Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Collage with commercial papers

by Jo Reimer
Where Do I Go From Here?
11 x 14"
collage on stretched canvas
This collage was created entirely of purchased papers except for the brownish red centers. It felt just a little bit like cheating to use these papers when I usually prefer my own hand painted papers. The bits of twigs and straw remind me of broken birds' nests.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Birth of a New Tradition

Birth of a New Tradition (Author Unknown)
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods – merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year, Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift-giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands.

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese-produced wrapping paper?

Everyone – yes, EVERYONE – gets their hair cut. How about giving gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

What about a membership to an American gym? It’s appropriate for anyone who’s thinking about improving his or her health.

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting her car detailed? Small, American-owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a book of gift certificates.

Are you an extravagant giver who thinks nothing of plunking down big money on a Chinese-made flat-screen TV? Perhaps that American recipient would also like his lawn mowed for the summer, or his driveway plowed all winter, or a few games of golf at a local course.

There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants, nearly all of which offer gift certificates. But remember: this isn’t about the big national chains. It’s about supporting your fellow Americans in your home town or state, helping them keep their doors open and creating local jobs.

How many people could use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle from a shop run by an American working guy? Here’s the answer: Everyone who drives!

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? She might love the services of a local cleaning lady for a day or two.

Could your friend’s computer use a tune-up? I know you can find a young American who is struggling to get his computer repair business up and running.

Oh, you were looking for something more personal? Local craftspeople spin their own wool and knit it into scarves. There are local artists who make jewelry and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes, and local painters and photographers who create original works of art. Give original artwork.

You can treat your favorite couple to a weekend at a romantic bed and breakfast right here in America. Buy them tickets to an area playhouse or locally produced ballet. Or hire a local musician to provide a private concert in their home or for their next party.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house?

When you buy that five-dollar string of lights, about fifty cents of it stays in your community. If you have that kind of money to give away, leave your local mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice big tip that they, in turn, will spend in your hometown.

You see, Christmas shopping – and shopping at any other time of the year – need not be about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Let’s make spending choices that show we care about the United States; choices that encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away, keep hiring, and keep contributing to our hometown’s success. When we care about other Americans and turn that caring into action, the benefits will come back to us in ways we can’t even imagine. Choose to make THIS the new American Christmas tradition.

Forward this in an email. Re-post it on your blog. Link to it on your Facebook page. Send it to the “Letters to the Editor.” Spread the word any way you can and make this a revolution centered on taking care of each other here in America.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Split Complementary Colors
12" x 15" Collage

This collage was an experiment with color. I chose the red/green complementary colors and then did a split, adding blue green and yellow green.. and then I played with the design until this evolved. 

The papers are my own painted papers with only one strip of a commercial paper.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Taking Measure. Collage

by Jo Reimer
Taking Measure
7.5 x 8"
Collage painting

Titles can be difficult, especially one that describes an abstract collage. If I was a poet I could write a poem that fits, but I'm not. So often the collages are simply attractive compositions, and that's perfectly all right. 

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Sango Kaku... an acrylic painting

Sango Kaku  

This acrylic painting was done on a cradled 12x12" canvas.
Our back yard is filled with beautiful trees, many of which are Japanese Maples that we grow at our nursery. The Sango Kaku, aka Coral Bark Maple, is amazing any time of the year with green gold leaves in spring and summer, turning yellow and then coral in autumn. Then after the leaves drop the twigs and branches turn bright coral red to brighten our winter landscape. 

I stare at the tree from my studio and kitchen windows and have taken several photos over the years. Finally I decided to paint it. Why render an exact copy in paint? That's not my kind of art. So I set out to paint my feelings about the tree. When I finished I thought I had failed, but today I realize that I managed to capture the essence of the tree. A burst of yellow orange. Accents of bright rusty orangey red at the edges. The afternoon light striking the leaves, making them glow. Coral bark. Blue sky reflected in the pond. 

I'm not so sure about the underlying grid... but that's part of my history and way of working. So there!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Autumn Landscape

Autumn Landscape
8x8 Collage Painting
I'm struck by the vivid colors of Oregon this autumn. The sky is such a clear blue and the sunsets colors are reflected in puddles and ponds. 

Her Shadow
6x6 Collage Painting
 Here I've used a photocopy of one of my shadow self-portraits along with some painted papers. Collage is so much easier and more interesting when one starts with painted papers. There's a complexity inherent in the papers that's simply not achievable with direct painting... and it's great fun, too. It appeals to the quilter/embroiderer in me and as a friend observed, I do like putting things together to make art.

Sweet Sixteen
7x7 Collage painting
Linda, I'm sure you recognize the paper in the lower left corner. Years ago Linda and I spent some days painting fabric with hand cut stamps, stencils and whatever came to hand, and we were smart enough to lift some prints onto paper before the paint dried. 

I'm sorry to see the last bit of that paper be used, but some time ago I lectured myself about the dangers of seeing art supplies as precious... saving them for some later use instead of using the best you have to create the best work you can in the present time. 

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