to spend more time look at!

___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.