4 Artists: Animal Paper Collage

Paper collage fascinates me. Most styles of quilting are a form of collage — putting together pieces of many different fabrics to build up a pattern or picture — but the limitations caused by the need to sew seams* keeps me from achieving the truly detailed results I want from my animal art. While looking at animal pieces by other art quilters, I stumbled across a paper-collage dog portrait and got curious. Here are the artists I discovered while surfing the web.

My favorite is Dawn Maciocia, who lives in Scotland. Her lively animal portraits balance realism with whimsy and her use of line suggests that she can draw quite well. Her subjects are mostly mammals and birds, with an emphasis on the wild. To get a sense of how complex and time-consuming her process is, check out this short video:

Laura Yager’s work is also whimsical, but much more in-your-face. She strives to make the world a better place with her “happy art” and her neon animals do the trick. Her strongly colored papers are also high in pattern making her work more like a quilt than any of the other artists listed here.

LauraYager
Paper collage by Laura Yager

The work of Samuel Price is much more realistic, though his realism is noticeably pixellated. Using pieces of photographic images, he builds up a new photographic image with the fuzzy edges of a newspaper photo. His main subjects are dogs and horses.

Callie by Samuel Price
Callie by Samuel Price. Look closely at this dog’s ear and nose. The peachy parts are built up from photos of human body parts.

Last, but definitely not least, is Elizabeth St. Hilaire. Her charming art work includes goats wearing blossoms, sheep highlighted with rainbow colors, and tiny birds perched on flower stems. She uses papers with both printed and hand-written text as well as painted and color papers to achieve her naturalistic animals.

Field of Sweet Dreams E. St. Hilaire_web
Field of Sweet Dreams by Elizabeth St. Hilaire

Who did I miss? Let me know in the comments.

*I know I could be fusing (gluing) the fabric instead of sewing it, but that’s not really my thing.

Found Art: Heart Symbols in Rock and Cloud

When I’m out in the wild, I look for patterns and shapes. For some reason, the one I come across the most is the stylized heart common on Valentine’s Day cards. Here are a few I’ve seen over the years.

Double heart found near Brainard Lake; photo by Kit Dunsmore

(OK, I confess. These were in the parking lot.)

Another found heart, this one on a trail in Wyoming.

RockHeart_small
Rock heart; photo by Kit Dunsmore

According to the rock expert with me at the time, the striations are glacial in origin.

And last but perhaps most amazing, a negative-space heart in the clouds, seen while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park:

P1110869_SkyHeart_small
Little Matterhorn, Rocky Mountain National Park; photo by Dana Geary

Do you see things in rocks and clouds? What have you found?

Flashback: A Day In the Rockies… With Cameras

It’s that time of year: my parents are visiting us in Colorado. The following is a post from their visit in 2010, but I can guarantee we are out somewhere with cameras recording the beauties of the American West.

Rocky Mountain National Park

We were fortunate enough to spend last Friday up in the mountains showing my parents the splendor of the Rockies in summer. The mountains cooperated beautifully: sunny but cool weather, light breezes, abundant wildlife, and buckets of wildflowers. And we were armed to take advantage of it: everyone had a camera.

Kurt, Mom, and Dad shooting the landscape

In fact, as a professional photographer, Dad had two.   Mom records images she is considering using in her ceramic work. Kurt is just getting back into photography, and had a great time learning how to use the camera we just bought.

Kurt with the new camera

With so many art photographers on the job, I was more relaxed than usual. I still took plenty of pictures (over 200) of the natural scenes that intrigued me. But I also made an effort to get pictures of people, even myself.

Shadow self-portrait

Overall, my family took over 1000 digital pictures that day, which is completely unbelievable when I  remember what it was like to use film. At 36 exposures a roll, 1000 photos would require 28 rolls of film. I could spend a whole week on vacation and only shoot 4 rolls.  I didn’t realize how much the expense of film photography kept me from taking pictures.  Of course, many of my digital photos aren’t worth keeping, but I get more that I like now that I take so many more to begin with.