Archive for the ‘Movements’ Category

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.

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

Believing is seeing . . .

Tuesday, November 21st, 2023

“Accepting the familiar is the enemy of seeing… Seeing takes work and patience and concentration and focus otherwise we are always walking around in a fog only seeing what we think we know but not actually seeing anything at all.”
— Cecil Touchon
 

 
Although I have worked outside at entirely wild places (river palisades, for example), I seem to be drawn more to locations that have been cared for by others. To truly observe a rural setting and interpret it with found paper as a collage landscape, I need to spend hours slowing down my busy mind. I approach a kind of reverence for it as a place of evident stewardship and quiet beauty. It’s a slow-motion form of rapt attention, and I am able to see it as a fusion of natural creation with human affection. LITTER-ALLY KENTUCKY is the result.

 

Her Brother’s Barn
Boyle County, Kentucky
 
collage en plein air by J A Dixon
8 x 9.3125 inches
16 x 20 inches, framed
giclée print available

the LITTER-ALLY KENTUCKY collection

Monday, October 16th, 2023

 

Thank you for your interest in my new collection of landscapes. This original collage artwork is infused with litter to promote stewardship of natural places. Premium giclée prints are available.

 
   

   

   

   

   

Saturday, October 7th, 2023


 

My solo landscape show: “LITTER-ALLY KENTUCKY”

Sunday, September 24th, 2023

“At some point, the virtuosic construction of these works seems to fade in the mind, leaving in its wake only the images themselves: soft, somber, complicated skies worthy of Turner or Constable; rolling fields that would have attracted Thomas Hart Benton or Grant Wood.”
— Kevin Nance
 

A year after an update here about progress on my grant-supported body of new collage landscapes, I’m pleased to announce that this en plein air artwork will be revealed next month.

 
The exhibition will open on October 5 at the Woodford County Library in downtown Versailles, Kentucky, and continue through November during regular hours. The library will host an opening reception on Sunday, October 8, from 2pm until 4pm. I’ll give a gallery talk Thursday, October 12, at 6pm, and again on Saturday, November 11, at 2pm.

I’ve devoted much creative time and energy to this project over many months. Public funds have provided support and enabled me to bring a higher level of presentation to the most in-depth investigation that I’ve made into representational collage, but the endeavor could not have been possible without the hospitality of those who opened their rural places to my grateful scrutiny. Fortunately, only one person declined to grant permission for me to “paint in papers.” Everyone else was astonishingly trusting and helpful. Of course, they know who they are, and I can’t thank them enough.

The artworks that I created at locations in six Central Kentucky counties are infused with fragments of litter accumulated along local streets and roadways. The concept of using collage art to bring awareness to the ongoing problem of littering was the theme of my application for support during the aftermath of lockdowns. I received a Kentucky Artist Rescue grant from the Kentucky Arts Council with federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Since I intend to have this show travel around a bit over the coming months, I want to acknowledge the individuals in Woodford County who offered my first opportunity: Karen Kasacavage and Tommy Dennison. Leave it to a pair of helpful librarians to get me out of the starting gate! Because part of my overall effort is to engage both children and adults during the show’s run, this will be an ideal setting to carry an unconventional message about achieving a cleaner environment in the Commonwealth. With this recent body of work, I’ve repurposed the products of our “toss-it” culture as interpretations of specific natural places. My hope is to bring awareness to the role of individuals in reducing consumer waste and to promote a more conscious stewardship of the land that surrounds us.

Each of the 16 artworks (ten verticals and six horizontals) is matted and framed in the “gallery style” within a 16×20-inch proportion. In order to allow a series of showings in different counties, the originals will not be available for purchase at this time. Instead, collector-quality glicée prints of all the landscapes on display will be offered through Fine Art Editions of Georgetown, Kentucky. You are invited to visit the exhibition and attend associated events. I also will have original collage artwork for sale across the street from the library at Art Space Versailles.

As LITTER-ALLY makes its journey around Kentucky, stop back here for more information, new developments, and to dig a bit deeper into my adventure creating collage landscapes en plein air.
 
 

High Bridge Vantage
Garrard County, Kentucky
 
collage en plein air by J A Dixon
10.9375 x 7.9375 inches
20 x 16 inches, framed
giclée print available