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Showing posts from 2024

Lamp, 1992

  Lamp, sketch by douglas brent smith, mixed media, 1992 This is a drawing of an actual lamp. I don't remember where the lamp lived -- maybe in our house on 39th Place -- that seems logical. It appears in journal #27 Repercussions .

Downstream Corporation

  Downstream Corporation - collage by douglas brent smith, 30 August 1991. The board of directors is not in the mood for slacking. The stream must keep flowing and the product must roll. There is money to be made, but wait! That pause for fun has already begun. For most of my life, collages all came together in one day. They could take hours, but I would seldom stop working on one until it was done. Usually the radio would be playing endlessly in the background -- WMMR when I lived in NJ or PA, WXRT when I lived in Chicago. For this collage, it was WXRT all the way. - dbS - 

You Can Be...

  You Can Be... - sketch by douglas brent smith Where do you stand? What do you demand?  Who do you declare yourself to be? 

You Can Be Positive

  You Can Be Positive - collage by douglas brent smith.

Worldview Built In a Day

  Worldview Built In a Day - collage by douglas brent smith, 3 January 1988

Truth and Bull

  Truth and Bull - sketch by douglas brent smith, 1989. Have you ever felt completely upside-down?  "How do I know that you're telling the truth." "Because I always tell the truth." "Well, I know that's not true." "How do you know?" "Because it can't be true. How do I know that anything you say is true if I can't trust what you just said." "Because I am 100% truthful." "That's bull." "Or is it?" Feeling upside down, the conversation ended. Were they any closer to the truth? Likely, not. - dbS -  Here's another version of the image with more saturation, allowing you to see some of what is on the back of the page, and adding more color:

One Spirit One Energy One World

  One Spirit One Energy One World - collage by douglas brent smith, 16 November 1991

Levitating a Small Guitar

  Levitating a Small Guitar - sketch by douglas brent smith (probably 1991). "Do you think that he could levitate a large guitar, that is to say, a normal sized guitar as well?" "No doubt. It might take some practice, though." "Does it come naturally?" "It comes with practice." "That is more like a ukulele than a guitar." "Nope. It has six strings. Guitar." "Small" "But he could also levitate a large guitar. Maybe one wasn't available." "Well, you've got to start someplace." "Yes." - dbS - 

It's Time For A Change

 It's Time For A Change - collage by douglas brent smith, 1 August 1991


  Badminton, sketch by douglas brent smith, 1991 It is only a doodle. A quick sketch that started out as a space ship but somehow ended up looking like a badminton birdie. Still, I like it, so here it is. 

Angel Wall

  Angel Wall - sketch by douglas brent smith, 1991

Falling Piano

  Falling Piano - collage by douglas brent smith, 01 June 1989. Below is the same collage but with a slightly different color saturation. I don't know which one I prefer, so I saved both versions. What do you think -- A (the one above) or B (the one below)? When I was a kid there were several old comedy movies that featured a piano falling from the window. And, didn't John Cage compose a piece of music that involved a falling piano? It must make a large noise followed by a big pile of wood and strings. Fortunately, life is not as riddled with falling pianos as it once seemed.   -  dbS  - 

The Deal

  The Deal - collage by douglas brent smith, 21 November 1988. "What's the deal?" "You tell me." "Is he selling that giant bowl? "What if it's not a bowl?" "I think that it's a bowl." "Why would he be selling it? Unless it's more than a bowl." "Do we know for sure that he's selling it?" "No." "Then what's the deal?" Sometimes I strain to understand something and fail. It doesn't make me strop trying to understand it, I just don't get anywhere. What's the deal with that? Other times, things are so elegantly simple that I understand them right away. Or, at least think that I do.  How do we know for sure? -- dbS  - 

Not Much Room For Guests

  Not Much Room For Guests - collage by douglas brent smith, 29 May 1989 "Why don't you make bigger works of art?" " Do mean, by size?" "Yes. Yours all seem to fit in a notebook." "That's the point. Large is hard to store, and I've moved around so much -- proof of the difficulty is that the larger works of art I did do have disappeared." "Gone?" "Yep. Some mysteriously, and some in a brutal purge after my last move." "After your move? So you paid to have them move and then got rid of them?" "Yes. I didn't even take pictures of them. They no longer pleased me. They no longer represented me. They were mostly paintings from my first stay in Chicago. They were fun to make. I remember episodes of The Match Game playing in the background and soap operas -- or listening to WXRT on my humble stereo. I really should have had a job, but instead, painted. I really should have made collages -- and sometimes

It lights up in the dark

  It lights up in the dark - collage by douglas brent smith, 1 January 1989. This was a bit of a departure for me and got me going on tearing the paper. I enjoy the textured effect and the versatility it adds. I still mostly use scanners (sewing scissors are my favorite because they are sharp and articulate) and still tearing sometimes.  You may have noticed that this does not really light up in the dark.

Mineral Wealth 2

  Mineral Wealth 2 - pen and marker sketch boy douglas brent smith, 1989. An album cover for an unrecorded, unreleased album.  Here is the full page in Journal #26, "Communication" where the concept of the album, song titles, and evidence of water damage all appear. Clearly, I was having both a) fun with markers, and b) delusions of grandeur.  Mineral Wealth 2 with song titles

Face In The Crowd

  Face In The Crowd - pen and marker drawing by douglas brent smith, 1989 At the buttom of the drawing you can see the effect of water on the paper. I feel lucky that my journals weren't more severely damaged or even burned completely up in the fire at Elm Street. I spent hours afterwards drying them out in the sun on a trampoline, carefully turning page by page and giving each page some drying time. This is from journal #26. I was up to journal #41 at the time. Fortunately, not all of them were drenched.  

Horizontal Hold

  Horizontal Hold - collage by douglas brent smith 29 May 1989

Dreaming of Mineral Wealth

 Dreaming of Mineral Wealth - collage by douglas brent smith, 21 November 1988.

Mineral Wealth

  Mineral Wealth - River Gold - drawing by douglas brent smith, 1989 This is an imaginary (so far) record album cover, drawn back when album covers still mattered, when they still helped to sell recordings, when they represented additional enjoyment for the music. I never had a band named Mineral Wealth, but I think it's a great name for a band and the name of the album, "River Gold" makes it seem like a greatest hits collection. Imagine that. Greatest Hits albums were far more important in 1989 than they are at the moment when streaming one song at a time is much more common. In a way, it's all one continuous "greatest hits" parade. The colors in this sketch were effected by water damage to the journal that occurred during the fire on Elm Street in 2008. A lot more than this whimsical picture was harmed in that fire. - dbS - 

A Little Cottage By The Lake

A Little Cottage By The Lake - collage by douglas brent smith, 21 November 1988. How do you like to spend your birthday? Apparently, I like to spend some of my birthday making collages! I've done several collages on my birthdays and this is one of my favorite. Dancers are wonderful additions to any visual composition. The balance, the focus, the motion all add a dynamic that is distinctive and pure. I'm not a great dancer (although I used to think I was, I later discovered that it was my partner who was making me feel like a great dancer. When my partner moved on my dancing confidence dropped. Fortunately, I held onto my collage steps...) - dbS - 

Make Waves

 Make Waves - collage by douglas brent smith, 19890601 Oddities Unexplained: This collage, created June 1, 1989, appears on page 249 (with the back-side of the page simply the title) of journal #25. Communication, and the following poem, "Waves" was written on June 30, 1990 (more than a year later) and appears on page 251 of the same journal. I think how something like that happens is that there was a time when I created collages in my journals deep within the pages, long before the journal writing caught up. Plus, this particular journal took longer than usual to write. Does it matter? Not much. But, there you have it. Here's the poem: Waves everything on the surface develops a skin of its own unexamined, unrevealed, unkissed by the sun and then something falls with the  unrelenting force of gravity and breaks that surface bearing a new moment which  makes waves ohmyohmyohmyohmyohmy holycowholycowholycowholycow... but then the waves dissipate and the skin of the surface

How Was Your Vacation?

  How Was Your Vacation? - collage by douglas brent smith, 29 May 1989.  Did you go to exotic locales? How was the weather? My dad went 19 years in a row (and maybe more) without ever taking a vacation. Instead, he used the money from continuing to work to support the family. You probably experienced some sacrifices in your family, too. Are you grateful for the things that those who came before you did for you and yours? It's so easy to forget big things we should be grateful for. Let's give thanks for them now. Oh, and would you like to go on vacation in the location of this collage? - dbS - 

Check Your Pockets for the Key

  Check Your Pockets for the Key - collage by douglas brent smith, 21 November 1988, paper, magazine pictures, glue.

The Scientific Method

 The Scientific Method - collage by douglas brent smith Magazine pictures, paper, and glue. Carefully they view the evidence. It is only in this moment that any of this comes together. The placement is precise, the conclusions uncertain. "Do you see what I see?" "I do not know what you see." "You are looking right at it." 'I see my view, you see yours." "What is she doing?" "Examining the evidence. She's using the scientific method." "How do you know?" "I read her log." - dbS -

What The Cats Discovered

  What The Cats Discovered - digital collage by douglas brent smith, 2 March 2024 With glue and paper, once you've set the glue you either live with it, tear it off, or paste something over it. That makes the work exacting and a bit risky. With a digital collage, such as this one, you can change your mind and simply iterate. That's fun, too. There could be an endless series of versions of the same picture that is not the same picture.  I don't necessarily want that, but I wasn't sure I was satisfied with the first version (above) so here are some alternatives. The What the Cats Discovered Remix, or More of What The Cats Discovered: More of What The Cats Discovered (Outside Remix) - douglas brent smith 2 March 2024 ore of What The Cats Discovered, Inside Remix, douglas brent smith 2 March 2024 What one do you like the best?  I promise that I will NOT do this with every collage. Tonight, it was fun.

Worldview Built In A Day With Fire

  Worldview Built In A Day With Fire - collage by douglas brent smith, 3 January 1988 Something about this collage causes me to page quickly past it, yet if I spend more time absorbed in it there is more to see. I pondered cropping it. I cut out dozens of pieces of pictures that could go in with it, but found it hard to obscure the central image. Worldview? Examination? Built in a day?  The hints of mixed media with the pen lines were attempts to draw it all together. Did it work?

Time For Another Episode...

  "Time For Another Episode...Dream Collage 87" collage by douglas brent smith, 26 December 1987 It feels like winter has always been my most productive collage season. It started in college when I'd use much of my semester break drinking Dr. Pepper, eating hot dogs and baked beans, and making collages. The Dr. Pepper was yummy but destroyed one of my teeth and nearly destroyed them all. Switching to black coffee (oh, and brushing my teeth!) came to the rescue. I'm not sure why this collage has such a long title. I don't think there are 86 other "dream collages" sequenced in the catalogue. Clearly, it refers to the year in some amusing way. Here we see the casual disregard of an ominously dangerous insect-like critter -- headed for havoc. So often though, we can be oddly calm just before all trouble breaks loose. The gentleman in the lower left corner has an answer for you on the line, if you're willing to reverse the charges. - dbS -

The Eyes Have It

  Do you think that artists have their own personal favorites among the works that they create? While they are all our "babies" (not really, but there's the expression...) and we are usually pleased with the finished product, some sit better than others. I like this collage. I've used it in many contexts as a featured illustration because it makes me smile. Growing up, I remember when TV stations would leave the air at night and the last thing on the screen would be a test pattern. Sometimes it had (for some reason) a picture of a Native American in the pattern, and sometimes it didn't. This was, of course, before color TV.  I call this "The Eyes Have It". There may be other versions of it (maybe with more eyes) and there may not be. Things get lost, things get (gasp!) destroyed.  I hope you like it. I sure do. The Eyes Have It - collage by douglas brent smith, paper, magazine images, Elmer's Glue, 22 February 1988.

A Full Moon Wasn't The Half of It

  A Full Moon Wasn't The Half of It -- collage by douglas brent smith, 1986

A Day At The Beach

  A Day At The Beach - Digital collage by douglas brent smith, 22 January 2024

Getting Started Is The Rough Part

  Getting Started Is The Rough Part - collage by douglas brent smith 26 December 1987

The Hurricane Hour

The Hurricane Hour - collage by douglas brent smith, 3 January 1988.

Egg On A Walk At Koranda Palace

Egg On A Walk At Koranda Palace - mixed media sketch by douglas brent smith, 26 December 1987  

A Formal Evening

  A Formal Evening -- mixed media sketch by douglas brent smith

Your Face

 Your Face, sketch by douglas brent smith, 1983