Archive for May, 2013

Disinclination be damned

Friday, May 31st, 2013

“We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination.”
— Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Like most collage artists, I usually don’t know immediately if what I’m producing “works.” Nevertheless, one has to buy into one’s process and trust that fruit is born through “stick-to-itiveness.” With diligence and a bit of perspective, it’s always possible to sort out the promising threads of creative direction. When they come into focus, keep moving. When they don’t, keep moving anyway.
 

Partners in Crime
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4.5 x 6.25 inches
 
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Remember . . .

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Dixon_Remember

 
 

Two more tribute miniatures

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Some collage artworks spring spontaneously from a random juxtaposition, a mental picture, or the way various ingredients coalesce. Others are sparked by thoughts about an individual. The first example below was a tribute to Zach Collins, one of the more prolific American collage artists whose work is also consistently innovative. The second piece is dedicated to a couple of guys I know who both had birthdays this past week. One is a friend, and the other is family.
 

Blind the Mocking Eye
collage miniature by J A Dixon
5 x 5 inches
 
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Sufficient Alacrity
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4.875 x 6.875 inches
 
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Mystery Solved ~ details

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

For the full viewing experience, one can never get too close to a collage, but this opinion from a person so enamored with the miniature probably comes as no surprise. When I create a larger piece, lessons learned from the small format have a strong bearing on my approach. As a concluding exercise to hone compositional awareness, it is beneficial to discover croppings that can stand successfully on their own. Before Mystery Solved left the studio, it was interesting to visually isolate six square miniatures, just to see if they might capture in microcosm the essence of the parent design.
 

A ‘Jack of Diamonds’ was too visually outstanding
at first and had to be massaged into balance.

I enjoy creating a montage of linguistic symbols,
but “a-l-e” was accidental (or perhaps subliminal;
one never really knows with collage).

Integration through color: photo of butterfly
specimen + ticket stub + magazine scrap.

Juxtaposition: illustration from an exotic soap
wrapper + book engraving + photo of flower.

The interesting effect of a raised panel: the
illusion of depth versus actual dimensionality.

From diverse sources: combining ingredients
that seem to have always belonged together.

Thanks again for looking. Please share your thoughts, suggestions, or constructive criticism (frankly, our medium of collage always needs a healthy dose of it).

On giving it away . . .

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

“Giving is an energy that not only helps others but creates even more for the person who is doing the giving. This is a natural law that is true regardless of whether the person who is giving wants or even realizes what is occurring. Any success you have is despite your lack of giving, not because of it. The universe knows what it is doing. Everything you give away will return. With interest!”
— Richard Carlson

Once every two years, I contribute a work to our local arts scholarship fundraising effort. As a fine artist, I limit my charitable involvement to a single event out of numerous worthwhile causes. Creatives have to be very discerning about this type of thing, because, as others have pointed out, organizations have an insatiable appetite for donations of art and the phenomenon is out of control. It is up to each individual to find the proper balance of self-interest and generosity. My suggestion: keep it small, infrequent, and close to home.
 
Mystery Solved ~ J A Dixon

Mystery Solved
collage on canvas by J A Dixon
16 x 16 inches, collection of J Morgan

Dearest Mother

Sunday, May 12th, 2013

Happy Happy to my “Mombo” on her day!
I love you forever . . .
 

Dearest Mother
collage miniature by J A Dixon
3.5 x 7 inches, collection of V E Dixon

 

Questionable Femininity

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

 

Questionable Femininity
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4.5 x 6.5 inches, collection of M Higgins

Compliments of the Haus

Saturday, May 4th, 2013

“We don’t critique a gift. We don’t worry about its technical qualities or how its built. We don’t want metrics on our gifts. When we get a gift, it makes us feel something. Gifts tap into our sometimes irrational emotions and move us. We don’t question it. We simply give thanks.”
— Jarrett Fuller

Yesterday was my nephew’s birthday, so I produced the customary personal miniature as a greeting card cover image. Many of these creations are so idiosyncratic as to be virtually unexplainable (not that a collage needs any explanation in the first place, of course). Long have I found the personal miniature to be one of the most enticing of art forms. It begins with a pleasant agenda — engage the unique personality of the intended recipient — yet it offers profound opportunities for wild departures, because one already knows that the result will be met with joy and high regard by the primary observer. Much could be written about this subject and the history of artists as gift-givers. Any creative person will undoubtedly appreciate what I mean by this.

Here are a few more cards from my archives:
 

A Furious Struggle
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of B C Adkins

Gravitational Familiarity
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of S Lister

Solar Deliberation
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of J M Menke

Organic Potential
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of C Dixon

Compliments of the Haus
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of H Coomer