Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Experiments In Collage III


I hope that you can join me for my third online collage workshop. It will begin on January 11th and continue through February 22nd. Sign up soon because the course fills quickly. Enrollment is limited.
 
Experiments In Collage:  A six-week online course taught by Randel Plowman.
Collage is the art of taking something old and making it new. Through fragmenting, combining, and recontextualizing, images can be transformed and given new meaning. The goal of this online course is to familiarize participants with various techniques and approaches to creating successful collages. This six-week course includes 8 projects with online studio demonstrations using various techniques. Those signing up can watch exclusive online videos, share their work on the group site and comment on others work. Space is limited for each session so sign up early.                                    
The course will start January 11th and run through February 22nd
The cost for the entire six-week course is $120. 
Things you must have when taking this online course
  • computer
  • image editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP. (GIMP is a free download for Mac and Windows computers.
  • internet connection
  • scanner or digital camera
  • inkjet printer
  • some skills using social media tools such as Facebook and Flickr etc.

Please click on image to enlarge

  Video demonstrations will be broadcast each Saturday at 1pm cst and will also be available to watch anytime after that on the course website.  
A complete list of materials will be sent to you after signing up for the course.
Randel Plowman received his B.F.A. from Northern Kentucky University and his M.F.A. from University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has exhibited in solo and juried exhibitions throughout the United States; in addition, his work appears in many public and private collections in North America and abroad, his work has been cited in numerous publications, including The New York Times and USA Today; been featured in How Design magazine, Artist Magazine, Somerset Studio and Studio Apprentice. He is the author of two books, Masters: Collage, and The Collage Workbook: How To Get Started And Stay Inspired, voted Best Art Instruction Book of 2012 by the Library Journal. 
For more information about this online course please contact me at: randelplowman@hotmail.com
$120 for full 6-week course.
A complete list of materials will be sent to you after signing up for the course.

$120 for full 6 week course




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Elisha Sarti

How Do You Spell Fun
Acrylic with paper collage elements on canvas
48" x 48" 2012


Elisha Sarti ElishaSarti.com

Where are you from?
I'm from the United States; born in NY.

My residences so far have alternated between city and country and I've enjoyed that. Highlights: I was a young child in the Bronx, spent the '80s growing up in semi-rural New Jersey and went to art college in Baltimore. I then lived a number of years at the edge of the Rocky Mountain National Forest, around Boulder, Colorado. That was where my husband, artist Scott Lickstein and I started our ongoing enterprise, NOWhere Limited: Contemporary Art. Now I'm in NYC and am having a great time immersing myself in all the art and culture here!

How were you first introduced to collage?

'70s and early '80s television. Catching glimpses as a young kid of things like Terry Gilliam's animations for Monty Python or The Cars You Might Think music video let me know at an early age that image combining was possible and fun. Later, as a teenager, I made collages quite often, but didn't really think of them as art - it was more about decoration. For instance in junior high, I adorned my schoolbook covers with ransom-letter style text cut from plentiful supplies of '80s teen magazines. (These magazines in themselves were collage-like with their jaunty layouts, crazy fonts and cut-out figures of pop stars against neon colored backgrounds.)  I also decorated my locker with pictures I collected from these magazines, mixed in with photos of friends, magnets and a makeup mirror. This was when I first began using packing tape in conjunction with magazines. My formal introduction to collage must have been during a brief segment of high school art class covering Pop art. Seeing Richard Hamilton's Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? was the one of the first times I realized collage could be art.


How long have you been working in the medium of collage?
My serious experiments with it began in my second year of art college. Leading up to that I had a Summer job attempting to salvage flood-damaged medical records by painstakingly pulling them apart. There I became fascinated with the layering of images, blurred ink and disintegrated texts that occurred with the water damage of the documents. This also reminded me of peeling posters mixed with graffiti I would see in the city. Today, I often simulate these kinds textures of decay or use a form of décollage in my mixed media pieces. Anyway, when I returned to my studio after that Summer job, I began to incorporate found objects and collage elements into my paintings. For the first experiment I consider successful, I used a broken mirror shard as the head of a figure in a thickly textured painting. This painting also had bits of sandpaper stuck into it, and the figures were cartoon-like birds that I had drawn after "deciphering" them in the paints I'd been pooling on the canvas (as in a Rorschach ink blot.) I was not making too many paper-only collages or digital images then. Those happened later when I was in the process of moving across the country and was looking for a really immediate way to make artwork (without unpacking my studio materials.)

Describe your work

My work usually hangs on a wall, although I've made a few sculptures or freestanding pieces and plan on doing more of that soon. I use paint, most frequently acrylic, often combined with mixed media like paper, plastic or fabric collage elements. The image may be on wood, on canvas, on paper or on surfaces I build from things like flattened paperboard food boxes or reconstituted junkmail. My imagery usually references advertisements, product packaging and pictures collected from the Internet or magazines. I think of my work as visual odes to the disposable mass media it features or from which it is crafted. I enjoy blurring the boundaries of drawing, collage, painting, mark-making and writing.


What materials do you like to work with?
I like working with magazine pages of any kind, cardboard, fake flowers, colored pencil, printed bed sheets or pillowcases, archival inkjet prints, grocery store circulars, found bits of plastic like pieces of toys, almost any kind of paper or fabric, especially if it's thin or shiny or very thick or has an intriguing pattern or is a worn out advertisement. For my surfaces, I enjoy working with wood (often salvaged), stretched canvas or stretched found fabric primed with acrylic medium if I want the pattern to show through, or as previously mentioned, building my own substrates out of things like product packaging or junkmail. If I like it enough, I'll find a way to work with any sort of found objects or ephemera I come across. I don't limit my materials - instead I'll invent a series they are used to build. If I don't physically collage the item into my work, I'll draw or copy it. If that doesn't feel right, I'll photograph or scan it for my ongoing and as of yet untitled photographic series of objects and papers - a sort of (so far) private and ever-expanding catalog. I also save and use scraps from previous projects I've made. These could be bits of paper, tape, paint peeled from canvases or from the plastic lids I often use as temporary palettes. I like working with Golden acrylic mediums and paints, sometimes Liquitex. I like Heavy Duty Scotch 3M shipping tape.


Please describe your process.
Even though I use a lot more than paint alone, I think of what I do as painting. One of the modes I have as a painter is to "think in collage." This mode is intuitive and is crucial during composition no matter which of my series is the focus. The materials I use affect the imagery I choose and also vice versa.

I've mentioned earlier how I visually reference as well as build surfaces from advertisements, product packaging and pictures collected from the Internet or magazines. In addition to gleaning ideas from these collected things, I also stage experiments to spark content. For example, in one series I "ask" Google to make value judgments by searching for pictures representing subjective words like "pretty," "worst" and "perfect." I then collage the results. Lately, I also use clear packaging tape as an idea-generating vehicle. I flip through tabloid magazines, junkmail fliers etc. and quickly, without giving too much thought to each action or image, stick bits of the pages to strips of tape. This creates what I think of as "collage-on-the-fly." These speed compositions are digitized and archived for future use. Their latest incarnation takes shape as my series Love Absorption. In this body of work I paint canvases or wood panels with imagery adapted from collages and sketches I’ve made with the impromptu tape method. I’ve also been adding pieces inspired by these tape sketches to my Junkmail² series.


Do you collect anything?
Images! I'm so grateful to live in the digital age because I can save whatever pictures I want without having to get a bigger studio. So, I have many treasured collections of pixels. In the physical world, I also keep small and not very rigorously maintained collections of shells, rocks and things like pine cones, as well as small toys or figurines. I display these on window sills and with plants. I collect art as much as possible, magnets for the fridge and lately, costume jewelry (pins, bracelets, necklaces, no earrings.) Art and jewelry are the only collections I display and don't categorize as potential art supplies. The rest are fair game...


Do you listen to music when you work? If yes, who?

Yes, usually. Anything and everything (but no showtunes)! For me it's important to have an extra layer of stimuli while I'm working, even if it's the white noise of talk radio. It keeps the flow going.

Do you have any formal art training?
Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA)


What other artists do you admire and why?
It's just the tip of the great iceberg of artists I admire, but here are a few whose exhibits affected me indelibly when I saw them in person:
Jean Dubuffet - Seeing his exhibit at the Hirshhorn in Washington DC in the mid '90s helped me when I first began experimenting with mixed media materials. Claes Oldenburg - I'd always admired his sculptures and I love the idea of his Store, but I was particularly inspired when I saw his Mouse Museum at the MoMA in 1999 or 2000. The Mouse Museum is a wooden structure built in the shape of Mickey Mouse's head, housing a collection of hundreds of kitsch items, ephemera and "by-products" of the artist's work. Also, I love his sketches and sketchbooks. I love the joie de vivre, saturated colors and sense of humor of Pipilotti Rist - I got to see a lot of her work around 1999 or 2000. And, I would say also love the same things (joie de vivre, saturated colors and sense of humor) about John Chamberlain! I was so taken with his show at the Guggenheim in Winter 2012.


Do you have a favorite artist quote?
"Man is only truly alive when he realizes he is a creative, artistic being... Even the act of peeling a potato can be a work of art if it is a conscious act." Joseph Beuys
"A pair of socks is no less suitable to make a painting with than wood, nails, turpentine, oil, and fabric." Robert Rauschenberg
"I don't believe in art. I believe in artists." Marcel Duchamp


Witches' Zen
acrylic, colored pencil and ink on reconstituted junk mail
6.5" x 7"x 0.5"  2012



Or More
acrylic, colored pencil and ink on reconstituted junk mail
5" x 5" x 0.5"  2012



Monday, February 18, 2013

Andrew Lundwall

Untitled
collage on paper
5" x 7" 2013
Andrew Lundwall
http://www.flickr.com/photos/alundwall/
https://www.facebook.com/andrew.lundwall



Where are you from?
I was born & raised in Beloit, WI. Currently I live in NYC.

How were you first introduced to collage?
I was first introduced to collage as a small child in school.

How long have you been working in the medium of collage?
I’ve dabbled with collage on & off for as long as I can remember, but have only seriously been into it for about a year now.

Describe your work.
I don’t think that it would be fair to describe my work, because I’d hope that it resonates with different people in more ways than one.
 
What materials do you like to work with?
I enjoy working with any pre-1980 printed material. Glue is always a must.

Please describe your process.
Normally, I’ll start out with a few images that seem to correspond with each other in some strange way, then I tear or cut the selected images into fragments & rearrange until a piece feels like it makes some sort of sense to me.

Do you collect anything?
I’ve been collecting a lot of vintage books, manuals, photographs, & LP’s for my collages lately.

Do you listen to music when you work? If yes, who?
I always listen to music when I work. I’ve been on a bit of a jazz bender for the past month, especially recordings that feature Bud Powell, Eric Dolphy, or Charlie Haden in some capacity.

Do you have any formal art training?
No.

What other artists do you admire and why?
This is a very complicated question, because there are so many artists that I like for a variety of different reasons & whose work resonates with me. The short list would be: Joseph Cornell,  Marcel Duchamp,  the Quay Brothers, & Jess Collins. I’ve also become acquainted with many artists via Facebook & Flickr whose work I am fond of.

Do you have a favorite artist quote?
“It was when I found out I could make mistakes that I knew I was on to something.”
--
Ornette Coleman


Untitled
collage on paper
6.5" x 4.5" 2013




Untitled
collage on paper
8.5" x 11" 2013

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sacha Baumann

Frolic Cornet 4
found paper on matboard
14" x 11"
Where are you from?
California. I was born in the heart of Hollywood (at the Community Hospital) and have lived in the state most of my life with breaks as a kid in Alaska and for the last two years of high school in Park City, Utah. In this great state I've lived all around Santa Cruz, many years in San Francisco and Yountville and off and on in Los Angeles, which is my true love. I moved back down here three years ago from the Napa Valley.

How were you first introduced to collage?
I don't remember an introduction, I just feel like I've always been doing it. In terms of viewing, I can't pinpoint the first work in the genre that struck me, but my guess would be the cut-outs of Matisse or the work of Rauschenberg.

How long have you been working in the medium of collage?
Truly since I can remember making art. Like so many kids I made art all the time and cutting and pasting was a big part of the process. As time went on I never really stopped doing this “kids stuff.” I joke about it actually: a lot of time has passed, but over the years very little has changed in my process.

Describe your work.
I think of my work in terms of process and as such, put simply I deconstruct found images, which sometimes means destroying them, and then put them back together again.

Writing (and over the years revising) an Artist's Statement and Bio forced me to think about this question in a more formalized way. Here is an excerpt from the current version:

Sacha Baumann is an artist,  designer, and social media-er for herself and others... As an artist Sacha extracts found images, primarily from magazines and books, and places them in a new context, manipulating tone and intention, creating a new reality. She does so using self imposed restrictions, which is in part a nod to her training and work as a designer in which she concentrates on problem solving for the specific needs of clients. Restrictions become opportunities for new creations...”

What materials do you like to work with?
Primarily magazines, more specifically W's from the 90-00's, House and Gardens from the 50's-60's, soft-core porn from the 40's-60's, and a couple dozen old French magazines from the 40's. I also use books (old romances and history textbooks are favorites), mat board, plain paper, paper based trash I find, cardboard, and plywood. I tend not to throw away scraps from cut-outs or tears when I'm making a collage, so I have a lot of miscellaneous scraps hanging around too. For adhering I use PVA and acrylic mediums. I often paint backgrounds and embellishments, using acrylic and ink.

Please describe your process.
A new piece always starts the same way: with an image and some rules. Often it begins with me flipping through the pages of a magazine, but it can be a book, a piece of trash I find, a photograph I take, or some other visual that gets me going.

Regardless of the image or images that get an artwork started, I almost always set up rules for myself during the process. I also call these rules “obstructions,” and in doing so must give credit to the wonderful film, The Five Obstructions by Lars Van Trier, which has been a big influence to my process and work. Completing the prompts of The Collage Workbook fits in perfectly to this type of discipline that I so enjoy.

Again, like describing my work, describing my process was something I formalized when I wrote an Artist's Statement. Here's an excerpt:

When I turn the pages of a magazine or book and come across images or compositions which strike me as especially arresting, my impulse is to extract the elements and place them in a new context. I want to manipulate the tone and intention, creating a new reality. This is how each artwork begins.
Once the first piece is found, I give myself restrictions as to how to appropriate it into something new. This is in part a nod to my Industrial Design training and work, in which I concentrate on problem solving for the specific needs of clients. Restrictions become opportunities for new creations. 
The results of my process are collaged pieces which focus on women's sexuality, typography, and texture. The original pieces which make up my appropriations do not entirely disappear in the new compositions, but when successful their meanings and emotional tone shift into a complete new image, sometimes whimsical, sometimes serious.
 
Do you collect anything?
All forms of paper, especially old W Magazines, soft-core porn from the 40's-60's, and found books and notes. It's too much. In fact, I put myself on paper products restriction because it gets out of hand. This restriction includes not letting myself take home trash I find. Seriously, I cannot help but turn over a piece of paper found on a sidewalk or take a receipt left at an ATM. For the last year I've been saving the blank “place stamp here” envelopes that come with bills or junk mail. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them. I used to save the pages to daily calendars, but in my last move I made myself stop. Despite my restriction, last week I snatch up a note that said “career: fly away home”— how could I not take that with me. Anyway, I think you get the idea of what I mean.
I also collect art. I think it must be impossible for an artist not to also be an art collector.  I have a lot of shoes I don't wear and cook books I don't cook from. I used to collect playing cards, but I made myself stop. And: I have an extensive collection of Jello molds.

Do you listen to music when you work? If yes, who?
Always. It's non-stop in the studio and throughout my house—every room has speakers. I primarily use Spotify, so I'm able to stream a pretty wide mix of music. I have a deep seeded love of Jazz, but my playlists are very diverse—they run the gamut from classical to hip hop to sitar to Blues. The only thing I can't really take is new style country music, Christian stuff, and the voices and melodrama of popular music like Kelly Clarkson or Taylor Swift or some bubble gum boy band equivalent. But basically I'm always looking for new stuff and happy to discover something old. It's constant.

Do you have any formal art training?
No. I went back to college after a long break and received a degree in 2008 for Industrial Design with an emphasis on Graphic Design from San Francisco State University. As a high school student I worked at the local paper doing paste-up and was the editor of my school's paper, so I was practicing a formalized (albeit old school) version of graphic design pretty early on. I've never taken an art class or even an art history class—my education in both is an ongoing experience, but is all from self discipline and curiosity. There is a lot of art in my life. I go galleries, art openings, fairs, museums, read online, buy books, magazines, follow artists on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook—I surround myself virtually and physically with art. And I also make a lot of it.

What other artists do you admire and why?
Too many to list and I have to say, I always find this question nearly impossible to answer. And also kind of irritating. The more art I make the more I understand it as a tremendously scary and profound endeavor. This knowledge has made my appreciation of artists soar, even if I do not necessarily “like” their art. Making art is hard. I'm not sure there are any artists I don't admire for this very fact.

I do have a really big, ongoing list in my head of art heroes and influencers, both living and dead. Always at the top is Tony Fitzpatrick and it also includes so many other greats in a variety of genres: Ed Ruscha, Pina Bausch, Wangechi Mutu, Peter Greenaway, Carvaggio, the Beastie Boys, David Salle, Eric Fischl, Louise Bourgeois, David Lynch, Andy Warhol, Joni Mitchell, Frank Gehry, Richard Avedon, Mona Simpson, Bryan Ferry, Sally Mann, Karen O, David Bowie, Kate Moss, Donald Judd and on and on—it is ridiculous to try and make a full list. My mother, Jana Baumann. My boyfriend, Jason King.

There are so many local artists that I admire. Last weekend I saw Laura Owens' new work at the new space downtown Gavin Brown owns. Incredible. I recently bought some pieces by graffiti artist Roycer. Keystone Art Space, the warehouse of my new studio, is full of incredible artists that I am just beginning to discover, including Dean Styers who has an opening at the end of the month at Bergamont Station. The list of artists I admire is, without exaggeration, endless.

Do you have a favorite artist quote?
No. I love words and type—especially in art, many of the pieces in my own collection feature letters and words—but I don't hold on to quotes for inspiration when creating. It's not that I don't care—I read a lot about artists and what artists say. I just don't memorize quotes to get my creative juices going. Funnily, off the top of my head I can think of an artist's quote I really don't like, from an artist I really admire: “Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.” —Chuck Close

As an artist that appropriates and reworks someone else's work, my entire process starts with inspiration. And: what the hell is wrong with being inspired? The irony of this quote is that it is advice for students, who, undoubtably, are reading it because they are inspired by Chuck Close (and who isn't?).


Woven Blue Ribbon
found paper and acrylic on matboard
11" x 8" 
  



Frolic Cornet 1
found paper on matboard
14" x 11"




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Travis Medford

Blanco Negro
collage on paper
5.5" x 3.5" 2013

 Travis Medford
 http://www.causeanddefect.tumblr.com/
 http://www.flickr.com/photos/causedefect/
 
Where are you from?
I grew up outside of Greenville, SC

How were you first introduced to collage?
I had a high school art teacher who turned me on to pop art and the works of Rauschenberg, Warhol, etc.

How long have you been working in the medium of collage?
Off and on since 89-90. Since high school.

Describe your work.
It’s ever changing , at least in my head. I am always reinventing myself and searching for “my voice” but generally speaking, there are bits and pieces of cast away pop culture, humor (dark and light) and a focus on composition.

What materials do you like to work with?
Paper, xacto, gluestick

Please describe your process.
I flip through piles of scraps, cut, glue, and layering until I have a composition that I like. I try not to think and just go. Collaborations are a bit different. Sometimes I have a specific image or color that will fit and I spend some time looking for that thing.

Do you collect anything?
Collecting falls into 2 camps for me: Collecting and hoarding.
I hoard scraps off the ground, old paper, books and magazines
I collect records, vintage hot rod, monster and girlie magazines.

Do you listen to music when you work?
No. The act of collage is a type of meditation for me. A time to unplug and free myself from the data and noises, voices, etc. Each collage is a sort of visual meditation/poem.

Do you have any formal art training?
Yes, BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

What other artists do you admire and why?
I am inspired daily by the artists that I collaborate with and who are friends on Facebook and Flickr. The list of artists that are influences is long. The short list would be: Rauschenberg, Schwitters, Duchamp, Ernst, Warhol, FAILE.

Do you have a favorite artist quote?
“I have forced myself to contradict myself in order to avoid conforming to my own taste.”
Marcel Duchamp


Yellow (Fortune Collage)
collage on paper
5.5" x 3.5" 2013





Being Still (Fortune Collage)
collage on paper
5.5" x 3.5"  2013