"Going gold" is the expression or title I kept thinking I would use for this month's post. But that sounded rather braggadocious, especially in the wake of Hurricane Harvey when so many people are relatively homeless here in Houston. How so -- going gold? Not my credit card status... Not the app-modified golden photo of my cat Molly above.... Instead, it is related to collage...
This 4 x 4" collage on wood entitled Adroit Shenanigans is the piece of art that catapulted me into the Gold Signature membership status with the National Collage Society. Let me explain... I joined the NCS in 2010 and was extremely pleased to learn on of my collages had been accepted for that year's juried exhibit. Every year I entered these annual competitions and had success again in 2013. This year, because my collage above was accepted for the 33rd Annual Juried Exhibit and was my third such acceptance, I became eligible for "Gold Signature" status. This denotation gives me the privilege of including the NCS insignia on any collage I sign. It is a pat on the back I really appreciate and may come in handy in the future, especially should I start applying for solo shows. The show is being held at the Union Street Gallery in Chicago Heights, IL from September 27 - October 28, 2017 and will also be online at NCS soon.
The fact that this teeny-tiny piece of art was accepted and therefore was the road to "Gold" delights me. So may people in the art world tell aspiring artists to work BIG. I've only gotten as big as 16 x 20" thus far and most of my pieces are 8 x 8" or 9 x 12". I love working small. For one thing, my scanner is your typical desktop size and taking larger art to be scanned or professionally photographed is cost prohibitive. Most art shows today depend on digital entries, so the ability to scan my art is important. Secondly, because I often use Dover clip art books, I have to work within the smaller scale of my found images. My art has also appeared in Cloth, Paper Scissors magazine and their Reader Challenge size requirements run small. I have also learned that many collectors have run out of wall space and are turning to smaller art. Think tiny houses and the trend towards simplicity! Many baby boomers are scaling down, so small art makes sense.
As for Horrible Harvey, the rainfall was quite scary. We sandbagged the front door and watched our street turn into a lake. The photo above shows our flooded street (no curb in sight and the water level risen to halfway up the Stop sign pole). And though the rain continued for days, our house never flooded. Several of my friends suffered major or minor flood damage. Heaps of hurricane debris still litter the front lawns of many homes nearby. We dodged the bullet, and in the days after the storm, helped others as best we could.
I took a long-planned girlfriend getaway trip to Sedona, AZ in early September. Hobby Airport was still affected by the hurricane, so I had to fly from Austin and back. Sedona was marvelous. Every day the scenery blew our minds. That said, I am more of a water person. I like to roam around ocean or lake shores. I am not a mountain climber, and so felt a bit removed from all the Sedona beauty, merely an observer, not a participant. Best tourist experience: visiting the Amitabha Stupa Peace Park, a place I believe almost anyone would experience as sacred.