Bear Run Road

Bear Run Road, 2017 - SOLD

Bear Run Road, 2017 – SOLD

My latest commission is a cutout collage that will hang in a family cabin in St. Germaine, Wisconsin, which is a city featured on the map I used. The clients asked me to include certain important details, such as their love of bears, their cabin’s location on Bear Run Rd., and the legacy of two grandfathers. I recreated one grandfather’s CPD badge and the other grandfather’s Board of Trade badge.

If you have ideas for your own cutout collage, please comment on this post or e-mail me at dean@deanjohnsonartstudio.com. They make excellent gifts and meaningful ways to represent your memories!

Reverse Plexi Painting

Chicago Picasso, 2017

Chicago Picasso, 2017

For the most part, I have continued to focus this year on completing private commissions and liquidating existing inventory. I did make an exception to the rule, however, when I decided to actually do something with materials I already had lying around.

At least 2 years ago I purchased some acrylic sheets with the intention of painting on them. This technique is known as Reverse Plexi Painting, after the brand name Plexiglas. Because this medium allows artists to achieve a perfect, glassy surface, it has been used in Pop Art by Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Nutt, and many others.

My approach to the medium was to be an extension of the cut-out technique I have been employing for over 2 years, as I would be using cut-outs as stencils. I loved the idea that the Plexiglas surface would remove all evidence of my hand. The end result would be like something off a factory line.

The piece at the top of the page is my first attempt. To see how I made this, take a look at my short video:

How To Make A Reverse Plexi Painting

Learning on the Job

I am still brimming with excitement over my inclusion in the Catholic Charities Gala of the Arts last week! None of my work sold, but I learned a lot about how to manage this type of exhibit. Sometimes, those learning experiences are more valuable than art sales. Based on things that happened during this show, I would do a few things differently next time.

The afternoon of the show, I received a call from one of the event volunteers who wanted to know where my work was! I had hired an Art Handler to drop off the pieces, and he had sent me verbal confirmation of the delivery two hours before I got this call. As far as I knew, the art should have already been on location. Needless to say, I was freaking out.gala-box

Eventually, the box of art turned up. The only explanation I can figure is that someone on the staff had misplaced the box. The lesson for me is that I need to better document all deliveries. If I had supplied my Handler with a form for the person who received it to sign, then the event staff would have been responsible for the art.

Consider a worse-case scenario: the box would have never been found. Maybe someone walked off with it, or it was accidentally thrown away. With proper documentation, I might have been able to obtain reimbursement from the event’s insurance carrier. Without documentation, I would have had nothing.

The work was installed in time for the show, although it looked to me like it was installed in a hurry. See the picture below. The placement wasn’t close to being as precise as the layout design I had submitted. I have to wonder how the display would have turned out if I could have helped the staff locate the artwork sooner. Documentation would have led us to the last person to see the box.

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