MOONFLOWER

MOONFLOWER is a paper collage constructed out of seven pieces cut from a single 5” x 7” advertising postcard. It pretty much named itself, but I decided that it might be a good idea to find out if there was such a thing as a Moonflower. When I did a Google Search for “Moonflower”, it turned out that not only is there a Moonflower but that there were multiple entries about it, one of which titled: “Time of the Moonflower” by Shushann Movsessian and Gemma Summers refers to the Moonflower as a Symbol of Blossoming in Dark Times stating that: “The beautiful and enchanting Moonflower is a nightflower that needs the dark to grow and blossom. Like other nightflowers, it uses the creatures of the night, such as moths and bats, to help with pollination. It is such a wonderful symbol for the growth potential of our souland personality when we are faced with challenging and difficult periods in our lives.” Well, challenging and difficult does seem to aptly describe our times.

WITH AGE COMES PERSPECTIVE

WITH AGE COMES PERSPECTIVE, part of my “From Negative To Positive” Series is an exercise piece, an effort to make myself get back to being creative with limited materials and tools. The ground rules for the exercise were that I had to create an image using only the material contained in a single advertising circular or brochure, a pair of scissors and some white glue. The first pieces I cut out of the brochure reminded me of a skyline and birds in flight, which led to a reflection on perspective, both artistic and otherwise, which in turn led to the title. (587) (11” x 14”) (2021)

SNOW MOON

SNOW MOON is part of my “Negative to Positive” Series of paper collages which take the background color, i.e. the “negative space” from a single piece of advertising or packaging material and convert it into the image, i.e. the “positive”. In this case the material was a grocery delivery advertisement and the title SNOW MOON comes from the name of the February 2022 full moon. I knew that certain full moons had names, such as the Harvest Moon or the Hunter’s Moon but did not realize that all full moons have names until I started researching it.

Urban Center

URBAN CENTER started out to be part of my “From Negative to Positive” Series of paper collages, but after I made the first preliminary cuts I realized that the inside of the packaging material I was using presented as many opportunities as the outside and gave me the chance to work white on black. URBAN CENTER more or less titled itself while I was doing the initial lay-out, and I only had to make a couple of reinforcing changes.  

YOU ARE HERE

YOU ARE HERE is both a “conceptual” and a “process” piece. It is a conceptual piece in that it is neither representational nor abstract, nor is it a statement or commentary. It is more of a Rorschach test than anything. Do you get a sense of adventure and excitement, of  almost endless possibilities, whichever way you go will lead somewhere; or do you have a sense of indecision, there is no way to make the right choice? It is a process piece in that I had a single, 22” x 28” sheet of white poster board and wanted to see if I could make anything two dimensional out of it. (16” x 20”) (2021)

December Morning Fog #3

DECEMBER MORNING FOG #3 is a paper collage inspired by a digital photograph I took as part of my Series “Views From A Third Floor Window” which is, in turn, part of my experimenting with digital photography as an art medium, but it is a very different collage form than DECEMBER MORNING FOG #2. DECEMBER MORNING FOG #3 is composed of “financial service papers”, i.e. the linings of financial communications such as credit card and bank statements and is more representational than DECEMBER MORNING FOG #2 and draws less on my stained glass and mosaics background.

December Morning Fog #2

DECEMBER MORNING FOG#2 is a paper collage inspired by a digital photograph I took as part of my Series “Views From A Third Floor Window” which is, in turn, part of my experimenting with digital photography as an art medium. DECEMBER MORNING FOG#2 is also part of my “Negative to Positive” Series which takes the background, i.e., the negative space, from a single piece of advertising or packaging material and repurposes it as the positive image in a collage. The “Negative to Positive” Series is intended to force me to be both creative and disciplined.

Kali’s Dream

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

A friend of mine is moving into a new apartment and taking his cat Kali with him. This provided me with the opportunity to give him a “house warming” gift, stay on Kali’s good side, and experiment with a somewhat different form of collage than I’ve done in the past. KALI’S DREAM, a minimalist collage using only card stock, expresses my belief that within every house cat and tabby there is the heart and soul of a tiger. As to why I want to remain on Kali’s good side, I’d refer you to a Google search of Indian mythology, or a couple of hours watching “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”. (2020) (12” x 12”)

 

Staying Home

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

STAYING HOME is a collage made out of hand inked, hand pulled collographic prints that were originally intended to be part of my LINEAR THOUGHTS OF AN ARTIST and NAVIGATING THE ROUNDABOUTS series. I came across them as I was simultaneously getting ready to move to Ann’s Choice and diligently observing the covid-19 “stay at home” order.  STAYING HOME is thus both a commentary on existing conditions (including the chaos in my studio) and the result of one of the many “keep/discard/utilize” decisions that I’m having to make every day. Creating it was also one of my self-reward for making a couple of them. (2020) (18“ x 20“)

Kirkland

(C) JOHN FANSMITH 2020

It is sometimes surprising how you and your work can be overtaken by events. When I was printing the background and assembling the collage pieces for KIRKLAND the corona virus problem was just starting to be a story and I had no idea that Kirkland, WA would be one of the epicenters. The title for KIRKLAND actually comes from the fact that “Kirkland” is the house brand name used by Costco and the collage pieces are repurposed from a Costco tissue box. What was initially an exercise in combining a hand inked, hand pulled print and found object/recycled materials ended up with more relevance than I could have imagined. (622) (2020) (16” x 20”)