Miniature vs. Miniature

November 20th, 2017

“Tie small-scale contrasts together compositionally, but also large-scale contrasts; for instance: confront chaos with order, so that both groups, which are separately coherent, become related when they are placed next to or above each other; they enter into the relation of contrast, whereby the characters of both sides are mutually heightened.”
— Paul Klee, 1915
 

For the most part, I consider any collage artwork that is 8 x 10 inches or smaller to be a “miniature,” but this is not a definition that I expect anyone else to adopt. It is just a personal rule of thumb within my nomenclature, based on a conviction that the small format has been at the heart of the evolving medium from the outset and continues to be the wellspring of innovation.

Cohesive collage artworks at this scale have always been qualified to stand on their own as finished creations, but I am increasingly fascinated by the process of assembling multiples or embedding miniatures into composite designs. It boosts their perceived character as “artifacts,” and offers the practitioner another level of discernment that balances intuitive spontaneity with more considered design judgments.

This is a series that I shall enjoy expanding.
Please let me know what you think.
 

Fresh-Full of Youth ~ J A Dixon

Fresh-Full of Youth
combined collage miniature segments
J A Dixon, 11 x 14 inches
available for purchase

Clarissa’s Beetle ~ J A Dixon

Clarissa’s Beetle
combined collage miniature segments
J A Dixon, 11 x 14 inches
available for purchase

New note cards featuring ‘Cherry Balm’

November 17th, 2017

It’s that time of year when I urge you to “take note” of the card sets featuring some of my collage artworks, (now including Cherry Balm). They’ll be available during Danville’s upcoming Holiday Market at the Arts Center, which opens tonight. It is shaping up to be a unique local kick-off for the gift-giving season — live music, cash bar, and an assortment of holiday treats for hungry shoppers. For those nearby: begin your year-end activities in earnest. Perhaps I shall see you this evening!
 

Holiday Market at the Arts Center ~ Community Arts Center, Danville, Kentucky ~ November 17 to December 23, 2017
 

Note cards by J A Dixon featuring details of ‘Cherry Balm,’ collage on canvas

Cherry Balm (details)
assorted vertical-format note cards by J A Dixon
4 blank cards, 1 each of 4 cover images
5.125 x 7.75 inches, folded
available for purchase

November 13th, 2017

I shall be participating in the first-ever Holiday Market at our local Community Arts Center. The opening reception is this Friday evening, and I’m curious to see how much interest there is in art buying for the year-end season.
 
 

Spool’s Errand

November 6th, 2017

 
Spool’s Errand ~ an experimental collage miniature by J A Dixon, Danville, Kentucky

Spool’s Errand
collage miniature by J A Dixon
8.5 x 9.75 inches
available for purchase
 

October 30th, 2017

ARTTOUR ~ Annual Open Studios in Central Kentucky ~ first weekend in November!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

More from the Crafted Series

October 23rd, 2017

“It’s very rare that writing music is easy. But you should ask my wife: she suffers more in these cases than I do.”
— Arvo Pärt
 

The new Crafted Series has come fully into focus, although it has been necessary to keep my concentration fiddle-string tight to keep from slipping into more established instincts and to avoid over-working the compositions. The selection of ingredients and the design development had to be as intuitive as possible, even as I consciously pushed outside my comfort zone — a tricky balance. More than ever, it was my goal to have the artisanship be at the highest level, but I did not want these pieces to look like they were difficult to make. Rather, they should look like they were just meant to be. In all honesty, refining the titles was almost as challenging as creating the artwork. The five examples below have been submitted to the Kentucky Arts Council for review by a panel of independent jurors.
 

Lutetia Night Crystal ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Lutetia Night Crystal
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Humble Ruby Fillmore ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Humble Ruby Fillmore
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Roberta Bloom Orbit ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Roberta Bloom Orbit
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Foxy Gold Hubbard ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Foxy Gold Hubbard
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Karimata Core Cygnus ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Karimata Core Cygnus
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Open studio!

October 21st, 2017

 

November 4th is only two weeks away, and I’m preparing my studio for your visit.

Jet in for the weekend!

You’ll find all the details at our ARTTOUR website and google map.

Be there.
Aloha.
 
 
 

The Crafted Series

October 16th, 2017

“Music, to me, is a matter of growth, development and rejuvenation.”
— Lalo Schifrin
 

Every so often, it is good to shove the status quo through the stern window into one’s wake. For me, that does not mean abandoning anything more than “business as usual.” Far from it. It becomes a matter of using everything that I have learned, showcasing all of my acquired skills, and tapping the full wealth of internalized discernments to find a different level of creation. To whatever extent I am successful at doing that, there is hope for a renewed sense of discovery and joy.

As many of you know, I have considered collage to be an interactive medium. As a deeper back-and-forth, intuitive relationship with materials and compositional ingredients continues to develop, a corresponding interaction with those who respond to the work must also evolve. Art can indeed be a solitary, insular pursuit for some, but I consider collage to be more like music. How can the listener not be vitally important to the process?

In an interview, the late David Bowie said, “I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations. I think they generally produce their worst work when they do that. And, if you feel safe in the area that you’re working in, you’re not working in the right area. Always go a little further into the border than you feel you’re capable of being in. Go a little bit out of your depth, and when you don’t feel that your feet are quite touching the bottom, you’re just about in the right place to do something exciting.”

There is powerful insight in that observation, but holding the expectations of others at arm’s length does not exclude a goal of preserving their interest and involvement in the experiment. Not at all. Certainly not for me. I invite and value the feedback. Constructive criticism, too. There is no fulfillment in failing to elicit a sense of pleasurable intrigue and wonder in those who value the hundred-year story of collage artwork. For me, it will never be a private affair.
 

Hedra Cinq Sahara ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Hedra Cinq Sahara
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Azulenco King Jetties ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Azulenco King Jetties
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Magna Finch Bombus ~ J A Dixon ~ part of his Crafted Series

Magna Finch Bombus
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.75 x 7.75 inches
available for purchase

Horse Tail Reasons

October 9th, 2017

“Que no haya novedad.”
— ancient Catalan saying
 

With my new “Crafted Series,” I am paying particular attention to capturing a dominant mood of mystery, surprise, and joy, while keeping the process as spontaneous as possible. These are not calculated artworks, even as I make an effort to hold dark undertones at bay. As with most of my compositions, there is an ordered structure, although not preconceived or based on a “preliminary layout.” The feelings to be evoked will arise as much from color choices (intuitively selected, rather than consciously built), as they will from the subjects of the assembled ingredients themselves. The example featured today was created with an individual recipient in mind, as with That Red Boot. From here I shall proceed with enthusiasm to a fuller series of slightly larger pieces. They will be made available to people interested in adding collage artwork to their collections. Stay tuned!
 
Horse Tail Reasons ~ J A Dixon

Horse Tail Reasons
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.375 x 7.125 inches
collection of J M Menke

Sunday: Nevada

October 2nd, 2017

 
Sunday: Nevada ~ John Andrew Dixon

Sunday: Nevada
collage miniature by J A Dixon
6 x 7.75 inches
 
Las Vegas Victims’ Fund

That Red Boot

September 11th, 2017

“As a husband, you have to remember the crucial importance of three little words — ‘I was wrong.’ That will take you a lot further than ‘I love you.’”
— Charlton Heston
 

After pondering what to do with my stash of birds for far too long, I decided to start a new series that I describe as “Crafted.” Here is an example — a 35th Anniversary present to my indispensable partner and dearest friend.
 
That Red Boot ~ J A Dixon

That Red Boot
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5.375 x 7.25 inches
collection of Dana Dixon