Archive for the 'S Tapley' Category

Still Life with Peony Tulips

Monday, October 11th, 2021

“We think of the things we own and use as defining us in some way, but that can only be true if we first describe the things. Describing is a remarkable human act. It connects our inner and outer experience: as we observe and record the material world, we respond and reflect. We enter the realm where the material world meets the imagination. That’s the fertile ground of art.”
– Sheldon Tapley
 

I created this artwork for The Object Seen: Contemporary Still Life, current exhibition at Art Center of the Bluegrass in Danville. The juror was Sheldon Tapley, masterful painter, draftsman, and Stodghill Professor of Art at Centre College. I received a 2nd-place ribbon and cash prize. The honor came as a surprise, since I don’t consider myself a practitioner or student of still life as an art form. I have, however, looked deeply at artwork made by Sheldon and those who are. The arms-length quality of modern still life has compelled my close scrutiny for many years. Given that influence, I brought to the genre what I’ve discovered by “painting with paper” from direct observation (the long sweep of art history hovering somewhere outside my conscious awareness, with its rich tradition of artists tackling visual cornacopias of objects and edible fare). I decided to interpret a tabletop group of objects from raw material, rather than assemble a conventional collage composition from found images.

Please view a video clip of the juror’s remarks about my artwork.

The peony tulip blossoms were created en plein air in a local flower garden. The small “still life within a still life” was commenced and partially finished from a setup of actual objects. I relied on photo reference for the rest. Ingredients include colored paper (printed and unprinted), wallpaper, ruined book parts, tissue, reclaimed tea bags, string, and a dried leaf, plus minimal use of walnut juice, burnt coffee, tinted paste, and marker-ink edging. Adhesives include wheat paste, acrylic matte medium, and white glue.

 

Still Life with Peony Tulips
collage on salvaged canvas
18 x 23.75 inches
available for purchase

•  Second Place Prize

Various and Sundry Scraps ~ No.2

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

Collage is painting, so Cinta can inform and inspire collage.
Many of us wanted to stow ourselves in Teri’s art-supply case.
I’ve lost count of all the things I admire about Sheldon’s artistry.
Cecil: The “spectacularness” of the harmony of all things.
The opposite of collage — two solid hours of Wesley at work.

My thanks to everyone who created these featured videos.

Diamonds in the Rough ~ details

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

Collage for me is always an intimate viewing experience. You may find me with spectacles off and nose pressed near to the surface of any example within the medium. The scale of Diamonds in the Rough enhances the contrast between an up-close scrutiny and a step-back regard for the entire effect. With a large piece like this, I also enjoy visually cropping areas to create a series of virtual collage miniatures.
 

This micro view accentuates the ingredient elements, as in a collage miniature.
Visually, larger works are less ingredient centric, but still rely on their qualities.

I think my imagination would never tire of working with diagonals.
What is it about the diamond or the triangle that engages my mind’s eye?

This is one of my favorite areas within the total artwork.
Oddly, the legs and hands resonate with the Tapley drawing in the exhibition.

The composition’s focal center projects from the surrounding forms.
It differs energetically from the outer areas of structural perpendicularity.

To regularly bestow a new purpose on found material . . .
Without fear of contradiction, one could say that I am hooked.

The essence of collage is the contrast of the mundane and sublime.
At any rate, this is often how I perceive it.

WH—WHO’S THERE? (Look closely: Milt Caniff, that’s who.)
Somebody saw this as an homage to Roy, but Kurt used comics first.

A collage can rest divertingly upon layers of symbolic meaning.
Or it can be simply the harmonious resolution of aesthetic factors.

The dynamics of complementarity. (Is that a real word?)
More than one astute eye discovered my warm-cool “horizon.”

Composing with shape, color, contrast, rhythm, dimension.
At times, it need be about nothing more than that.

This image isolates a microcosm of the whole effect.
Are my larger works just a aggregation of collage miniatures?

Thanks for looking. Let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is encouraged at this site. To be honest, the medium of collage needs a bit more of it.

First exhibition of 2013

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

“What makes a painting meaningful is the spectacle of the ordinary content living together with the equally important life of the picture plane and the unity of the whole surface.”
— Gillian Pederson Krag

It pleases me to say that my most recent large-scale artwork will be on display and available for purchase as part of an invitational exhibition now hanging in my hometown.

NEW YEAR NEW ART ~ Community Arts Center, Danville, Kentucky
January 2 to 26, 2013 ~ Reception: January 10, 6–8 pm

The invitation to participate is an honor for two reasons. It is always good for one to know that local people appreciate collage, especially the more esoteric kind. Even more humbling is to be included among some truly outstanding Kentucky artists, such as Sheldon Tapley, Helene Steene, Kathleen O’Brien, and Marianna McDonald. I’m looking forward to the reception this Thursday. Mayor Steven Connelly of nearby Berea will speak on the powerful effect the arts can have on local economies. According to Programming Director Brandon Long, the intention is to showcase “fresh, new art that has the kind of excitement and energy of artists who know their work will go on display.” Many of the diverse works were created specifically for the exhibition, and that includes mine. Everything accepted had to have been executed since September.

Diamonds in the Rough is a composite of panels and stretchers. It is my latest effort to free collage from behind glass and approach the medium in a manner similar to the painted surface that stands on its own. I also departed from my typical rectilinear format, yet sought to maintain the type of perpendicularity that I frequently exploit for a unified structure. As usual, the color balance of found material plays a vital role in my overall composition. The lineage of the collage miniature is strong here. In fact, nearly everything I do to produce a major work comes from what I have learned from the small-format approach. This recognition is not meant in any way to devalue the miniature. I would hope that you have come to know my penchant well enough by now to appreciate that.

The next entry will include some detail crops and perhaps a few remarks about the process, too.
 
Diamonds in the Rough ~ J A Dixon

Diamonds in the Rough
collage construction by J A Dixon
36 x 36 inches
available for purchase