Collage Design: Enjoy the Mystery.

I was perusing my instagram feed earlier today and was struck by how much the work changes as you develop it. At least in MY process. Many times I just sit down with a substrate (paper or board that is covered in papers), and just start arranging pieces from the stuff on my table before me. There is no idea. Its just about appealing combinations. It might be a color scheme, it might be some words (like the title of this book “medieval Latin Lyrics”. How obscure is that?!?). It might be just a play of rectangles and and parallel lines.


Here is where I got after the first sitting.  I like the slate blue texture in the upper left but it just does not go with anything else with that color and its too dominant. Same with the AV.  Beautiful letterforms but too dominant. There are a lot of sacrifices, but its ok. There are plenty more collages to make.


Now something is taking shape, its sort of like an art deco train or building.   I’ve been lucky to keep the Medieval Latin Lyrics title, and added in a few choice phrases: The Tiresome Letter (for laughs), and “the sanity of science” (which of course brings up religion and politics, but just for a second :).


Here is the final piece. The new rounded corner  on top creates a nice unity to the black shapes (which I have broken up further with some neutral brown verticals). What is it? I don’t know, I just enjoy its shapes and proportions.

So just a word about words: they are for fun. They come from wildly different places (a children’s games book and a Penguin Classics) and are just tucked in as a little bit of spice.  They suggest something and then run away and hide. Which amuses me, and reminds me of real life: lots of little half clues and lots of unresolved mysteries. Yum!

I hope you are enjoying this marvelous summer of 2016.

Happy Creating,




How to Remove “Picked For You” on Pinterest

Pinterest is about the best thing that has ever happened on the internet for people like me. I *love* to keep bins of images that inspire or inform my art process. Then the folks at Pinterest had a crazy invention: Picked For You pins! They devised some algorithm that would find pins I might like, based on my boards, and fed these pins into my feed. I don’t know about you, but I really have not found computers to be good at understanding my  artistic taste. Not Pandora, not Amazon books, and not Pinterest. And these “picked for you” pins were getting more and more frequent. My very painstakingly personalized feed was being overrun with them.
Amazingly, I was able to get rid of ALL the “picked for you” pins. Here is how you do it:

1. log into your pinterest account via your computer’s web browser. Click on the gear icon in the upper right corner and choose Edit Settings.

2. Under Personalization, you will find two controls:

“Use sites you visit to improve which recommendations and ads you see ”

“Use information from our partners to improve which recommendations and ads you see”

toggle both of these to NO.

3. Voila!

(Note: this technique does not get rid of promoted pins, which I am fine with. They have a right to make money on their great invention through a little advertising.)


Now, a disclaimer.  I did this about a month ago and it did not seem to make a difference. But when I restarted the app, the dreaded pins were gone!  It seems to me, also, that there was an additional step you might have to do in your browser, but going back and trying to find the instructions I originally followed  (google: turn off picked for you on pinterest), has been impossible. So follow above instructions and let me know if this works for you!

Happy Creating and Pinning!