Here's a little (4" x 10"*) collage I did yesterday. Composed of vintage papers and a transfer of a heart image; also, there's a bit of acrylic ink and paint thrown in.
*This is an odd-sized frame because in its former life it was around one of those cheap decorative pieces (probably made in China) that people--including me, apparently--buy at big box stores. It's kind of my quest (albeit a mini one) to give these frames new life--let them contain hand-crafted art, rather than mass-produced decor-vomit.
Today I took down "Rejectamenta Rebirth," an exhibit of mine that's been up for the last six weeks at the Ames (Iowa) Unitarian Universalist Gallery in the Round. I'm proud to say that because of the exhibit, the following seven pieces have found new homes.
Thanks to those of you who purchased a piece of my art; I'm humbled and extremely appreciative.
This 8 x 6 x 4.5" black metal box has been occupying space on my work table for well over a year. It once held some sort of electrical components--which I've since taken out--but I don't know what kind. The device was labeled "Microflex Counter" from the "Eagle Signal Corp. Moline, Ill., U.S.A." but that's all I know.
Most of Thursday I spent turning it into a small assemblage; there are quite a few found objects crammed into this tight space.
Here's a little piece I worked on most of yesterday; I put a few finishing touches on it today. It's called "A Little Off the Top," a found object assemblage in an 11" x 5.5" x 3" wooden cigar box. A friend of mine asked me to make a piece for a friend of hers who's a hair stylist, and this is the result.
If you've been following my recent posts--and, honestly, who would be?--you know that my latest assemblage has been inspired by that Middle Ages phenomenon know as the plague doctor. They would visit the homes of those inflicted with the plague, more so to tabulate victims and gather statistics than to heal, often wearing masks with curved beaks (shown below).
Whether we realize it or not--and, given the lack of media attention about it, who would?--bees have been disappearing worldwide at an alarming rates.
I'm sure many would say, "So what. They're just little insects." It just so happens that those little insects are big-time pollinators and our food--ergo our LIVES--sources depend on them. This piece is my commentary on that plague. Will we heed the warning?
I wrestled with the angle of the bird skull. Should I mount it so that it's 90 degrees with the background, or should I turn it at a more significant angle? The head of the gentleman in the vintage photo is turned at an angle, so that helped make the final decision. The beak points at the same angle as his nose--and I'm happy with the look.
Okay, so this Plague Doctor concept I mentioned in my previous post has grabbed my interest. If you're interested, Google it and read up about this Middle Ages phenomenon. Anyway, I made a change in my plan. The pic of the three cherubic kids is out for a few reasons: their faces are too small, their shoulders kind of disappear in the pic, and three bird skulls would be too disjointed (in my view).
That said, I'm switching to this guy (pic below) to serve as the piece's Plague Doctor. It's a larger image, and one face--instead of three--should convey a more stark image.
By the way, this kind of design/theme change happens to me all the time. I start out with an idea (in this case "The Birds and the Bees") only to have it change with the introduction of some other bit of info. The overall theme is still there--humanity's arrogance and destruction of nature--but the plague doctor concept is a new twist. Although it's kind of an interesting connection; we're the PLAGUE, which manifests itself in, among other things, bees dying off in astonishing numbers.
Today I will (unless I get distracted by another project--which is a strong possibility) finish the upper compartment in the clock housing piece ("The Birds and Bees"). My plan is to cut three holes in the vintage photo, removing the adorable children's faces--bwah-haha. I'll then place three resin bird skulls in the face-holes. The result should be dark in mood and, hopefully, will have a kind of plague doctor look. In my mind this look is appropriate, given that the piece deals with the environment and the plague we've created.
Today was fairly productive. I divided the clock housing into upper and lower compartments. After that I primarily worked on the lower compartment--as shown in the pics below. First I did some simple collage work on the walls and ceiling of the compartment; the paper is from a 1950 elementary science text book, on which I used a green tissue overlay. Next I mounted a globe image (from an 1899 Rand-McNally Atlas) on 1/4" plywood for stability and affixed it in the compartment. Finally, I attached a few pieces of branch in the foreground. The plans for the upper compartment are darker--both in color (or lack thereof) and mood. Check back for updates.
Here are some pics of today's work:
This cool clock housing--for the life of me I can't remember where I picked it up--has been tucked away in my work space for quite some time. Well, starting today it's getting the attention it deserves as the container for my next assemblage.
Where do I see this piece going? At this point, I have no friggin' idea--but that's the fun part. I'm sure my muse will check-in with me in a bit with some ideas. I'll keep you posted...
The (sometimes mad) ramblings of a mixed media artist.