Archive for the ‘Artists/Collage’ Category

Collage outside stands on painting.

Monday, June 24th, 2024

“I think you have to know more than what is current and ‘hot,’ to use a loathsome word. You have to be familiar with the foundation of the work and understand it’s what you’re standing on.”
— Mike Nichols


My recent outing to Shaker Village involved a different approach to collage landscape when I made two detailed sketches first, with the intent to tear and glue paper on top of it. I have a keen interest in the fact that those who developed collage as a modern art considered themselves painters. I keep pushing to use paper outside with that foundation in mind. Partly due to my added preliminary time, I was disappointed in the degree of progress for the day. The second start with a more architectural emphasis will be put on hold. I would like to return to this exact spot. I may decide to finish the sheep enclosure rapidly in the studio (to preserve the overall impression and to retain its designation as a plein air artwork by staying within the 50/50 allocation of time), but it might be more desirable to go back and complete it on site. We shall see.

Sheep Enclosure, Shaker Village (interim stage)
collage en plein air by J A Dixon
12.5 x 5.875 inches

Catharsis series extends itself

Wednesday, June 12th, 2024

My third rule of collage: Intuition is worthy of your trust.

Taken to fruition, a catharsis of the unconscious is always a possibility with this medium. And so, my peculiar series continues in a thought-provoking manner.

From Their Special Place

Wednesday, June 5th, 2024

“We are part and parcel of the big plan of things. We are simply instruments recording in different measure our particular portion of the infinite. And what we absorb of it makes for character, and what we give forth, for expression.”
— Rockwell Kent

I returned to historic Caldwell Farm to coordinate an “Art Out” for the Plein Air Artists of Central Kentucky (PAACK). When I suitably had met my few obligations for the day, I went alone toward the heart of the acreage to locate a spot that the owners refer to as the “Special Place.” Along a well-tended pathway, near a quiet watershed, I set up my makeshift plein air collage rig. From that perspective, I sought to interpret in papers a far-off cluster of corn cribs and structures that once served as the focus of an innovative cattle-raising operation. Two different angles of this agricultural configuration previously had become part of my LITTER-ALLY KENTUCKY collection.

I found myself simplifying, simplifying. Paper demands it, of course, but also I had hoped to touch the essence of the early summer scene — a moody sky, the limited palette of buildings, plus an expanse of new corn, barely above the soil. Representational collage, if anything, must be about expression, not craft. What one is blessed to take away from contact with the fusion of nature, ingenuity, and intentional affection is left to individual receptivity. Being a so-called artist is not necessary to reap the potential benefits of experiencing rural beauty.


From Their Special Place
collage en plein air by J A Dixon
9 x 7.625 inches
available for purchase

Make Your Mark

Saturday, June 1st, 2024


Make Your Mark
collage on reclaimed canvas by J A Dixon
26.5 x 26.5 inches

April Burst

Wednesday, May 8th, 2024

“Confidence comes not from always being right, but from not fearing being wrong.”
— Peter McIntyre

It has been too “moist” this week for me to make art with paper outside, so I did my studio finish to the collage that I had started at a previous Art Out. Whether or not it is apparent to others, I try to do something different each time, an interpretation or radical ingredient choice that causes discomfort at first. I think it’s important to momentarily frighten myself. Then I know that I might be breaking new ground.


April Burst
collage en plein air by J A Dixon
Plein Air Artists of Central Kentucky

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

My solo show of collage landscapes is back on display — this time at the Eastside Branch of the Lexington Public Library. The exhibition lasts from May 1 to June 30 — Palumbo Drive at Man O War Boulevard.

Tiny PaperScape

Tuesday, April 30th, 2024

This small paper landscape was created for an Art Center of the Bluegrass “tiny art” fundraiser, and if you know who selected it, please let her know that I will be more than happy to add a signature. Participants in this annual event are asked to submit the miniature piece unsigned. Click here for my guiding attitude about art donations.

Tiny Paperscape
collage miniature by J A Dixon
6 x 6 inches

IMCAC Collage Exchange  ~  Warfare Series

Saturday, April 27th, 2024


The recent Baker’s Half Dozen Collage Exchange sparked a new series of miniatures that quickly took on a warfare theme. Now to see which one the Museum retains for its permanent collection.


My eleven-part Warfare Series originated with no conscious intent nor anticipated interpretation and potentially serves as a kind of “collage rorschach.” Images that personify both the greatest evil and the highest good have always found inclusion in my collage artwork from time to time. This kind of art is very different than my representational collage, although both are based on re-using and manipulating found paper that has little, if any, intrinsic value. Juxtaposing the detritus of our culture within this practice offers creative choices about what to use and what to ignore. I continue to be interested in the complex relationship between spontaneity, intuitive judgment, and subjective awareness.

Capturing an Arcadian Sky

Monday, March 25th, 2024

“I have learned to expect nothing of the weather
but what it gives us.”
— Rockwell Kent

Last September at nearby Arcadia Farm, I fell under the spell of a horizon and stuck with the mood of early-morning clouds for the rest of the session. With the prevailing heat, other members of the PAACK may have been praying for more breeze, but I was grateful for hours of no wind. I wasn’t even using clothespins! I wanted to interpret the viewscape as that huge land grant might’ve looked to the original Shelby family in the 1700s. Although pleased with the result that I took home, I knew I wanted to make studio additions at the base of the artwork before declaring it ready for a signature. And so here we are, March of 2024. As I look ahead to a new season of taking collage outside, it made sense to finally complete the studio refinements on one of my favorite landscapes from 2023.


Arcadian Sky
collage en plein air by J A Dixon
11.375 x 7.875 inches
available to collectors

Unprotected Speech

Friday, March 22nd, 2024

Unprotected Speech by John Andrew Dixon, collage artist from Danville, Kentucky

Unprotected Speech
collage catharsis by J A Dixon
6.75 x 8.875 inches
available to collectors

Dreaming of Wind Harbor

Tuesday, February 27th, 2024

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.”
— Carl Sandburg

Today’s featured artwork is a studio collage landscape inspired by a dream and finished from imagination. I believe it was triggered by a combination of time spent outside observing earth, sky, and water, with the natural reservoir of so-called talent cultivated from childhood.

Dream-inspired images are rare creatures for me, but I grab one when it emerges. More often than not, my waking imagination falls short when trying to capture it. Over the years, I’ve had more success in that line coming up with graphic design concepts than I have with artistic impressions. It probably has something to do with how my subconscious responds to an explicit problem-solving setup, in contrast to more undefined visual images (which in my dreams tend to be preposterously complicated and nearly impossible to retain).

As happened when I shared this image elsewhere, I have often received the remark, “You’re so talented.” Many artists have heard this, too, and would relate to my mentioning it. I usually respond by saying something like this: talent alone goes stagnant early on if an individual doesn’t develop it with a life of effort and follow through. I appreciate what these people mean and their sincere intent to praise, but they usually don’t grasp the full picture. A refined trust in intuition is often mistaken for talent, but actual talent is a creation of the Universal Source. Artistic talent, intellectual talent, empathic talent, athletic talent — there is no difference, because we all get our start with some kind of talent as a divine inheritance. For some of us, it might’ve been more obvious (especially if we liked to show off for others). How many “talented” young athletes are age-group champions into later life? How many “talented” young musicians or dancers become professional performers with the respect of their peers? There you have it. Any talent can be lost without the effort and stick-to-it mindset that overcomes challenges and builds effective skills and attitudes. And make no mistake about it — such acquired discipline comes from God, too, so let’s give proper credit and keep working!


Wind Harbor
collage on canvas panel by J A Dixon
studio landscape from dream / imagination
14 x 11 inches
available for purchase