Playing Around with Collage

02/04/14

LIFEcollage1_lowres

+++

I’ve been trying lots of new things in my art practice lately, and to help me do more of that, I’ve been studying again with a small group of artists under the tutelage of well known mixed media artist, Lisa Kokin. Each week, Lisa gives us another mixed media assignment. A week ago, we were instructed to make a collage on the back of a hardback book cover (which makes for a great substrate, BTW). I had been cutting hands out of a collection of 1950′s LIFE Magazines, and decided I wanted to make a collage with them. Normally, I’d have arranged the hands in some grid-like formation (much like I did with my Collection a Day project), but Lisa encouraged me to layer the hands with paper and to break out of my traditional way of arranging things. What resulted is the collage above, which I made last week in her studio.

I was so excited with the result (and the process of layering) that I made two more collages over the weekend, also from collections of things I’d cut from LIFE Magazines. If you’ve ever looked at a LIFE Magazine from the mid-20th century, you know there are a preponderance of certain types of imagery (packaged and canned food, cigarettes, liquor, etc). These collages are themed around that imagery. Next up, cigarettes:
LIFEcollage2_lowres

And televisions:

LIFEcollage3_lowres

+++

I am also using colored paper from the ads, photographs and illustrations in the magazines to create the layered effect. So the colors of the collages also reflect the colors one would find in magazine of the time (full disclosure: I did use some yellow paper in the hands collage that didn’t come from the magazines).  Lisa has been encouraging us to work within constraints — and I’ve loved this challenge (ie: in this case, only using the magazines themselves as the raw material).

After I was finished with the cigarette and TV collages, I noticed I had a lot of interesting scraps on the table from cutting the shapes from the magazines. I used those to make this collage/ink drawing in my sketchbook, which was in some ways more fun than making the collages themselves!

40438da28ce911e39bc4122b889f396a_8

+++

I plan to continue this series and I’ll share them here! Stay tuned for more.

And happy Tuesday.

244
shares

A Weekend Away & New Paintings

10/21/13

lisacongdon_abstract4

+++

This past weekend I took a much-needed weekend away near Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California. In the quiet of the forested mountains, I painted almost the entire weekend in the company of a few other women. I made a new series a five paintings.. I plan to sell prints of them in my Etsy shop when it reopens on Wednesday, so stay tuned if you are interested!

lisacongdon_abstract2

lisacongdon_abstract3

lisacongdon_abstract1

lisacongdon_abstract5

Happy Monday and warm wishes for a wonderful week.

186
shares

Progress in the Studio

10/03/13

lisa in studio

{Me in my studio, taken by my friend Kelly Wilkinson)

You may remember back in July I made a commitment to myself that I’d spend at least one day a week — mostly Wednesdays — making personal work in my studio. I gave a short update in August. Two months in, I am happy to report that my one day a week has been pretty life changing, which was the goal. I am hoping in 2014 that I have even more than one day a week to dedicate to this kind of exploration in my studio. Here is the progression of some of the pieces I’ve been working on. First, a reminder of where I started:

34e4816af4a411e2a9ed22000a1fb773_7

And then…

studio2

studio1

studio4

studio5

studio6

studio7

Some of the pieces are finished. Several of the paintings still need a lot of development (thank goodness there are always more Wednesdays). The shadowbox collages are going into a show at Bedford Gallery in December. The paintings I’ll put up for sale soon in my Big Cartel Shop. Stay tuned.

Happy Thursday!

126
shares

Sale :: Snowy Owl

09/13/13

snowyowl_bigcartel

Snowy Owl, an original 11×14 inch shadowbox, made from vintage ephemera, pencil and gouache in 2011, is on sale for a limited time! Regularly $325, this piece is now $275 until Monday. Get it here.

Happy Friday!

30
shares

I Like Wednesdays

08/21/13

photo2

+++

A few weeks ago I shared that I was dedicating time once a week on Wednesdays to make personal work in my studio  (as opposed to commissioned illustration work, which is what I spend most of my time doing). Wednesday is turning out to be my favorite day of the week, as you might imagine.

I realized that I’ve been so busy painting and drawing that I haven’t cut paper (in my studio) since March 17 when I took Lisa Kokin’s mixed media class. This is crazy, especially for someone whose medium used to be collage. So I got out my scissors and exacto knife (along with the usual graphite, ink and gouache) and and finished this piece. I’m participating in a couple of group shows coming up, and she will probably also be for sale. I’ll keep you posted.

photo

{Gouache, ink, graphite and cut paper; finished piece is 11×14 inches, framed in shadowbox}

On another note, so many people wrote kind notes and tweets yesterday after I posted this short essay on comparison. I can’t respond to all of them (there were so many), but I wanted to say thank you to everyone who wrote & tweeted. Most simply said: “Yep, been there too” — and that alone was comforting to hear. It makes me remember that it is our humanness that connects us.

Happy Wednesday.

69
shares

Knot Thread Stitch

07/13/12

Two of my close friends have book releases this week! You may remember earlier this week I posted about Mati’s new book. Today I’m so excited to tell you about Lisa Solomon’s new book: Knot Thread Stitch: Exploring Creativity through Embroidery and Mixed Media.

Lisa (my evil twin who I wrote about here) is a master with thread (just take a look at her expansive fine art portfolio). So it is no wonder that thread is the common theme of this book of projects. The book is organized around simple projects, from tea towels to pillow cases to decorative pieces. For each project, Lisa offers her own design and then highlights the work of an artist. For example, a tea towel embroidery design by Lisa is paired with another tea towel design by artist Kate Bingaman Burt.

I was lucky enough to do a project for the book. I designed a floral silhouette pillow. It’s a labor intensive project, but really pretty easy, and one that you can adapt to your own silhouette if you like.

Wilfredo happens also to be featured in the book (who can resist putting him in their book these days?). As one of her projects in the book, Lisa designed a pet portrait of Wilfredo.

Isn’t it amazing? This project is followed by a pet portrait pillow by Camilla Engman of her late dog, Morran. The list of artists in the book is fantastic.

If you are new to the stitching arts, the also book includes loads of information on supplies, tools and technique, along with the over 30 projects.

Lisa is having a book signing tomorrow evening at The Curiosity Shoppe in San Francisco. Wilfredo and I will be there and we hope to see you!

8
shares

Leslie

07/05/12

A portrait I made of (and for) my dear friend, photographer Leslie Sophia Lindell. 11×14 inches, graphite and paper.

5
shares

Hooded Reindeer

03/14/12

This guy is available for sale. He’s framed in a 8.5×11 white shadowbox. If you are interested, email me at lisacongdon@gmail.com

4
shares

And now PORTLAND, I’m coming for YOU

02/01/12

Yes, that’s right, I’m hopping on an airplane again tomorrow. Super excited about my NEXT opening, this one with the amazing Trish Grantham at Land Gallery in Portland, opens Friday night, February 3 at 6 pm. Calling all Portlanders! I’ll be at the opening and hope to see you there.

This show is inspired by a little Victorian mixed with my usual dose of color. I’ll be showing 6 mixed media shadowboxes (includes image above and first 5 images below) and 2 large unframed drawings (the king and queen of hearts at very bottom). Here’s a sneak peek:

Be well and thank you for visiting!

4
shares

New Work :: Milwaukee Show

01/11/12

Sami Princess, gouache, graphite and fake fur in shadowbox, 8.5×11 inches

0
shares

Lace

01/10/12

Lace, 11×14 inches, graphite, gouache and vintage lace in shadowbox.

This piece is for the Wild at Heart Show at Land, Portland. Opens February 3 at 6 pm!

4
shares

Milwaukee Show Details!

01/09/12

Hooded Reindeer, graphite and paper, 8×10 inches (framed in shadowbox)

Super excited to finally have the details for the show in Milwaukee opening January 27 (of which the piece above will be a part!):

Abstract Fiction

UWM Union Art Gallery

Friday, January 27 – Friday, February 24

Opening Reception:  Friday, January 27, 5-8pm
Artist Talk: with Lisa Congdon & Liz Miller, January 27, 7pm

Deedee Cheriel, Lisa Congdon, Liz Miller, and Eduardo J. Villanueva are four nationally known artists whose work includes an array of media—painting, drawing, sculpture, collage, installation, and book arts. Bold color and sharp angles, are mixed together, transferring the familiar into an exciting imaginative space By experimenting with the physical properties of their chosen media, these artists recontextualize simplified shapes, signs and symbols from different historical and contemporary imagery to create new imaginative environment. By taking chances with these materials and marrying them to compelling narratives, they have created works that are concretely tangible, indicative of soaring imaginations, and in many cases have the quality of being beautifully mysterious.

+++

As you can see, I am giving an artist talk at 7 on the 27th and will be there for the entire opening. If you close by, please come!

7
shares

The Observer

01/06/12

The Observer, 8×10 inches, gouache, graphite and paper. Framed in black shadowbox. For the upcoming Wild at Heart show in Portland at Land Gallery. Opens February 3!

1
shares

Sami Girl

01/04/12

Sami Girl, 8x10x2.5 inches, graphite, fake fur and paper.

I just finished this new shadowbox last week for the upcoming show in Milwaukee (more information to come!). It’s part of a continuation of the body of work I started this past summer for my solo show Boreas.

2
shares

My Work in the Contemporary Jewish Museum

12/28/11

I’m back from my holiday vacation and so happy to be back on the blog. Today I am so excited to announce that my work will be featured in an exhibition opening February 16 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. This is my first museum show and I could not be more thrilled to be involved. The exhibition, Do Not Destroy: Trees, Art, and Jewish Thought is an opportunity for the 50 invited artists to explore the subject of the tree in Jewish tradition. The show is a continuation of a long-running series at the Contemporary Jewish Museum—the Dorothy Saxe Invitational—in which artists from diverse backgrounds and working in a range of medium are invited to explore a Jewish ritual object. My piece (pictured above) is made from reclaimed wood and gouache and explores the Tu B’Shevat seder, an all vegan feast with four cups of wine progressing from white to red, with shades of pink in between.

The exhibition opens February 16, and I hope if you are in San Francisco you will go visit the museum to see it! You can learn more about the show and view some of the other work here.

11
shares