Rhythmic Ode (to Merz)

November 18th, 2014

 
Rhythmic Ode (to Merz)  ~ J A Dixon

Rhythmic Ode (to Merz)
mixed-media collage by J A Dixon
10.75 x 13 inches + matting
 
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Gallery Hop Stop!

November 11th, 2014

 
Gallery Hop Stop ~ November 14, 2014 

 

A Lesser Peril

November 8th, 2014

 
A Lesser Peril ~ J A Dixon

A Lesser Peril
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4 x 5 inches
 
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Fifteenth Cosmosaic

November 5th, 2014

“Curiosity about the unknown has no boundaries. Symbols, images, place and cultures merge. Time slips away. The stars, the cards, the mystic vigil may hold the answers. By shifting the point of view an inner spirit is released. Free to create.”
— Betye Saar

Cosmosaic was the word I chose in 1998 for a collage series that marked my first efforts at bringing to larger artworks what I had learned from creating numerous miniatures. They were intended as gifts for loved ones, with each focusing on the unique soul of the intended recipient. After completing fourteen of them over a seven-year span, I produced another in 2006 to exhibit with The Society of Layerists in Multi–Media. It relied on a more time-intensive technique than prior Cosmosaics, was more deliberate in conceptual development, was meant for no specific individual, and was more overtly metaphysical than any collage artwork I had done previously. As far as I was concerned, it was clearly a Cosmosaic, but it also stood apart from the series pattern and subsequently made the rounds of various exhibitions between periods of storage until we expanded our gallery space last year. Just as I had settled into the idea that this piece might always reside at my studio, it found a buyer this past weekend during the Open Studios ARTTOUR.

After looking through some old promotional notes, I was a bit surprised to discover the degree to which I had described the piece in spiritual terms:

“The largest composition in an eight-year series, this most recent ‘Cosmosaic’ represents my intensified concern with symmetry, proportion, and balance, both thematically and aesthetically. A spontaneous blending of found material — symbolic images, familiar icons, and mundane fragments — it shapes an interpretation of ‘the moving stream of life.’ The visual approach reinforces my sense of a profound interconnectedness, with eternal access to atonement, forgiveness, illumination, opportunity for soul attainment, and individual freedom through the Universal Christ.”
 

Fifteenth Cosmosaic ~ a mixed-media collage by J A Dixon

Fifteenth Cosmosaic
mixed-media collage by J A Dixon
17 x 21 inches

•  S O L D

The word is getting out . . .

October 29th, 2014

To all art lovers near Central Kentucky:
Please stop by our Open Studios this weekend.

T4the-Heart_ko_7164_600wd

“Talisman for the Heart” by Kathleen O’Brien

Annual Open Studios ARTTOUR

October 19th, 2014

Be sure to stop by the studio if you’re in our neck of the woods during the first weekend of November!

Annual Open Studios ARTTOUR

Arbitrary Mischief

October 5th, 2014

“As we mature, all of us learn to ‘put away childish things.’ Often, though, we do such a good job of growing up that we lose contact with our spontaneity, teaching ourselves to follow rules and habits that inhibit us from acting on our hunches and intuition.”
— W. Clement Stone

One of my earliest entries at this site made mention of the intuitive response in our process of collage creation. I have continued to ponder this idea of making visual decisions without conscious thought, especially after a lengthy discussion at the Collage Critique group in the facebook realm. There is something to be said for intuitive spontaneity with no preconceived notions, in contrast to the methodical execution of a concept. Collage as a medium is diverse enough to embody both approaches and everything in between. In my opinion, there is ample “non-thought thinking” taking place, even when no “idea” is driving the process. On the other hand, most of us can tell when a piece is struggling to be more than a mere stew of ingredients and the temptation to declare it “finished” should be resisted.

Personally, it is no longer possible for me to imagine coming to this activity without the foundation of art education, a rigorous training in graphic design, and 40 years of practice as a creative professional. I suspect that I have internalized all this to become part of an inner resource, so that when, at the conscious level, I put all of it out of mind, it still informs each spontaneous visual choice and the sense of something appearing “right” to the eye. Deciding that “an ingredient in play” has the right color, the right value, the right shape, the right texture, or the right spatial role often happens without rational awareness. That is my goal, at any rate, to keep such “non-thinking thought” in motion for as long as possible before I find myself falling back into outer rumination. It is not only a matter of aesthetics. The same phenomenon applies to thematic or symbolic associations, and the overall process of ingredient acquisition and selection that initiates and sustains the whole affair. Not that there is anything undesirable or distasteful about planning, calculation, and a deliberate methodology. Far from it. Nearly every work of art will involve some of that. It just happens to be that what I am most hoping to take place is something else — that the flow of assembly leading to a stimulating but balanced effect is the result of an artistic intention deeper than conscious decision making.
 

hand-crafted collage by John Andrew Dixon, The Collage Miniaturist

Arbitrary Mischief
collage on panel by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
 
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Connections that transcend limitations . . .

September 23rd, 2014

“I don’t know the English language. This message is written with an electronic program of translation. I hope that it is comprehensible.”
— Lucio Valerio Pini, Rome, Italy

In a moment of exuberance, I made the following comment on a social network: “Collage has become a universal human language that transcends other cultural and semantic limitations.”

Some who saw it may not have fully agreed. At least one person shared the opinion that my statement “sounds like hyperbole.” Perhaps. Nevertheless, if one looks with care at what I wrote, there is nothing inaccurate or misleading about it (Would this not be true about almost any art form, whether it be sculpture, music, or dance?), and I have no better way to explain my ongoing weekly “conversation” with hundreds of collage artists worldwide whose other languages I cannot read.

As if to illustrate my proposition, I received a message and some bold images from an Italian artist making a connection beyond our mutual language barrier. I do not know anything about his age, experience, or circumstances, but my sudden awareness of his dynamic work exemplifies an exciting international cross-pollination taking place among current practitioners of collage.

Continue to refine your artistic voice, Lucio, and keep reaching out to those of us who value, in the words of Kurt Schwitters, “creating relationships, preferably between all things in the world.”
 

Con il permesso di Tadini
collage by Lucio Valerio Pini

Con il permesso di Tamara
collage by Lucio Valerio Pini

Col Van Heusen
collage by Lucio Valerio Pini

Come Pop Art
collage by Lucio Valerio Pini

Con il permesso di Klimt
collage by Lucio Valerio Pini

CITT
collage by Lucio Valerio Pini

September 17th, 2014

 

 
I am pleased to announce that we shall open our studio and gallery to the public on the first weekend of November. For more information, please visit this page.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Happy 32!

September 11th, 2014

Celebrating 32 years of laughter, friendship, professional partnership, creative adventure, shared sorrow, deep affection, and mutual respect. Thank you, Dana, for the total package. (I think this might be working out.)
 

Happy 32!
collage miniature by J A Dixon
6.875 x 4.5 inches
collection of D L Dixon

Recipe for enjoyment

September 4th, 2014

“The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that suits all cases.”
— Carl Jung

The distinctive singularity of an individual has been a profound feature of my awareness throughout life. Undoubtedly, it is the basis for much of what I have enjoyed doing most — from solving visual problems for unique entrepreneurs, or creating my own brand of illustrated portraits, and, of course, hand-crafting greeting cards with collage miniatures. I shall never tire of assembling a spontaneous composition with suitable ingredients to honor a particular person. Each collage, like every human being, is a one-of-a-kind creation, and the medium is ideal for personalized expressions. The artist has a remarkable opportunity to interpret the peculiar constellation of personality traits, proclivities, and associations that befit a fellow mortal. To put it simply: I love it!
 

Dwindling Nest
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of J Hellyer