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Hello, 2020. Good to See You.

Howdy, folks. Welcome to 2020, a new year and a new decade.

I couldn't not start the new year without making some art, especially since I still have the time to relax on the rest of my holiday and jump-start the creative juices, again. Above is the first new piece of the new year, entitled "High Class" (5 x 5 inches / Collage on Paper.) I continue to enjoy working at this size, though I have started experimenting with working slightly larger. For the most part, however, I'll stick with this size, as much of the source material I pull from accommodates a 5 x 5 inch working space well.

I must profess my (slight) obsession with collage notebooks. I've reconciled the fact that I'm not much of an illustrator, but I like keeping notebooks around for design and painting ideas. These pocket collage notebooks serve that need. In fact, I've decided to see how small I can make these notebooks to further create collage and design/painting ideas and challenges. I wrapped up the last day of 2019 making some 2 x 2 inch collage (like the ones pictured above), which were a lot of fun to create.

In addition to the 2 x 2 inch collage notebook, I decided to use the Hatch Show Print sketch notebook I bought during my visit over the summer for yet another collage notebook. This one measures about 6 x 8 inches, and will actually serve as a design notebook for silk screen prints I'd like to make this coming year. I can produce slightly larger collages which will aid in designing for larger screen prints.

Above is the first collage from this series, inspired by my ever-growing love for cowboys, honky tonks, country western music and cowboy movies, and a painting series I did a few years ago, called "Cowboy Movie." It probably should be no surprise that I received the incredible gift of hand made cowboy boots for Christmas, as well as some new western pearl snap shirts. Don't be surprised if you start seeing more cowboy-inspired work from me in 2020. These will also (probably) play into my design research for my MFA theisis.

Speaking of new work, you may or may not see much in the way of painting from me this year. I really have enjoyed making collages these last few months and I shall continue to do so. In fact, I've been making these mostly for myself, and will share them here and there. I'd like to do an exhibit of these pieces sometime this year, but we shall see...depends on when and where I can do one. I have more than enough pieces to stage a show, for sure. There are several collages in the pile I wish to make large-scale paintings from, and thankfully, I have plenty of source material and inspiration. The last two days alone allowed me to produce about 20 decent collages and designs.

Once I find more time (or better manage the time I do have to make art), I'll post more of the latest collages and work on the next 5X7 book, which will feature many of the collages from 2019. (Self-publishing has been a fun undertaking lately, too. Thanks, Ed Ruscha. I've been making art zines, as well.)

Anyhow, I couldn't have asked for a better way to start a new year, flush with new ideas and inspiration. I'm looking forward to the forthcoming Spring semester of grad school, as I'll be doing some more design teaching, and will have some dedicated time to work in letterpress. Until class starts, I'll be cranking out the collage work while I can.

So, with that said, hope everyone's start to 2020 has been a good one. Stay warm, take care of yourself and get plenty of rest. See y'all soon. ~JK

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