Sunday, December 14, 2008

Small Works

I currently have thirteen collages on display in SCAD's annual "Small Works" exhibition at the Red Gallery, Savannah, Georgia. This juried exhibition features work by SCAD faculty, staff, students, and alumni priced at $500 and under, and measuring no larger than 18 inches. Here are images of some of the pieces I have in this year's show:

Clueless, Wordless. 2008.
ink, gouache, pastel and collage on paper, mounted on glass.

8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

Dowsing for Dummies (edit). 2008.
collage on paper, mounted on glass.

8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

Granny Smith. 2008.
collage on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

Rehab Strata. 2008.
pencil, ink, enamel, and collage on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

Writer's Block. 2008.
collage on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

Friday, November 28, 2008

New Paintings

I've taken off work this past week to both start on a large framing project (more on that later) and to also try and bash out some new paintings. So far I've finished three (they're available at my Etsy shop):

Balls to the Wall 2. 2008.
encaustic, collage, oil pastel, and ink on panel.

5 x 5 x 1-1/2"

Serpent and Halos.
encaustic, collage, ink, and enamel on panel.
5 x 5 x 1-1/2"

Black Cat. 2008.
encaustic, collage, and oil pastel on panel.
8 x 5 x 1-1/4"

Apropos to the last painting, here's U2 performing
An Cat Dubh (Gaelic for The Black Cat):

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Balls to the Wall

Here's a new encaustic painting hot out of the studio titled Balls to the Wall #1. This framed piece is made up of encaustic wax with oil pastel and xerox transfer additions, measures 5-3/8" square, and is available at my Etsy shop. I'm planning to do a series of Balls paintings - I'll post them here as they are finished.

So where does the expression "balls to the wall" come from? A 2006
article in Slate sheds some light on the subject:
Somewhat disappointingly, it has nothing to do with hammers, nails, and a particularly gruesome way of treating an enemy. The expression comes from the world of military aviation. In many planes, control sticks are topped with a ball-shaped grip. One such control is the throttle—to get maximum power you push it all the way forward, to the front of the cockpit, or firewall (so-called because it prevents an engine fire from reaching the rest of the plane). Another control is the joystick—pushing it forward sends a plane into a dive. So, literally pushing the balls to the (fire)wall would put a plane into a maximum-speed dive, and figuratively going balls to the wall is doing something all-out, with maximum effort. The phrase is essentially the aeronautical equivalent of the automotive "pedal to the metal."

It's also the title of a totally awesome 1984 song by the heavy metal band Accept. Here's the video (warning: content includes synchronized headbanging, fingerless gloves, and lost Germans wandering around a junkyard at night):

>Balls to the wall - Accept

Now if you're in need of a palette cleanser or you're unable to embrace your inner metalhead, here's Cannonball by The Breeders:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some New (old) Pieces on Etsy

Today I listed some older framed collage pieces in my Etsy store. "Second Notice" is a collage I made 24 years ago (!) and is from a series I made using scraps of paper (bills, invoices, canceled checks, receipts) that I collected from my grandparents house after they passed on. "Shroud" is a collage that I made in 1995, shortly after moving to Savannah. "Bookworm" is a piece that I started in 2001. I wasn't real happy with it so I filed it away for a couple of years and finally finished in 2006. I'm quite pleased with all three pieces, and would love to find good homes for them.

Second Notice. 1984. collage. 7-3/4 x 7-3/4 in. framed

Second Notice (detail)

Shroud. 1995. collage, shellac, graphite, and pencil. 8-3/4 x 7 in. framed.

Shroud (detail)

Bookworm. 2001-2006. collage, ink, gesso, and shellac. 8-1/4 x 7 in. framed.

Bookworm (detail)

Friday, November 7, 2008

What the Pictures Sound Like

So where do the ideas come from? It depends, but most times I try to work intuitively within a predetermined set of guidelines (specific materials, display format, size, etc.). Afterwards I may notice some connection between a finished piece and something I may have recently read, seen, or listened to. For this post I'd like to give two examples of the latter.

Planet of Sound. 2006.
collage, pastel, gouache, ink, and gesso on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

This piece sat around half-finished (the bottom half) for several months - the mirrored solid shape at the bottom center was clipped from an old geometry textbook, the form of which reminded me of an example of brutalist architecture. The piece was finally resolved when I paired the bottom half with a leftover scap from another collage for the top half. The boxy form at the top again reminded me of architecture, but with rays or beams entering (or exiting?) from a hole in the roof. Once the piece was finished I knew the title would be Planet of Sound, after the UFO-inspired song by the Pixies from their 1991 album Trompe le Monde:

Next up is a more recent piece:

Inca Dinka Doo. 2008.
collage, ink, gesso, pencil, and shellac on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

This collage is a jigsaw of leftover scraps from other projects. The trick is to both get the pieces to literally fit together (just like a jigsaw puzzle), and to balance everything visually. The completed collage reminded me of a wall of Inca masonry (see photo below), which then lead to the title for the piece, which I cribbed (and bastardized) from the old Jimmy Durante chestnut, Inka Dinka Doo.

Inca stone wall (photo courtesy flickr)

Due to copyright restrictions I couldn't find a video of Durante performing Inka Dinka Doo. However, here's Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Dean Martin performing Inka Dinka Doo as part of a Durante tribute on The Frank Sinatra Timex Show, October 19, 1959 (it's a long clip well worth watching; the song starts at around 2:20):

Finally - just to show how everything's related, here's Jimmy Durante performing In Outer Space (We're Going UFOing):

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Encaustic Collage

I've spent some time in last month or so experimenting with encaustic painting in preparation for an encaustic collage workshop I hosted as part of SCAD's annual Art Materials Trade Show. It's an interesting medium to work in - the main elements are wax and heat. The process is well suited for collage because you can embed materials such as paper and cloth between the layers of wax, and you can easily transfer xeroxed images onto the tacky wax surface. Here are some examples of what I've been making (the first two pieces are available on Etsy):

Building Blocks. 2008.
encaustic, oil pastel, and collage on panel.
6-1/2 x 6-1/2"

Aviary. 2008.
encaustic and collage on panel.

4-1/2 x 4-1/2"

Not Titled. 2008.
encaustic, oil pastel, and collage on panel.
6-1/2 x 6-1/2 in.

These paintings are now available at ShopSCAD (with the exception of Aviary, which was purchased on Etsy).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Viewfinder Photography

A few weeks ago I saw this post on Boing Boing linking to a Flickr pool of digital photos taken through the viewfinders of old cameras. A week or so later I bought an old Argoflex 75 twin lens reflex camera on ebay which finally arrived a few days ago. So, this weekend I spent a few hours adapting it to take photos through the viewfinder using our digital camera, and took a few outdoor shots with my "new" camera:

This is the camera after I removed the top viewfinder covering
and super-glued the lens back into place.

Here's a photo of the camera, along with the hood I made out of
black foam board to hold the digital camera in place.

A view of the camera with the handmade adapter.
The lens of the digital camera fits into the circular hole at the top.

Here's a view looking down through the top of the adapter to the viewfinder of the camera.
The digital camera focuses on the image shown in the viewfinder.

Here's some test shots I took today in our back yard:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

More New Items on Etsy

I've listed some more new items on my Etsy store, including several pieces made of fragments of old lantern slides. Click on pictures below for links to each item.

Update (11/7/2008):
The first item is now available for purchase at ShopSCAD (the other pieces have been purchased on Etsy).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New Items on Etsy

I have listed several new collage magnets on my Etsy store. Each collage is made of all original vintage stuff (nothing is scanned or digitally manipulated), so every piece is unique. Click on pictures below for link to each item.

Update (11/7/2008):
These items are now available for purchase at ShopSCAD.

Friday, August 1, 2008


PBN-INRI. 2008.
crayon and oil pastel on vellum.
16 x 13 in.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


PBN-INRI (x4). 2008.
crayon on vellum. 36 x 29 in.

Well, after going through several china markers I've finally finished the drawing I started back in April. I think I'm happy with how it came out. Next step is to build a frame for it.

Monday, July 14, 2008


Borderline. 2007.
collage and crayon on paper, mounted on glass.
8-1/4 x 7-1/2 in. (framed)

This is from a continuing series of small collages that are mounted on glass. I find that the glass acts as an effective framing device for the small scale (2-3/4 x 2 in.) of each collage. I guess I've made about 50 of these over the past 3-4 years, many of which are available for purchase at ShopSCAD. The debate over US/Mexico border security was in the news around the time I was making this piece.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Riptide. 1998
collage, ink, enamel, and pencil on paper.
3-5/8 x 4 in.

This is from a series that made use of collaged diagrams taken from a handbook on sailboat racing (see upper center, with directional arrows). The swimming figure at the right was clipped from a Korean children's textbook.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

New Work

Greeting (Double Halos). 2008.
ink, pencil, crayon, and collage on paper.

4 x 3-1/4 in.

Aqua Halo. 2008.
ink, charcoal, gesso, and collage on paper.
4 x 3-1/4 in.

Two new collages completed this week. I'm getting close to finishing the large Crucifixion drawing that I started in April - will post pictures as soon as I finish.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Starry Night

Starry Night. 2006.
collage on glass. 4 x 3-1/4 inches

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Duo (Gone)

Duo (Gone). 2001.
collage, ink, pastel, gesso, and pencil on paper.
4 x 2-3/4 inches.

This is a collage that I started in the spring of 2001. Although it lacked a distinct focal point I thought it might be finished - the collaged elements seemed to carry enough visual weight to create a convincing space, and the map fragment and center horizon line implied a sense of geography and strata. I filed it away in a drawer and went on to work on other projects.

I added two smudged pencil marks.
It was enough.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kym and Edgar

Sweet Dreams Mr. Poe. 2006.
Beads, thread, found objects, soil, inkjet on paper, glass, cellophane, photo transfers and canvas.

There is a brief article about Kym's recent exhibition at Savannah's Pinnacle Gallery in the Spring 2008 edition of The Edgar Allan Poe Review, published by The Poe Studies Association. The article discusses two of Kym's Poe-related works, Pillow (Nevermore) and Sweet Dreams Mr. Poe.

Pillow (Nevermore). 2006.
Beads, thread, photo transfers, doll hair, hair, silk flowers, graphite, cotton batting, lace and fabric.