Archive for the 'J A Dixon' Category

I finally help to “paint the town” of Lexington!

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

 
Paint the Town is an annual plein-air-oriented landscape exhibition in Lexington, Kentucky. The parameters of the traditional twelve-hour event are strict, and I’ve always had the notion of it as a flat-out competition — sort of a bass tournament for artists, if I may indulge a silly exaggeration.
 
 
With the current societal restrictions having caused so many art shows to be postponed or cancelled, it’s a distinct credit to ARTSconnect that a way was found to make the event happen at all in 2020. The Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center reopened to host the exhibition. Many of the more stringent guidelines (and, sadly, all the hospitality enhancements) were stripped out of this year’s version.

I’m willing to admit that the relaxed standards were enough to convince me to take part, not having participated in this kind of gig before. I was eager to gather what I’ve learned from my plein-air experience and “paint with paper” in the studio. The goal was to fuse the spontaneity of working outdoors with a more deliberate process that I’ve explored by using photo references to create a larger landscape on panel. I can’t be more pleased with the results. I continue to incorporate white tissue for desired cloud effects, and I’ve come to rely on reclaimed teabag material as a beneficial adjunct to colored papers. I work at not overdoing tinted sealants, but the added depth is worth a cautious, mixed-media enhancement (especially when I mix acrylic gel medium with a rare portion of walnut juice from Richard Taylor).

Please take a Virtual Tour of the show. My 90-second sound bite is included, or you can listen to the audio by clicking here. Of course, there’s a YouTube video of all the artwork, too. My two collage miniatures enjoy some great company, and it pleases me to point out that juror Bruce Neville designated Byway Corner with an Honorable Mention. Current gallery hours at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center are Wed/Thurs/Friday, noon to 5pm. The show lasts until August 3, 2020.
 
 

Byway Corner
collage landscape by J A Dixon
7 x 7.125 inches
available for purchase

 

Along Market
collage landscape by J A Dixon
7 x 7.125 inches
available for purchase

Februllage Extended for Worldwide Quarantines

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

 
collage experiment (extended lockdown) by John Andrew Dixon for Februllage, a collage-a-day initiative by the Edinburgh Collage Collective and the Scandinavian Collage Museum

Superbounce
collage miniature by J A Dixon
7 x 7 inches
for Februllage 2020

 
collage experiment (extended lockdown) by John Andrew Dixon for Februllage, a collage-a-day initiative by the Edinburgh Collage Collective and the Scandinavian Collage Museum

Zig-Zag
collage miniature by J A Dixon
7 x 7 inches
for Februllage 2020

Strike a light!

Sunday, May 31st, 2020

“Edinburgh Collage Collective would like to send a huge thank you to all the participating collage artists from around the world who have joined us for this project. Our matchbox project has attracted over 1000 submissions. It’s been a great pleasure and inspiration to receive and share all the incredible work. We have certainly seen examples of artists thinking both inside and outside the box. The exploration of the medium has resulted in a wide variety of diverse approaches and interpretations. We have seen everything from 2d flattened boxes to full blown dioramas – all taking their inspiration from the humble matchbox.”
— Rhed Fawell, E C C
 

I was inspired to compose something different for the “STRIKE A LIGHT” Matchbox Project, an open call from Edinburgh Collage Collective, which invited international collage artists to make work incorporating the matchbox as a visual starting point. It was a fun submission for me, since I rarely explore 3D collage.

The two shuttle trucks by Tootsie Toy® are from 1967. The original Union Match box (with Vincent peeking out) is one I brought back from Brussels in 1974. The whole thing was sparked by finding a tree frog.

Better not ask me to explain how my mind works. I’m still as baffled by creativity as I was when I decided, as an adolescent, that there was no possible aspiration for me other than to become a visual artist.
 

Strike a Light
photo-collage by J A Dixon
created for the #strikealight2020 project

To Make and Do

Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Things happen as we wait.
Good things to be remembered forever.

To Make and Do
collage artwork by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
(for the #findingcalmwhilewewait project)

Dreams Intensified

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

Let her hopes not be diminished.
May her aspirations be magnified.

Dreams Intensified
collage artwork by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
(for the #findingcalmwhilewewait project)

a ‘Mother’s Day / Collage Day’ weekend

Sunday, May 10th, 2020

 
“And if my own children
  should come to a day,
When a new Mother comes
  and the old goes away,
I’d ask of them nothing
  that I didn’t do.
Love both of your Mothers
  as both have loved you.”
— Joann Snow Duncanson
 

Happy Happy to all the mothers on their day of honor!

The two 10x10s I posted yesterday on Instagram are my salute to World Collage Day, an international event contrived to celebrate and boost participation in the medium. The ingredients were generously sent to me by members of the Arizona Collage Collective. Using elements not personally selected was a rewarding exercise — an opportunity to better understand the distinction between my process of spontaneous composition and choosing qualities in the subject matter itself. For those who enjoy seeing my newest work, follow “thecollageminiaturist” at Instagram, too.
 
 

When You’re Going through Hell
collage on structured panel by J A Dixon
10 x 10 x 1.5 inches, unframed
available for purchase

 

When the Going Gets Tough
collage on structured panel by J A Dixon
10 x 10 x 1.5 inches, unframed
available for purchase

The Oxidation of Reduced Elasticity

Saturday, April 18th, 2020

“While I use titles that reveal information about the work, I also seek words and phrases that can veil or obscure. I seek titles that support work, but I also seek words and terms that challenge or engage the viewer. I tend to be most satisfied when a title has a bit of mystique or tension. Interestingly, I find that as a work is coming to conclusion, and I know it is almost finished, title ideas tend to flow forth. I write down these ideas and impressions, and then go rather methodically through a decision making process until I am satisfied with a solution.”
— Jane Nodine
 

The miniature featured here was selected for the permanent collection, chosen from the seven pieces that I sent to Santa Fe for exchange. If you’re scratching your head about the titles within my overall series, I don’t blame you. The odd word combinations evolved from baking terminology (the exchange theme), fused with aspects of the prevailing public health crisis, and, to a lesser degree, visual associations with the artwork itself. I rarely find naming to be an effortless process. Every once in a while, it’s just as smoothly intuitive as creating a collage.

Something that comes more easily for me than titling is color harmony, particularly after a scheme has emerged early in the collage process. And then I find myself rejecting certain ingredients for no other reason than a balance of hues. There are always exceptions, of course. Some compositions tend to demand a “maximalist” approach that accommodates a fuller spectral array. The more complicated a composition, the greater challenge it presents in my choosing a satisfactory name for it. If the process becomes a bit too rational, the task is set aside. When I come back to it, the working title is often scrapped and something more spontaneous is the permanent choice.
 

The Oxidation of Reduced Elasticity
collage miniature by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
 
part of a series created for the
Baker’s 1/2-Dozen Collage Exchange
— acquired for the IMCAC permanent collection

The Congestion of Microcosmic Zest

Thursday, April 16th, 2020

 

The Congestion of Microcosmic Zest
collage miniature by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
 
part of a series created for the
Baker’s 1/2-Dozen Collage Exchange
— distributed in the exchange

The Absorption of Refracted Joss

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

 

The Absorption of Refracted Joss
collage miniature by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
 
part of a series created for the
Baker’s 1/2-Dozen Collage Exchange
— distributed in the exchange

The Stockpiling of Expectant Mirth

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

 

The Stockpiling of Expectant Mirth
collage miniature by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
 
part of a series created for the
Baker’s 1/2-Dozen Collage Exchange
— distributed in the exchange

The Overexposure of Stiff Peaks

Friday, April 10th, 2020

 

The Overexposure of Stiff Peaks
collage miniature by J A Dixon
8 x 10 inches
 
part of a series created for the
Baker’s 1/2-Dozen Collage Exchange
— distributed in the exchange