Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Pulse: Show & Tell 1

Welcome to the third edition of The Pulse: an artist survey. This collaborative project aims to introduce you to new artists, help you get to know familiar faces even more, and allow you access into the creative hearts and minds of a very talented crew of individuals. For links to the sites of the participating artists, please click here.

Today's question: Show and Tell. SHOW us one photograph of the object or objects that you collect and TELL us how your collection(s) came to be and/or what they mean to you. Feel free to include any anecdote about how you might have found/bought any of your treasures. The following is the first of four posts to answer this question.

Ingrid Dijkers It would have to be my marble collection I have had since shortly after my parents and I immigrated from the Netherlands. My parents had taken me to the beach to play for the day. I was fascinated by 2 teenage girls throwing buckets full of marbles off a little dock. After they left my father and I collected as many as we could, sharing each of our finds. Each being more beautiful than the last, they had such a magical quality. I never really played typical marble games with them, I just enjoyed looking at them. I loved the colors and swirls captured in the glass and the way light went through the marbles. I still have them all and still wonder how those girls came to acquire so many marbles and why they would throw them into the water.


Kristy Christopherson I am fanatical for old letters. I am fascinated by their history, and the beautiful color and character they each have. I started using them in my collages-originals, and always loved the beautiful handwriting. Even though I have quite a few in my collection now, I now tend to use photocopies of them in my work rather than originals, so that I can keep using them. I find them everywhere-flea markets, antique stores and ebay.


Jen Bradford Although I gather objects like rocks & feathers, my biggest collection is a library of images of all sorts. (Above, a microscopic pic of volvox, for example.) I am always adding to my pile of flickr favorites, and then assembling them into groups. (mosaics that all have fine lines, or birds, or a particular color...) and have files of images torn from magazines and saved for many years.
I also collect color swatches every time I go to a paint store.


Lisa Hoffman I have a shameless collection of Designer Vinyl Toys. I think that my attention was riveted to these little works of art when I was treated to a dinner at the home of fellow True Colorist: Keely Barham. She had converted her entire California living room into one huge studio, filled with these cool little creations living amongst her other tools and supplies. You can grab one of these “toys” at places like Urban Outfitters for $5. A great, affordable addiction. The endless designs from cutting edge graphics and stencil artists just makes me happy.


Gwen Buchanan this is from a posting I did, incidentally called, "Treasures"

High tide wrack lines...
Treasures from the Sea...
Bleached by the sun...
Gathered from the shore...
Sitting in a shell...
Beauty on my windowsill...

Atlantic Rock Crabs... Cancer irroratus... marine arthropod... crustacean class... grow up to 13 cm. or 5¼" across the carapace, the crabs thick defensive shield... A body enclosed in an armor casing of tough protein called Chitin... This exoskeleton must be periodically shed to permit growth... Found in intertidal and subtidal waters... on rocky and sandy seashores... among kelp beds... Carapace varies in color from red to purple.... underside is pale white/gray to yellowish... I love their still delicacy now, in this state, as opposed to their strength when they were alive, housing their life-giving organs, as the ocean crashed around them.


Jonna Barnett Rocks. My great-grandfather was a rock hound. He had a shop out behind his house where he all of his equipment for polishing rocks. And he had tons and tons of rocks. I can remember going out into his shop and being mesmerized by all the shiny colorful rocks that were everywhere. I often wonder what happened to all of his collection as we only got a handful when he passed away. A few years ago a friend of mine bought a place and the gentleman who had lived there before had been a rock hound. There were rocks all over the place, nice big hunks but none had been polished. She was going to take them off to the dump.....I saved them. You can find them peeking out of my flower beds, in my potted plants in the house and scattered around the house. And whenever I pick one up I always think of my great-grandfather and his shop.

I have rocks from all over the world. When friends and relatives go on vacation and ask if there is anything I want them to bring me I always ask them to find a cool looking or unusual rock to bring back for me. Some of them give me strange looks but they usually bring me back some pretty cool looking rock. My favorite is the one my daughter brought back from her first trip to Japan. She found it on the beach and it sits on my bathroom counter where I can see it every day.


Robyn Gordon I love Ethiopian artifacts and I think this love for anything Ethiopian started with a very old shield which is in my collection. It was brought back to South Africa by a soldier who was stationed in Ethiopia during the Second World War. It was given to my mother who eventually gave it to me. As a child I was fascinated by its conical shape and all the engraved metal embellishments. (I actually thought it was a hat). The fact that it is made out of tough hippopotamus hide made it all the more exciting. I love the coptic crosses in my collection. The ones with hollow bases were used mounted on staffs during processionals and the others are hand held crosses. The baskets made in Ethiopia are unique to that country. Woven, covered in leather and embellished with metal beadwork with leather straps for carrying.


Kim Logan Show and Tell......well, I have a weird collection of dividers..!!!...All I can say is its a graphic design!!! (photo attached) I love them, and I know some assemblage artists use them in their pieces, but for me they are graphically perfect..!!!


grrl+dog uhm.. I collect vintage sex and medical books and things. I have my grandmothers sex book that was given to her in early last century by my great grandmother and the things in there crack me up. I have about 5 books on "marriage" throughout the last one hundred years and they are fascinating. It shows where our heads were and how we interpret stuff. Also explains why so many of us are so messed up on the subject. Maybe it was my sterile slide show of chickens and eggs at the local church at age 11 that did it. I honestly had no clue till the age of 15 or so. I also collect vintage post mortem photos...maybe because my grandparents had so many blue babies and they died. That was one thing the sex book didnt tell them.


Deana Hager I love to go out looking for antiques and vintage items. I try to go out "hunting" at least once a week.


Karen Cole As a painting major in college, I was always eager to go to the art supply store and check out the brushes. The sizes, shapes and material from which they were made, has always been exciting for me. Since then, I have been a brush "gatherer". All kinds. Old house painting brushes for assemblage, vintage hair brushes, artist brushes, cleaning brushes. New York Central Art Supply, has an amazing assortment of artist brushes, some hundreds of dollars and imported, that I covet. My birthday is in February, BTW.


Nancy Baumiller I collect a variety of things! I do have a fun collection of Pez dispensers but at the moment the one that is standing out and enjoying is my Vintage valentine collection! I love the colors and sweetness of them!


Elizabeth Bunsen Well I am a collector of many things: ledgers, seed pods, pine cones, cashmere sweaters, rusty bottle caps... but it is my rock collection that speaks to me most deeply - stripeys, river rocks, herkimer diamonds, tumbled beach stones, hollow holy stones, moldevite, blue opal... the list is endless - but my favorites are those I find regularly at the beach and on various adventures - the stripeys, the heart shaped stones and the river rocks. Here is a little story: one of my earliest memories is being a little girl of about 8 in Lodgepole NE - I would walk out to the water tower a long walk far behind our house and sit down in the sun, find a smooth sun warmed stone and rub it on my upper lip relishing in the sensual warmth and smoothness of that rock - tuck it into my pocket and bring it home. Click here to see more of this collection.


David Castle I love to paint on the northern Oregon Coast in a special, sleepy place where polished agates wash up on the beach like little jewels. I initially started my agate collection because I simply couldn’t walk the beach without picking them up. I then discovered that they make great painting tools – I place them in wet puddles of watercolor paint to create wonderful shapes for my “fossils” paintings.


Stephanie Mcatee I really don’t collect anything in particular. Art elements maybe-? Unposed black and white pics of my family that I have taken and hung throughout my house… even if it’s stuck in the wall with a straight pin! Just random.


Gail Pierce I have the usual collections of art books, magazines, and supplies including a collection of alphabet rubber stamps that I had to have and rarely use, but it’s the mugs, vases and baskets full of brushes that come with a story. When my father died in 1999 I inherited tubes of oil and acrylic paints along with the brushes that he had used for decades. I can’t seem to use them; after all, they’re irreplaceable. Maybe my penchant for collecting brushes is in response to the frugality my father had when it came to his supplies, he only acquired a new one when gifted.

Around the time of my father’s death, not unexpected, was when I started experimenting with mediums to replace the darkroom work I could no longer do. (Chemical sensitivity was the result of being unaware of the dangers of photography chemicals that should have been handled with gloves and a mask). Decorative painting was the first thing I tried, but not being one to follow patterns, recipes or directions that lasted about a minute. A different brush was required for different painting strokes. An interest in watercolors followed and of course more brushes; watercolors aren’t my thing either. Then acrylics; I couldn’t use the precious watercolor brushes, so more brushes were purchased. Speaking of precious, while packing to move from the Monterey Peninsula to the desert near Palm Springs two years ago I discovered a box of brushes I had purchased years before because they looked interesting; big thick brushes with beautiful handles. Collage requires brushes for gel mediums and those to my way of thinking should be of the disposable kind which led to a collection of cheap brushes from hardware stores. And then there are foam brushes, spatulas, spreaders, and brayers that are necessary for texture.

What brushes are my favorites? The cheap under a dollar natural bristle variety are the ones I always reach for when I start a painting along with a brayer and one of dad’s brushes for luck!


Jen Worden I have this thing about bones. I'm not sure where it came from but seeing the skeletal structure of birds and animals, so fragile and yet so very, very strong, touches something deep within me. I feel compelled to surround myself with them. Luckily I have an amazing source that gifts me with more than I will ever be able to thank him for. I also love the castoffs of others. Most often rusty bits that have fallen alongside the road or end up in the ditch. Occasionally, shiny bits that I discover on a beach walk.


Jessica Gonacha I've sort-of started collecting Ganesh/Buddha figures by default-- I've gotten several as birthday presents, the funniest being this large gold one that my brother bought in Amsterdam and lugged back for me. Now he buys me one every year! I even had one show up sitting on my mailbox one day, just sitting there waiting for me to take it inside. It's still a mystery where it came form.


Judy Wise I collect "drizzly stones". These are smooth, cloudy stones the color of the skies on Manzanita Beach where I used to have a home. It always rained there and I loved the moody sea. I would walk the sands and collect these stones in my pockets and then sort them out each night only keeping the magical ones. So that the ones I have now were collected nearly 30 years ago and they are very powerful.


Binky Bergsman Right now I am attracted to empty boxes. They will be used in an assemblage of some kind, some day. I love the wooden one with the hole in the front. That piece slides up to view the insides. It will be an homage to Joseph Cornell.


Mistie Jordan As an assemblage/collage artist, I think this is a dangerous question because I could link a story to every piece I have. (laugh) I collect little metal things that are rusted, doll heads, things off the street, small dolls, buckles, snaps, paper, lace and fabric. My biggest collection however is buttons. My great-grandmother was the creator of things in my family and she passed that “need” to me. She taught me how to make so many things. And she had zillions of buttons. Just all over the place in jars and cups and tins. I have never been able to shake the necessity of having them everywhere myself. I have lots of them and people keep bringing them to me all the time. I’ve had little “collections” of things as long as I can remember. Family members would bring me things that were aunt so and so’s etc. I was (am) the family pack-rat. Friends bring me items even now. My girlfriend was in an auto accident recently and she collected the little pieces from her car when they swept them up and brought them to me. She said she figured I’d do something interesting with them.


Sally Turlington Are you kidding me? What do I collect? What do I NOT collect? Let me just say that I collect mixed media supplies . . . that is to say EVERYTHING! Most precious to me are found and acquired objects - especially metal ones, paper scraps, cigar boxes, beads and charms, graphic arts and clip art books, vintage jewelry, current craft and art magazines, Communication Arts Magazines. This photo doesn't even show you the countless other things I collect -- like art books, dolls and statues, paints, brushes, decorative and handmade paper, paper company samples, storage containers, and on and on. I've been collecting for my varied art making interests for about 15 years. A few years back, I thought I might like to add on to my studio but came to the conclusion that I would than just fill up the new space, too. So I've made a conscious effort since then to STOP collecting. Yeah, right. Ask my friends! LOL. As a compulsive personality, sometimes I think I'm a collector rather than an artist. At any rate you could classify me as a pack rat extraordinaire!


Lisa Call I love rocks and collect them when hiking, on the beach, from my yard, etc. There is something about their solidness and shape that really appeals to me. I have rocks in bowls and on shelves all over my house. I believe the ones in this image are from New Zealand. Yes I flew home with a suitcase full of rocks after a 5 month sabbatical to that country in 2001, they got great rocks, or at least they did until I collected them.



Anonymous said...

Seth, this seems to be a very inspiring question! Loved to read the answers and notice the similarity with a few of my own collections. Look forward for the others to follow. Have a nice weekend!
Regina, St. Maarten DWI

ArtPropelled said...

Seth, this is my favourite post! I have loved every moment reading about everyone's collections.

Gillian McMurray said...

Been loving all the answers so far this week but this post is my favourite so far. I love all the pictures and stories. What great collections. Will be waiting with bated breath for the next instalments.

notmassproduced said...

WOW - I will direct all my friends to this post when they start piping up about all my treasure - i am not alone - yay.

ps thanks for the comment on my blog Seth and I am well impressed that you've got time to read other blogs as well as curating this treasure trove. I'm also so chuffed that we get to see your answers to the questions too. x

Anonymous said...

Wow- this is my most favorite post yet!

ckw said...

i really liked this question and the fact that there be a picture connected-
sometimes i just wanna see the picture and not read so many words-
i guess that is why i am a visual artist and not a writer -
thanks seth for doing this

Sarah said...

this is cool to read - lots of rock collectors out there!

Jonna said...

So so awesome to see what everyone collects. Truely amazing. Thanks Seth for all your hard work to pull this all together.

lynne h said...

i love this post seth... seeing the pics and reading what everyone's written. there are more than a few collections i'd like to be able to reach right through the screen and tenderly examine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Seth, Good to know I am not as crazy after all.. This is rivetting reading, thanks for pulling it together. Dneese

Anonymous said...

Great question Seth! I'm fascinated by the variety of answers but also by how many people love rocks!!!

rivergardenstudio said...

Oh Seth, this is wonderful, this morning is the first time I have got to sit down and really soak The Pulse in and I am so inspired! Thank YOU! Roxanne

Steph said...

Seth, The Pulse rocks!
I gave you an award, more on my blog!

Shayla said...

This was an especially enjoyable part. It's easy to see why these artists are so inspired. Collections seem to stimulate creativity. I'll have to give thoughts to starting one!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, and thanks for introducing so many great people!

Jazz said...

I find it really interesting how many people have an affinity for rocks.

Every time I go for a walk I come back with a few stones in my pockets which I often don't even remember picking up.

sarahelizabeth said...

Cool, very cool.

Chris said...

Seth, sometimes it's so nice to be away from the computer for several days, because when I get back, I get to catch up on great blogs, like yours. LOOK at these fabulous things! I just want to jump into everyone's collections!!


Maybe not the crabs.