Archive for August, 2020

Sixth Chapter: A virtual field trip for youngsters . . .

Saturday, August 22nd, 2020

 

 
“You can decide that you want your art to be very close, exacting, and faithful to the scene, or you can just let nature charge your imagination, and you just go from there.”
from our video “ridealong”
 

It turned out to be one of the more memorable days of the summer — not just another opportunity to take my collage making to a natural place, but a collaborative effort with my friend Brandon Long from Art Center of the Bluegrass. Responding to the new demands of the era, he was in the middle of organizing a virtual field trip to dovetail with our annual En Plein Air exhibition. He wants to encourage youngsters to create collage artwork out of doors, so he asked me if I would be the subject of a short video. Our local PAACK had already scheduled an event at Central Kentucky Wildlife Refuge, but, with the likelihood of rain, the gathering had been postponed earlier that morning. Brandon and I felt lucky, and we pushed ahead with the outing anyway. We were successful in avoiding the poison ivy and pulling off our little production at the edge of Island Pond. Not much later, a thunderstorm sent me skedaddling beneath a nearby shelter. Somehow, I came away with a good start on a miniature that I could finish in the studio. My goal has always been to spend less time with the indoor follow-up than I spend on location. Sometimes it happens, but usually I need a 50/50 time ratio between site and studio to bring something to a satisfactory resolution. There are artists who would not consider that a legitimate plein-air solution. It’s a standard limitation that we use for our Central Kentucky group. At any rate, I find the entire process to be personally rewarding. If I keep doing this, I think that basically I’ll get to where I can complete something in the field. Meanwhile, the challenge is to “paint with paper,” capturing the essence of a viewscape on site, and then to avoid messing that up with my finishing touches.

Creating Collage “En Plein Air”

 

Before a Storm
plein air collage miniature by J A Dixon
50% /50% — site to studio
7.5 x 7.8125 inches
available for purchase

Final Line

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

As the full impact of navigating a declaration of pandemic struck everyone in early 2020, there was an activity that offered the sense of continuity many of us needed and a behavior that provided the social distancing all of us were expected to fulfill — a new season of creating artwork en plein air which allowed us to experience nature directly as an individual. In retrospect, I found it to be a profound source of consolation in a period of unprecedented disruption.

The first PAACK “art out” that I joined this year was a day at Perryville Battlefield, considered one of the most pristine sites where a Civil War conflict took place. There was a distinct awkwardness in the air when we met at the gathering point, but everybody soon shrugged it off and dispersed to scout locations. I found an appealing view of a hilltop and tree line off Oscar Bradley Road. A marker designated the location as where the final line of Union troops overlooked a strategic crossroads. I took a softer, more abstract approach with torn paper than I previously had. Perhaps it was something to do with a clear impression of being on hallowed ground. I left with a solid interim piece of work and strong feelings that went beyond artistic gratification. It didn’t take much follow through in the studio to complete this one to my satisfaction.
 
 
Final Line ~ plein air collage miniature by J A Dixon

Final Line
plein air collage miniature by J A Dixon
65% /35% — site to studio
7 x 7.0625 inches
available for purchase

Forgot to Quit (diptych 25-17)

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020

 

Forgot to Quit (diptych 25-17)
collage miniatures by J A Dixon
1.9375 x 1.9375 inches each
left square | right square
available for purchase
 
< back to the comprehensive page of collage diptychs

Forgot to Hold Her (diptych 23)

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

 

Forgot to Hold Her (diptych 23)
collage miniatures by J A Dixon
1.9375 x 1.9375 inches each
left square | right square
available for purchase
 
< back to the comprehensive page of collage diptychs