Archive for March, 2020

Mindful of the most vulnerable

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

There is no profit in worry for something beyond one’s control. It is a time to think clearly, to focus on what one can actually affect, to be extremely inquisitive, to be self-sufficient, and to take care for the vulnerable. Here is a collage miniature that I attached to a hand-crafted card for a friend, good patron, and person of faith who is currently at high risk.

In Praise of Prayer
greeting card miniature by J A Dixon
4.8125 x 5 inches
private collection

{th ink} OBJECTEXTION

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

“I intentionally left body parts out of the composition, because as collage artists we are so prone to use them on a regular basis. This call was to have you step out of your comfort zone and try something different.”
— Aaron Beebe
 

The past century of collage history has been a steady influence on my art practice, but I find additional inspiration from a body of contemporary practitioners. Aaron Beebe is among them. I was fortunate enough to have a piece reproduced as part of his first {th ink} publication. With my heart set on getting into issue #2, I confronted the unique submission guidelines: “Must be an analog collage that contains at least one object, NO faces or body parts, and must have some kind of text within the composition.” As I prepared four separate entries, I found myself in no small part attuned to Beebe’s recognizable approach. Paul Klee said, “We do not analyze works of art because we want to imitate them or because we distrust them.” Emulation for the sake of favor? I would surely hope not. L T Holmes articulated it best during her outstanding Under the Influence series of 2013. Lalo Schifrin, while shaping his individual voice as a musician and composer, absorbed the jazz vocabulary of Dizzy Gillespie (who had been influenced by Roy Eldridge). We can all learn much from our peers. Did you see something created this week that stimulated your desire to evolve as an artist? I did.
 

     

 

     
 

Four Submissions, 2020
collage miniatures by J A Dixon
6 x 9 inches each
submitted for possible inclusion
as part of {th ink} issue #2

Februllage: how to paste a bunny

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

“The huge problem is that social media is designed to mess with our insecurities. When you post something and people like it, and a thousand people do that, it feels really good (and everybody who pretends like they are not enchanted by that is a liar), but you must not confuse that thing with real value and where you are going creatively.”
— Christoph Niemann
 

I continue to have mixed emotions about social networking formats, as do many others who use them daily. We enjoy the advantages and remain dubious about the rest (as if we even know what “the rest” means anymore). The continuous cross pollination and instant feedback across continents is unprecedented in the history of creativity. That must surely be filed under Awesome. On the other hand, the false intimacy and ubiquitous jockeying for the most visible presence on stage can be tedious. The potential for subtle exploitation, calculated abuse, and hidden subversion will be left for others to analyze.

The Instagram-centered Februllage project — coordinated by Scandinavian Collage Museum and The Edinburgh Collage Collective — ran into some parameter problems with the virtual platform last month. “Work-arounds” were devised. Because the unwelcome limitations were probably related to the massive participation, it would be reasonable to characterize the initiative as a huge success. I found it personally worthwhile to flirt with a few of season two’s catalytic “word prompts.” I wasn’t about to let “rabbit” slip by on day 27, so I combined a ruined book cover with ingredients from my bunny stash and added a minor ribbon that my dad claimed over 60 years ago during his reign as a nationally celebrated rabbit breeder. After posting an image on Instagram, I decided to revise the artwork with two additional critters and by restoring the string that I’d previously thought should be removed from the premium. The refined version is featured here.
 

Rabbit Book, 1958
collage miniature by J A Dixon
7.5 x 7.5 inches
available for purchase