A Heart for Jack Unruh

April 26th, 2016

“My amazing, wonderful father has just been diagnosed with esophageal cancer that seems to have spread. Please include him in your thoughts and prayers. We can use all the positive energy you can send.”
— Susan Unruh

“Jack has been the yardstick that almost every illustrator/designer (certainly in the Southwest) has used to measure his or her own level of accomplishment.”
— Woody Pirtle
 

When the wide world of artists found out that Jack Unruh, the modern master of pen illustration, was facing an aggressive disease, it became the catalyst for a phenomenal outpouring of love and creativity. There must be countless individuals like me, who have never met him or worked with him, and yet we are pulling for him every day, because the singularity of his vision, the authenticity of his approach, and the affection for subject that he communicates — all have left a deep impression for many years. In sync with many creative professionals, I have joined the surge of “hearts beating a path to his door” in Texas.

If you want to send Jack a heart, too, his address easily can be found at his fabulous website.
 

A Heart for Jack Unruh ~ J A Dixon

A Heart for Jack Unruh
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.5 x 5.25 inches

Spencer Gulf

April 25th, 2016

“The Japanese word yugen means ‘aesthetically mysterious.’ We don’t have a word like this to describe art in the Western art world. Yugen as a concept worries some because it describes an intangible. It says ‘awe’ and ‘mystery’ can also be qualitative aesthetics, and the beauty of this is that though yugen is a Japanese word what it describes is universal in reach. Though a refined concept, it is an everyman’s word because it describes perfectly a good deal of the art the entire world makes to achieve personal and cultural satisfaction. In a time when we are 1% and 99% sensitive, let us indeed remember that the art mainstream, the academic discourse, the intellectual game of art about art, the ivory tower is only 1% of why the world makes art.”
— Randall Morris
 

For the second consecutive year, I had the opportunity to create a collage as prize art for the preeminent single-shot rifle match held in Kentucky. Visitors to this blogsite know my ongoing fascination with collage as an ideal medium for total spontaneity. Of course, it also lends itself perfectly to a planned, thematic solution for general appeal.

I discovered enough ingredients in my stash of papers to cover the Australian topic, but also to entertain a desired level of synchronicity to encompass a few distinctive characteristics of the event. In addition to my personal enjoyment, I am always pleased to see the positive response to collage as art. It has to be more than the element of the unexpected, although, admittedly, collage is never what people anticipate in these situations. I think it may be the particular combination of accessibility, interactivity, and “mystery” so inherent in the medium. I suppose there is more to said about that, but we shall save it for another day.
 

Spencer Gulf ~ J A Dixon

Spencer Gulf
collage miniature by J A Dixon
7 x 9.5 inches
prize art for The Great .310 Australian Cadet Martini Match of 2016
awarded to D Simpson

a collage adventure . . .

April 24th, 2016

“It’s hard to say. Sometimes people have had terrible childhoods. And sometimes they just haven’t found their special place in life. And sometimes they’re dogs from hell and must be destroyed.”
— Charles Addams

Remember the “start” I sent to Kevin Brandtner for the Adventure Collage Collaboration? Here is his wicked finish. I didn’t think the collage could get even more macabre. God help us, Geronimo.
 

Untitled (Baby Head Stew)
a collage collaboration by J A Dixon and K Brandtner
(card selection by Brandtner, start by Dixon, finish by Brandtner)
Sammelwerk Australien, Bild 79: Erdo fen der Maoris
13.7 x 9.8 centimeters

Governor’s Derby Exhibit

April 23rd, 2016

“The Governor and I are pleased to continue this longstanding tradition of showcasing the finest in Kentucky art.”
– Glenna Bevin, Kentucky’s First Lady
 

Kentucky Sovereign ~ collage collaboration by R H Hunt and J A DixonOne of the most satisfying occurrences of the year so far was to learn that Kentucky Sovereign, my collage collaboration with Robert Hugh Hunt, had been accepted into the 2016 Governor’s Derby Exhibit. The two of us never dreamed that the piece would find its way to the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, but there we were, getting to meet the First Lady and explaining our unusual work of art. Hunt’s Mama’s Story also made the cut, the only “traditional” collage in the show (a black and white gem). Needless to say, to have any aspect of my creative life represented in this high-profile exhibition is a distinct pleasure, especially because it’s a part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary celebration. The exhibit lasts until May 7.

Robbo and I are already conspiring to initiate a second collaborative project. Visit here again to learn more about it!
 

Dixon_Hunt_Bevin_GDE

Robert Hugh Hunt and I explain our collage collaboration to Glenna Bevin.

Bailey_Bevin_Dixon_Hunt_GDE

From left— painter Brian Bailey, Kentucky’s First Lady, J A Dixon, and R H Hunt.

DAAP MADE

April 17th, 2016

“Some people get an education without going to college. The rest get it after they get out.”
– Mark Twain
 

Yesterday I finished participating in the Malton Gallery’s DAAP MADE: The Exhibition, a contemporary showcase for those with a connection to the University of Cincinnati’s Collage of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. I was mildly astonished to have two large collage artworks accepted for display. It’s been awhile since I had something featured in Cincinnati, having left the school over 40 years ago with a degree and mixed emotions. My destination was Chicago, to accept a graphic design position, and I was not inclined to look back. It had been a rigorous program that left scars on my creative self, but it fully prepared me for the demands of becoming an independent professional.

Trust me, everything worked out just fine.
 
Diamonds in the Rough (detail) ~ J A Dixon  Matthew’s Touchonic Lodge (detail) ~ J A Dixon

details from
Diamonds in the Rough and Matthew’s Touchonic Lodge

two collage paintings by J A Dixon
(click each for more information)

Apparatchik

April 10th, 2016

 
Apparatchik ~ J A Dixon ~ for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Apparatchik
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 6 inches
for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Archetype

April 9th, 2016

 
Archetype ~ J A Dixon ~ for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Archetype
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 6 inches
for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Absconder

April 8th, 2016

 
Absconder ~ J A Dixon ~ for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Absconder
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 6 inches
for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Adversary

April 7th, 2016

 
Adversary ~ J A Dixon ~ for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Adversary
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 6 inches
for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Autocrat

April 6th, 2016

 
Autocrat ~ J A Dixon ~ for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Autocrat
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 6 inches
for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Antagonist

April 5th, 2016

 
Antagonist ~ J A Dixon ~ for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange

Antagonist
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 6 inches
for the Baker’s Half-Dozen Exchange