This trifold is one that I did for an activity hosted by the NW Collage Society. We are creating and exchanging with 60 high school students. Participating members created one or two trifolds and will receive that many in return from the high school students.
I was invited to create a piece for a show that opens next month in the Pioneer Square art gallery called Shift. Toxic Masculinity and Gender Roles is the theme of the group and solo show. Craig van den Bosch is having a solo show at the same time.
My piece is 3D but that is more obvious in person. There are many threads to my piece which include: coming out of the closet as a gay man; being raised in a society where boys are told that they should not cry; men on the down low; men struggling with racism; and the acceptance of one’s self. All the materials used in my 3D collage are recycled materials including a potato bag, tea bag strings with paper; old ephemera; dictionary pages; and old ledger pages, The show opens on March 2 and runs through April 1.
I have had a stash of partially started postcards just waiting to be finished. They are or were at the point of needing a focal point. I just did not know where they were going and as you know I frequently let the work lead me. Then all of a sudden the right pieces fell into place.
I am entering one of the spreads in this journal in the NW Collage Society Spring Show that will be at the Fogue Gallery in Georgetown, part of Seattle, beginning March 25, 2023. I had a special plexiglas holder that I designed to house it.
This is one of my favorite spreads in this shabby chic art journal. The reason being because of the happy accident that happened prior to creating it. I subscribe to The NY Times on Sundays and once each month there is a magazine section that I particularly like. I found an image of the two women on the left holding a fish. On the reverse side was a man who evidently was dancing or at least moving his body excitedly because his hair was flying. I have a bright light next to my chair where I have been doing most of my collage work. I happened to hold the image up to the light and both images were visible. So I took a photo of it and now the man is superimposed into the photo of the two women. It is pretty cool looking. Here is the photo that I took….
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend right? At least Marilyn Monroe sang that in a film and so did Carol Channing on Broadway. The colors in this spread seem pretty grey to me. That is what is fun about journaling. One can go back and work on a spread later on and make changes.
Using a part of the photo that one crops off but put aside for later use is the case here. I used the upper portion of the woman’s image in a different spread. Having the legs and feet for this one makes for an interesting addition to the spread.
“Aunt Georgia” was created in honor of Georgia O’Keeffe. March is women’s history month and I was asked to teach a workshop honoring women. My premise for the workshop was to choose a woman who had been an influencer in one’s life. I had trouble coming up with one person who I would wish to create a whole journal on. Then I got the idea of creating a journal about an artist that I love. I decided to become Georgia O’Keeffe’s nephew and created this journal about my Aunt Georgia, hence the title “Aunt Georgia”. It is a shabby chic journal.
You might have noticed that the backgrounds are dark. The last journal I shared they were white. I wish they were white. It took a very long time to import the photos into PhotoShop and to remove the dark background last time. More time than I wanted to spend. Using the tools that i know some of the actual collage would disappear when I tried removing the background. So that is why I decided to go with the way it photographed.
You might not be able to tell in the photo but there is a man behind the large square on the right. You can see him in a good light. Maybe if you enlarge the image above you will notice him.
The torn envelope to make a pocket to keep even more collages in place works really well. It is fun to make your way through the art journal and all of a sudden you come to a “envelope” of collages to pull out and look at.
Using actual letters or writings that someone wrote years ago is something that I do but not without thinking about the person who did the writing. In this case the writing is about a vacation in Idaho. The writer would never have guessed that her writing would later be included in an art journal. I wonder what she would think of that? Does it breach privacy? After all it was only meant for the intended receiver.
Usually when I work in a journal like this one I do not work consecutively. I bounce around from spread to spread. I pour through magazines and when I find something I like I tear them out. That way I have a pile of images to select from as I work. In this case I started with a packing tape transfer of roses that I liked. I adhered the transfer to the journal substrate and then went to another page and did something. When I want to use an image from my stash I audition and may audition several different pages until I feel it is the right spot. I let the work lead me. When I found the woman with the sack of potatoes on her head I had to have her in a journal. When I did the transfer I added things to the packing tape. So the original image was changed. Frequently what happens is that there is transparency and bleeding on the tape so other things show through in the transfer. I will talk more about that when we come to a better example in a few days. I love the partial envelope flap that falls down and extends the boundaries of the the journal.
I just love texture and about a month ago I paid attention to a bag of potatoes that I purchased at the grocery store. It was a plastic netting like what you see in the bottom right hand corner of the above collage. This netting became gold to me and I have now used it in several collages.
All the backgrounds in this shabby chic journal are paper made using the Citrasolv method…taking a National Geographic and applying Citrasolv to each page. It gives a fantastic result because there is an amazing interaction between the magazine ink and the chemicals in the cleaning product.