Archive for December, 2015

Order of the Janus

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

 
Order of the Janus ~ a collage miniature on recycled book cover by John Andrew Dixon

Order of the Janus
collage on book cover by J A Dixon
9.75 x 7.125 inches
 
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Continuing the Bibelot Series

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

 
Yule (Bibelot 001) ~ collage miniature by John Andrew Dixon ~ part of the Bibelot Series of collage artworks

Yule (Bibelot 001)
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4 x 5.5 inches
(currently on consignment)
 
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A Most Merry Merry!

Friday, December 25th, 2015

 

collage greeting card by John Andrew Dixon

Ho Ho Hosanna
collage miniature by J A Dixon
private collection

Tender and Wild

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

“Art, in itself, is an attempt to bring order out of chaos.”
– Stephen Sondhiem

I was in the “Seasonal Zone,” listening to music and making a batch of hand-made greetings and collage miniatures. I began to recycle Christmas cards from previous years, and I had the idea of trying to visually merge two different but similar images. Nothing seemed to go right as my technique played out. One cannot anticipate nor contrive the “fortunate accidents” inherent in the medium. The resulting effect reminds me of an aging fresco, as if an artist had painted a Madonna and Child over another, with the decay of time and weather taking over. I rarely think too much about these things in process, with reflection arriving later. I especially enjoy when others make observations and symbolic associations of their own. Overall, I think my sweet obsession with collage may be about trying to bring some kind of harmony out of the sense of disorder that pervades much of modern perception, although I should hesitate to generalize about my personal state of being and apply it to the world.

a Christmas collage experiment by John Andrew Dixon

Tender and Wild
collage miniature by J A Dixon
7 x 9.5 inches
private collection

Collage experiments as gift art

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

“Man himself is mute, and it is the image that speaks. For it is obvious that the image alone can keep pace with nature.”
— Boris Pasternak

I have come to the point where nearly all of my December gifts are hand-crafted items, many of which feature experimental images of one sort or another. Some end up being studies for larger works. Shown below are a couple of little artifacts that have resulted so far from my lead-up to the holidays — examples of how gift art can hover between descriptive categories. Both are more than greeting-card covers, but not advanced enough to be called true collage miniatures. Intrinsic value is always a matter of opinion, but, at any rate, people usually appreciate being invited into the artistic process.
 
collage artifact by John Andrew Dixon  collage artifact by John Andrew Dixon

two small, year-end gifts
collage artifacts by J A Dixon
(click to view larger)

Lucid Nativity

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

“Self-consciousness is the enemy of all art, be it acting, writing, painting, or living itself, which is the greatest art of all.”
– Ray Bradbury

All collage artists appropriate and harness the previous creative expenditures of countless others — photographers, sculptors, paper chemists, illustrators, product designers, typographers. This is true for even the most abstract practitioners, but certainly for those of us who find and work with representational scrap. I cannot help but notice that images born of religious intent have increasingly found a place within my collage artworks, and I have decided that I shall not be self-conscious about it. There is never a goal of irony, sarcasm, or disdain. The imagery just seems to “belong.” Perhaps, for me, it is an attempt to balance the darkness of chaos with an element of the sublime. Within the spatial montage, or within myself? I may have to think about that a bit more.

Lucid Nativity ~ a conventional, hand-made collage miniature by John Andrew Dixon, an artist in Danville, Kentucky

Lucid Nativity
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4.5 x 6.25 inches
 
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Core Memories

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

“Before I can discard the verse, I have to write it… I can’t discard a verse before it is written because it is the writing of the verse that produces whatever delights or interests or facets that are going to catch the light. The cutting of the gem has to be finished before you can see whether it shines.”
– Leonard Cohen

I admire many of the more prolific collage artists — Kroll, Rose, Bealy, Tidwell, Flowers, Collins, to name only a few — but there can be a significant contrast between “work ethic” and the contrived productivity made trendy by social networking. It was interesting when Plowman was climbing the mountain of “Collage A Day.” Now one has to pass the corpses being stacked beside the route up the peak. Most of us can tell the difference between a display of ongoing professionalism and the indiscriminate output of those with a high need for public approval. That being said, someone who is a blogger on “all things collage” might carelessly tread into the latter while neglecting the former. If I do, or if this site lapses into pretension, I challenge you to call me on it. Please. Nevertheless, we should all keep in mind that the nature of the medium invites the floating of one’s work for an appropriate give-and-take interaction. Offering intuition and spontaneity free rein means that often we can be too close to the culminating artifact to perceive many of the symbolic connections or nuanced associations, and that takes feedback. It may take other sets of eyes to tell us whether the gem sparkles or not. Our handy interweb makes it easy to lavish “likes” on one another in lieu of the genuine constructive criticism we require to fortify our studio rituals. Are we finally ready to move past mutual thumbs-upping and to become more candid with each other?

Core Memories ~ collage miniature by John Andrew Dixon

Core Memories
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4.875 x 7 inches
 
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