Monday, August 10, 2015

Art in Interiors

I love seeing my work hanging in a patron's home. 

Prairie Grass Oklahoma found a home... in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in the home of my sorority sister, Deborah Strickland. Doesn't it look great here in her sunroom?

If you own one of my paintings please send me an image file showing where it hangs in your home, with permission to post the photo here on One A Day.


Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Somewhere Over Colorado

Somewhere Over Colorado. 16 x 16".  Mixed Media.
by Jo Reimer

Here's an addition to my MAPS series. Watercolor over a  map of  Colorado.  

I love sitting at the window whenever I fly home to Arkansas via Dallas because the land below is so interesting. As one crosses the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains  farmlands appear, dotted with thousands of irrigation crop circles. Some farms have many of these circle irrigation rigs and where the land is flat whole circles of irrigated land is painted onto the landscape. But in places only a portion of the circle is watered because of land features and farm holding borders. Here's a link to a photograph of these amazing circles.

It's sure interesting, and I've drawn them many times but this is the first time I've ventured to paint the idea of land and crops and boundaries. Of course this isn't exactly what I saw; it's a painting of the idea of circles irrigation and how it changes the land. 

The left portion of the painting is watercolor paper and I covered the map area with pastel ground so it will accept the watercolor better. The lines are drawn with sumi ink and watercolor pencil and then misted with water to blur the boundaries, then sealed with acrylic medium and wax.

Thanks to Jill Berry for the technique which she calls "Geo Papers". Jill has written a couple of books about using maps for making art. Visit her website by clicking here:

Monday, August 03, 2015


After several weeks away from my studio I'm back at work on some new collages and paintings in preparation for the Portland Open Studios Tour and the Washington County Studio Tour in October. While the tour is meant to be educational in nature I want to have lots of new work on my walls.

It's been hotter and drier here in Portland than I can remember in my 50-plus years as an Oregon resident. Not only is the grass brown but shrubs and trees are dying from the prolonged abnormal temperatures. Perhaps longing for rain is what drove me to think about rainforests and plentiful water, orange ponchos, and trudging along forest trails.

Here's RainForest, collage on board, 12x12".

Portland Open Studios Tour;  October 10, 11, 17, 18, 2015.
Washington Country Studio Tour: October 17 and 18, 2015.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Naming artworks

Tree and Shadow

This painting needs a name. Will you help name it, please?

Perhaps my way of finding titles will help you. I keep a dedicated journal on my desk that's just for titles and quotations. Whenever I find a title I like, into the book it goes. I find titles everywhere, just not when I'm in the midst of painting. So where do I find titles?
  • Gallery shows. 
  • Plant catalogs. (This is where I found the title, Red Hot Mama.)
  • Song titles and musical terms.
  • Thesaurus and the dictionary.
  • Book or chapter titles.
  • Phrases taken from my Bible or other books.
  • Online galleries and websites.
  • Note the titles other artists use for their works. Titles aren't protected by copyright and this is one place I "steal like an artist". I've yet to use a title that I don't change somehow but I know the day will come and I don't call that dishonest, and I hereby give you permission to copy my titles.
How do you title your own work?

Shadow photos....
Photos of my shadow are my version of selfies and lately I've been incorporating the shadow photos in my collages, sometimes directly by gluing the photo into the composition or like this one, printed onto a paper that I intend to use in the collage.

With the proper printer setting one can print on just about anything that will feed through the printer. I've printed text onto photographs, photographs onto painted paper, and in this case I printed a photo onto a magazine page that I had manipulated with solvent. Try it yourself.

I've learned....
  • Inkjet printers don't work well for this technique. Use a laser printer or toner copier, set to black/white. Printing in color should work if you have a color laser printer. I haven't tried it since I don't have one.
  • Lessen the contrast so that the black of the ink doesn't obscure the paper. Or...
  • If you want a silhouette with strong black, then increase the black in your camera software.
  • Experiment to see what you can do.
It's all about process....
Of course much of this would be easier done digitally in your computer program, i.e. Photoshop, but I am a tactile person and I have to have my hands on the paper, the scissors, and get my fingers covered with glue. Otherwise I don't feel like I've made art. The more of me I can get into the work the better I like the process.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Orange Blossom Special

 by Jo Reimer
Orange Blossom Special


We've had such beautiful weather that I can't stay out of the garden, so with my son's expert help we have the whole garden whipped into its best shape... ever. But there was a bare spot so I bought some of those short dahlias and as I was planting them I got the idea of making a bouquet that will last longer than summer. The vase colors reference my collection of green containers.

Orange Blossom Special, 6" x 24" x 1" 
collage and acrylic on cradled panel
Orange Blossom Special, detail

Monday, May 25, 2015

Machine Works and Painting

Machine Work and Painting
This piece named itself. 

For years I've carried a camera wherever I go and have thousands of photos of people, places, and things. And I've been trying to figure out how to combine my love of photography and my love of collage without the result looking like a scrapbook page. Perhaps I'm finally onto something that will work for me. 

This started with the photo of a warehouse stencil, Machine Work and Painting. I added maps, an old car, a collection of hands taken in a favorite store, a machine part from who knows where, and a row of big steel tubes, plus bright color, black and white, painted paper, and the drawn line.  All combined on a 12x12" board.

The best thing about this for me is that this piece pulled me up out of a fallow time when I simply didn't want to work. I've been sewing and gardening, cooking and reading, but no drawing, no painting, no collage. It was starting to bother me even though I knew it was all related to hanging the show in Hillsboro and needing a new focus.  This idea came at just the right time, thank you, Jesus.

I've been accepted into the Portland Open Studios Tour the second and third weekend in October and now that I have a new idea and a new goal of making new work for the tour I'm ready to spend lots of days in the studio. A dear friend gifted me with several dozen cradled panels and another friend cut me lots of flat panels so I know what sizes and surfaces I'll be working on. The next step is to dig out a bunch of photos from the boxes stacked in the corner and see what works with what.

I spent a lot of time in Hong Kong in the 80s and photos from those trips will make some interesting collages, as will photos from various road trips and vacations.

Watch this space for new work! I'm on a roll.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

New PAGE added to my blog

I've just added a PAGE to my blog titled Hillsboro Exhibit. See it at the top, right under the title, One A Day. I'm gradually adding images of all the paintings that are in the Hillsboro show, along with sizes and prices. 

I'm so grateful to my helpers Constance Adams and Jill Getzendaner (my daughter) who made it possible to hang the show in one long afternoon. The library has a slick professional hanging system of wires and hooks but still, it was a chore. I came away absolutely convinced of the the worth of paying a hefty commission to a gallery which takes on the chore of hanging your work and putting it before qualified buyers. The library doesn't do all that; I do, if it's to be done.

The reception is next Saturday, May 16, from 2-4 and I hope to see many of you there, but you can go see the work anytime the library is open during the months of May and June. If you'd like me to meet you there, just call or email.

I had 39 pieces from which to choose and we wound up with 32. I was quite disappointed to get home and find 4 paintings under some towels in my front seat, 3 of which I really wanted in the show, including the one I used for my show card. And later I realized that I didn't make it home with my little bag of tools. I'll bet I left it sitting in the parking lot when I packed up the boxes to go home. Oh well, someone else now has a handy awl, level, and screwdriver. When you get old you forget things.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

sometimes there's a better way

While gathering completed works for the Hillsboro library show I put my hand on a collage that needed help. I liked the concept and most of the details but the design of the flower and the title weren't right.
Red Flower
So I fixed it. And changed it's name. Now I like it.
Red Hot Mama
Jo Reimer's collages will be shown at the Hillsboro Main Library, 2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy, Hillsboro, OR 97124 throughout the months of May and June during library hours. You're invited to an artists reception in the Board Room on the second floor, Saturday May 16 between 2 and 4.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Jo Reimer Art Exhibit in Hillsboro, Oregon May and June, 2015

I'm getting more done every day in preparation for my upcoming collage show at the Hillsboro Main Library May 1 through June 30. 

There's a super gallery on the second floor of the library and my work will be shown in the Alcove at the south end of the hallway. I've accumulated quite a few new pieces to add to work from the last couple of years, perhaps 35 works to show and I hope most of you who live in the Portland area will be able to make it to the exhibit.

Hours are the same as regular library hours, Mon-Fri 10-8, Sat 10-6, Sun 12-6 with an artist's reception on Saturday May 16 from 2-4. Of course you're invited to the reception.

Show prep is so much more than making art. There's the first big job of planning the project, then ordering and distributing show cards, typing and printing labels, matting and framing, publicity, connecting with the venue, hanging the show, setting up and hosting the reception, and don't forget gnashing teeth and worrying.

I ordered some fabulous float frames from The Canvas Place for collages done on wood panels, but my boards are thinner than the frames are designed for so I figured out a way to lift and adhere the panel to the frame. I cut 1" balsa wood strips into little squares which I sprayed black to match the frames and glued these into each corner. 

The hook side of sticky back Velcro will stick to this corner piece and the fuzzy side of the Velcro sticks to the back of each corner of the finished art on board...

... the painting attaches to the frame, and it's done. These floater frames also work for cradled canvases. 

Come to the show and see for yourself. All art will be for sale. Make a note of the piece(s) you want and give me a call to arrange the sale. My phone number is on each label.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sunny Day at the Beach

Sunny Day at the Beach
Jo Reimer
Collage on board
12” x 12”

I'm experimenting with new ways to add images to my collages, this time using my own photographs. 

It proved to be quite simple. In Photoshop I went to Image>Mode>Grayscale and increased the contrast via Adjustments. Then I sent the image through my Laserjet, and cut it out close to the edges of the image.

The next experiments with be image transfers using acrylic medium which is a technique I used 20 years ago to transfer photos to fabric. What goes around comes around, doesn't it?

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