your basic Man Card . . .

December 4th, 2014

“There are a good many fools who call me a friend, and also a good many friends who call me a fool.”
— G. K. Chesterton

Have you ever made a gift so peculiar that you wondered if your friend on the receiving end would make all the special connections? For me, the personal miniature is inexplicable enough in its own right. The individual collage greeting made by a male artist for his friend not only defies general explanation, but may not be entirely comprehensible, even for its intended recipient (which, in my experience, seems to be just fine for everyone).

 
collage greeting card by John Andrew Dixon

Big Bore Boar
collage greeting card by J A Dixon

collage greeting card by John Andrew Dixon

Reduced to This
collage greeting card by J A Dixon

collage greeting card by John Andrew Dixon

Small Bore Boer
collage greeting card by J A Dixon

collage greeting card by John Andrew Dixon

Pump Heat, Pack Iron
collage greeting card by J A Dixon

November 27th, 2014

 

collaborative collage by Michael Tunk and John Andrew Dixon

Happy Thanksgiving
collage collaboration, 4 x 6 inches
start by M Tunk, finish by J A Dixon
from FABA Collage Mag, Issue 1

The Other Doorway

November 25th, 2014

“Art comes out of art, and you are just another stone in the wall.”
— Richard Serra

My “Partner In All Things” has outdone herself again. She prepared an outstanding dinner last night in celebration of our grandson’s 23rd birthday, including “game stew” with rabbit and venison, plus the tastiest cherry-raspberry pie ever.cherry-raspberry pie As for my part, I completed a collage miniature for him that took off on a phrase he said to me over a year ago while unraveling some difficult life choices. I am very proud of the young man, for many reasons having nothing to do with his being a great source of encouragement as I continue to create work that puzzles a majority of art buyers. Some time ago, L T Holmes introduced her online followers to the idea of producing a collage “under the influence” of a fellow artist. I admire her for elevating it to an exercise in perceptual focus. It is good to be mindful of influences, because they are not necessarily at a level of awareness. Today’s featured image is an example of how I have come to recognize the unconscious influence of peers after a work is finished. I am not sheepish about admitting it. Inviting the artistic strengths of others to rub off a bit is why we regularly partake of the excellence in our medium. The collage artworks of my friend Connie Beale, a retailer and accomplished interior designer, touch on the irrational aspects of environments and room-like enclosures with effects that are unsettling yet also whimsical. The prolific Eugenia Loli consistently captures the surreal potential of spatial contrasts and arresting juxtapositions. Perhaps a shade of both can be found in my grandson’s gift.
 

The Other Doorway ~ J A Dixon

The Other Doorway
collage miniature by J A Dixon
6.25 x 7.75 inches
collection of J M Strock, Jr

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
 
Purchase this artwork!

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
 
Purchase this artwork!

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
 
Purchase this artwork!

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