Steve Specht here...
I work quite often on my collages. I really enjoy the process, so why not. In fact, I think I am officially obsessed with collage. I really enjoy looking for elements; I really enjoy looking at others' collages; I think about my on-going collage projects pretty regularly; I really enjoy talking to other people (who are interested) about art in general and my collage efforts specifically; I even occasionally finish a piece here and there ;-) Most of the collages I create I "like" (which is probably pretty natural); but others I create I "REALLY like" (or "love"). I was very excited yesterday (Christmas eve day) to finally complete, mat and frame a piece I've been working on for a couple weeks. This is a piece I think I "love". I show it here from collage "surgery" to finished and framed. It's entitled "I began to experience the effects at around 3000" (8" x 6"). Enjoy!
The show is titled "Next To The Sea". It is a 3person show and the first extensive showing I will be doing in NYC in 5 years. I am thrilled to be premiering a few of my new large format Polaroids. I will also have a few new photo constructions as well as an installation of 111 ships. I am very excited to be able to show on my home turf and I really hope, if you are in the NYC area, you are able to come and see the exhibit while it is up. I have here a few sneak peek shots of works in progress.And here is the info for the show:
Opening Reception Sunday, January 8, 5-8 pm
“Next To The Sea”
Jacob Dahlstrup Jensen
Opening Reception Sunday January 8, 5-8 pm
245 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002
The show runs January 8 - February 5, 2012
|in progress: everything is laid in place. nothing is glued down|
|almost finished piece|
|An overall view, with crappy lighting!|
The base is a thick 1" piece of gnarly wood that I found in the garage. I painted it white, and then added accents with GOLDEN interference paint. This worked really well, and when you look at it in person, it's pearly. I started this piece before my wedding and ocean honeymoon, so I was in a shell mood and actually picked apart vintage shell earrings in order to create the weeds and front lawn.
|A closeup of the right side with better lighting, you can almost see the pearly effect.|
|Underneath the building rests the mirror. And a hole.|
|The people living inside only revealed thru the mirror once this is attached.|
|detail of upcycled jewelry that I tore apart as greenery|
Steve Specht here...
Just wanted to let folks know that one of my collages (shown here) will be part of the juried exhibit at the Arkell Museum/Canajoharie Library (glad that a collage will be represented as part of the group... maybe there will be more). The opening reception is being held in conjunction with Elves Night in the village next Friday (Dec. 2nd). Enjoy!
Steve Specht here...
Have I mentioned how nice it is to be back in the studio? I love it! Ideas seem to be flowing freely. The "problem" is that I now have about 6 actual projects "in the works". That can sometimes be a bit distracting for a monkeybrain like me. Last night while I was juggling the ongoing projects, I put together a few remnants that I had laying around. I used a small aperture mat and "found" the germ for lovely this composition. I tacked it down this morning and will frame it. Although I made a couple of lapel pins a while ago, this is the smallest of my "real" collages yet. I tend to like the small format collages. It's only 2.75 x 2.75 inches (7 X 7 cm). Enjoy!
This is some thought provoking collage work here! I am such a fan of black and white. I can't get enough of it in my day to day life, with b/w striped socks, striped sweatshirts, polka dotted socks, and checkered ear plugs. My first personal art experience was in pen and ink, so a black and white piece feels like home.
Clint uses black and white like a pro. The work is convincing and most impressive is the idea behind the work. I tend to work for beauty and forget the meaning when I work. It's obvious he has a statement to make and he does it well.
|So appropriate for these times we live in.|
|This face-dog is absurdly sweet|
|My political mood today is choosing these images. Aren't they great?|
|Bold. Statements. Being. Made. Here.|
So, today I want to share the work of a talented woman named Gail Coito who hails from San Fran, CA but originally she was from the East Coast. Finding her way to collage thru her work with a Hospice group, she recognized her calling and has been doing cut and paste ever since.
Her work is uber textured, and super tactile saturated. These pieces read like an ephemera fest. Poetic little snippets sewn glued and fit together to form an unknown memory. In her recent work on her website, I spent some time getting to know the characters she has created.
|A Depositor - Random Stacks Series|
Looking thru old photographs it's hard not to imagine what their lives were like and what they stood for. Gail spins a literal web with thread and tiny hints of paper, leading you to draw your own conclusions. Fantastic mixtures of paper and textiles. Little bundles of peoples lives. I seem to be able to come up with lots of little descriptions for her sweet collage vignettes.
|Book of Secret Codes - Random Stacks Series|
I admit I must be one of the ten people that does not have an iPad. Yet.
And I am craving to try this and several other apps.
If you are iPad endowed, you may want to try this!
here. I think it's a cool idea. But is there a practical application?????
|Beaver Moon (flat)|
The idea: in case it isn't coming through. The beaver moon is about getting ready for the cold. She is supposedly harvesting the weeds. I don't know if the message is strong enough. I hate to go blatant and put a beaver on the piece. That's cheating!
It was bound to happen. I have been wanting to break out of my creative mold for awhile now, and I think that finally the glass has shattered. No longer can I put the pieces back together.
I decided to warm up my collage skills with a simple piece about the Beaver Moon...which is coming up on Nov. 10. I researched the term and the meaning behind it and I have an idea. I did a watercolor on 140 lb. paper for the base. But as I started to add objects, I found that they were heavy. REALLY heavy. I took them off. I struggled and put them back on. I took them off again. ON again. This process exhausted me and I quit and came back. The next day I told myself that if I wanted to deal with these heavy materials, such as fur and metal...I would need to move to a heavier base. Like a dresser drawer (my latest substrate obsession).
I ferret out a nice one from my husband's vast collection of furniture parts and paint a background. I decide in this process that I am going to do 2 works! One shall be flat. Old style. Like I used to do it. For me, so I can satisfy the urge that I have to go back....I can be Free and do what I want. This is for my enjoyment.
Art #2 in the drawer is just a base coat of acrylic, no actual scenery. I am relying on my digital photo to carry it. (It seems like cheating somehow,
It's that Art #1 that is troubling me. I struggled like crazy to place the first few objects on it and ended up removing them. I tried again, with another set of paper pieces, going in another direction. Nope. It just is not going anywhere. It's collage future appears to be dead. So far, this piece is a watercolor. And nothing more.
And there is the change!! I refuse to work on it if I have to go backwards. I quit. Somewhere in there the old went into a cocoon, and something new has emerged. The new work wants to have a lot more depth. It wants to mix paper with milkweed pods and vintage jewelry parts and be heavy. It doesn't feel "pure paper" anymore. It isn't just collage, it's collage plus something else.
Along with the urge to combine newer and heavier materials I also want to build up and off the paper. I can't get past it. To sum this all up, I am working on much more intense pieces. They require planning. And electrical engineering! These works are evolving and they are taking so long. This part I am not liking...
Note to you and me> I need to take some photos of the process here, so this blog has something visual going on. All these words make me nervous.
When Terry Garrett sends you a letter, that's when! I was most delighted to receive this gorgeous and meticulous piece of art from Terry on a day when my soul felt most black. I wasn't expecting much in the old snail mail box, except more bills..., but there was this fantastic adventure in there to surprise me.
|the folded envy, with the flap tucked in|
I have felt a bit inside of myself lately. This letter helped to draw me back out.
|the little diamond fold|
|the beautiful letter - art cheers up the soul|
|the prophetic vision - we look to the future!|
I am surprised Steven didn't lead a small protest and take it over! I've been a slacker plain and simple. And it's time to crack the whip, quit whining, and get down to business.
I just did the first thing I could to make it obvious things are changing here. I chose this new design for the blog for the ability that it gives YOU as the use to create your own interface and viewing experience.
It's so democratic. It's so fresh. Let's rock this thing!
Steve Specht here...
On Saturday October 1st, Sculpture Space, located in Utica, NY will be holding its annual CHAIRity auction. Sculpture Space is an internationally lauded residency program for sculptors (see www.sculpturespace.org). I have been donating pieces to this great cause for the past 10 years. I usually do a piece of painted furniture and for the last couple of years did a collage as well. This year I have done this piece for the event. It's entitled "Thinking of Ewe" (14" x 11"). I'm hoping that two people like it enough so that it will bring in a respectable amount for Sculpture Space. It's a great event and is the closest that Utica ever gets to feeling like New York City (in my humble opinion). Enjoy!
Steven Specht here...
This piece is 14" x 22" and I think I will entitled it "It's Not Always Black and White". The reason for this title? Each of the elements - with the exception of the starry space element- is taken from a book or paper that made it appear to be black and white. However, although the pieces were monochromatic, they each had different hues. The woman is somewhat purple. The fetus is yellowish (aged paper). And the roses have a Payne's gray hue. I love the interplay of these subtle colors in this piece. Enjoy!
Time is winding down and the available free time i have has disappeared. I have been preparing for my wedding which is next weekend. My husband shall receive some gifts of art. This piece is the cover of the little album I have been working on for him. I will be handing a miniature version out as a wedding favor.
The ocean is calling me, and as I sit on the coast of Maine, I shall be collecting ideas, images, and emotions for my next work. I have had hardly any time this summer with both my daughter and I getting married, but let me assure you, absence makes the heart grow fonder...and I cannot wait to get back to my artwork!
I'll be back soon, with a new name and a brand new attitude!
Steve Specht here...
Boy I really do not want to "displace" Julie's stunningly beautiful self-portrait collage, but I hope she'll understand. We got very little publicity for this up-coming show (and perhaps some of you will be interested). I will be part of a three-person exhibit this month at The Old Forge Library Gallery with Suzanne Firsching (sculptural wall hangings) and Victoria Zacek (fiber artist). The opening reception is the Friday (Aug. 5th) from 5:00-8:00.
Steve Specht here...
I am very pleased and excited to notify anyone who might be interested that Jonathan Talbot will be offering a two-day collage workshop at Utica College next April 21st and 22nd (2012). This is a great opportunity to learn from one of the best! Go to Jonathan's website for a more detailed description and to read comments and see work from previous workshop participants (including me!). http://www.talbot1.com/workshop/index.html
"The ABAD Project was born in 2009 at the Emily Harvey Foundation Gallery in New York City, the brain child of Paris-based American artist Matthew Rose. ABAD has since grown into an international art movement that continues to sweep across the US and the world. It has traveled to Brazil, Belgium, the UK, Croatia, Italy, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Mexico, touching artists everywhere.
This will be the 23rd ABAD worldwide, the first on Long Island’s beautiful South Shore."
More exhibit information can be found here on the ABAD 23 website.
Aaaah. The Days of Summer 2011.
So far my days and nights consist of dreams. I am in a land within my head, and dreaming of ocean love. My fiancé Chris and I are getting married next month...August 20. Our honeymoon will be spent in BoothBay Harbor Maine. I am making this special wedding album for my husband-to-be. It's been fabulous fun to be back on the collage table after the rigorous exercises I have put myself thru as of late. I cannot believe how the inspiration just gushes when my mind is "in" something. I am so very excited, so this art feels like an overflowing tsunami.
Please enjoy this page from the wedding album. It's my personal fave.
Steve Specht here...
So I spent a good portion of the day cleaning my studio space a little and just sort of getting back into the swing of things with my collage efforts. I actually did two collages today. One was done in the spirit of my friend and fellow collage junkie Julie Sadler. Her collages are awesome and they are quite different in style compared to mine. Her process- which she uses to great effect-- is much more "free form" and she lets herself explore more that I do in my meticulous ways. So I decided to try to "let go" a little and work without much planning. The result I think turned out okay. Then I decided to finish a piece I had started a little while back. This piece is a bit more in my "voice". It's also the smallest collage I've made (measure 2" x 5"). Enjoy!
I will keep this post very brief, so as not to overshadow Julie's recent interesting crystal post. I realize this is VERY 'late notice', but if you get a chance to see the Schwitters collage exhibit at Princeton University art museum, SEE IT! Its phenomenal! Bad news is that it is only up until the 26th. See my blog for more coverage...
|You are inside a geode. Crystals poke from every direction.|
In addition to all the imagery, he has this website that accompanies it. In the site, he supplies many documents and sketches and illustrate the birth of his idea and the evolution that followed. He goes into detail and writes about the project and the meaning of the various dioramas he creates....he supplies a book list of the books that he read that influenced his work. It's a huge treasure trove of his process.
|Crystals of Resistance website home page|
He tells a tale on the Schema page that relates to a time in his past when he witnessed children selling crystals....
I was moved. It was a simple tale, but the fact that he shared it helped me follow along his train of thought, and allowed me a glimpse of his work from another dimension.
My attempts at documenting my not-so-recent Mohawk Valley pieces on Tumblr was an extension of this idea where I am sharing the process. I am not achieving this nearly as well as Thomas Hirschorn with his massive and thorough website exposé!
At first glance, the exhibit appeared to be harsh to me, the appearance of the raw tape and foils and the fact that he makes no attempt to hide it at first jars me and makes me snarl. But I am enraptured by the crystals, since I have a fondness for them, being a Herkimer Diamond fiend.....so I keep looking through the pictures and it all begins to make sense. This is how art is I think. Art used to be something that hung on a wall and looked good. We are living in new times! I am learning to embrace them.
Visitors absorbing into each collage illusion
The gloomy weather did not prevent a small crowd of art lovers from attending Steven Specht's reception for his show at Arkell. With these fiery works to view, it didn't matter what the weather was doing… we were in Steven's little stellar world for the moment.
As I entered the gallery, I was happy to see a large supportive group studying the work. He stood graciously before his most recent accomplishments, with the gallery's stone wall providing a great neutral backdrop for showing some of his newest collages.
The fabulous Steven Specht and his muse Mary Carol Murrie Durr
I purposefully took in each work and mentally noted various things…such as the finely polished surface of each work, the soothing color combinations and the humor infused within. The stellar additions to some of the pieces tickled the scientist in me, and I enjoyed his realistic depiction of everything constellatory! My foray's into the celestial usually mimic astrological themes…so seeing full planets and moons with craters was inspiring.
|I really liked this pair, but my photo does not do justice|
___A place to find all kinds of information about collage.