Archive for May, 2014


Saturday, May 31st, 2014

“Design is moving an existing condition to a preferred one.”
— Milton Glaser

I attended the first Great American Brass Band Festival in 1990 with my wife and partner, Dana, the same summer that we relocated our home-based design business to Danville, Kentucky. Big portions of the previous year had been spent apart, as I developed business contacts in Central Kentucky while she held the fort at our studio in Dayton, Ohio. That inaugural Festival was an opportunity to spend time together in downtown Danville, and the ambiance of that weekend supported all that we were discovering about our new home community. We have been devoted fans of the Festival ever since, and it is now impossible for us to imagine a June in Danville without world-class brass music within walking distance. After that first Festival, my capabilities as a graphic designer and lettering artist came to the attention of the organizers. I have since worked closely with them on establishing the visual identity of the event and creating designs for nine commemorative posters.

The 25th Great American Brass Band Festival will be held next weekend, and I shall be signing posters at the kick-off Gallery Hop Stop. Coming up with a suitable theme for this year’s poster was a challenge. We recognized that the milestone 25th Festival demanded a visual approach that would pay bold tribute to its heritage. No single aspect would do that, so I built a montage of images to salute the key elements of the Festival: the musicians, the parade, the picnic, the patriotism, the balloons, the fireworks, and the long history of enthusiasm for brass. With a quarter century of photography on file, it was a tough editing task. The result is a colorful, celebratory design intended to bring a smile to the face of every fan of the event.

The visual montage and the traditional collage are close cousins, and both techniques inform the other in my work as a fine and applied artist. The blurred boundary between graphic illustration and fine-art collage — conventional and digital — is an intriguing subject that I shall explore from time to time at this site. Please stop back here again (and do drop in at the Community Arts Center on Thursday evening, 5:30 to 7 pm, if you are in the Danville area).

Celebrating 25 Years
commemorative poster design by J A Dixon
available for purchase


Saturday, May 24th, 2014


collage miniature by J A Dixon
4 x 5 inches
collection of R W Breidenbach


Saturday, May 17th, 2014


collage miniature by J A Dixon
4 x 4 inches
Purchase this artwork!

An end is perhaps the beginning

Saturday, May 10th, 2014

“What the Color Field painters shared most importantly with the Abstract Expressionists was the conviction that the role of art was not to report on the visible, but to reveal the unknown. They shared too, the belief that paintings that resembled nothing preexisting could have the presence, authority and associative richness of other real things in the world.”
— Karen Wilkin

I began my Bibelot Series by recalling to mind the lost treasures of George Headley. With this 13th miniature, I am wondering if the meditation may have reached its culmination. The primary reason centers on the changes that occurred with my process while creating this most recent composition. Because I find myself thinking less about the precious fabrications that provided the initial inspiration and more about the aesthetic qualities of the artifact manifesting before me, the connection to the Headley works have diminished enough for me to consider whether or not the transition to a new investigation is taking place. The color and abstract relationships inherent in an evolving collage surface seem to exist for their own sake, rather than as an homage to other artistic ideas, and point to a deeper reality. What comes next? As a student of American History, the number 13 has never felt unlucky to me. We shall see what follows.

Spy (Bibelot 848)
collage miniature by J A Dixon
4 x 5.5 inches
Purchase this artwork!

Happy Birthday, NB . . .

Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

“I am really not famous enough to have a cottage industry devoted to my identity theft.”
— Brendan Adkins

My sincere greetings to the man behind the curtain at, the domain that brings you The Collage Miniaturist. NB stands for ‘Nephew Brendan,’ the multi-talented, multi-skilled, multi-identitied creative force who somehow manages to keep one of my feet near the leading edge of online communication. You can read his stories, hear his voice, unfollow his tweets, or simply join me today as I tip my hat to his magnanimity. There… Do you think that will get me invited to his birthday party? And can anyone please tell me whether or not the Oregon Boundary Dispute has been settled?

Untitled (NB)
collage miniature by J A Dixon
collection of B C Adkins