GULP . . . Website Changes

Change is never easy and when those changes are related to IT, websites, blogs, platforms, IP addresses, and a whole lot of terminology that read like gibberish to me, it is even more difficult. But the time has come for me to transition from a website managed by my long-time IT guru, who is getting out of the business, to a user friendly website platform. Fortunately, my husband knows his way around computers and offered to be the guy to learn the Squarespace platform. He has spent hours and hours building my site, resizing photos, reviewing written descriptions, and putting up with my mini meltdowns (and I’m not even the one doing the work!).

Our plan is to launch to the new site early next week. There are still issues to resolve, so Howard has been chatting with Go Daddy about my three domain names: Dayna J. Collins, Dayna Collins, and Alley Art Studio. And then there is my blog. I started blogging using Blogspot in October, 2007 and used that platform until 2013, when I switched to WordPress. Not wanting to lose WordPress, Howard and I have been brainstorming how to incorporate that site into Squarespace (we’ve heard they don’t play well together) and we think we’ve come up with a solution that accomplishes what we need, but the actual transition could cause some downtime to my website during the actual transfer. During the transition, we will be linking two of my domains to the new site and retaining one domain to my old website, work out the bugs, then get all three connected to the new site, although that plan may change somewhere along the way, and as I type this there might already be another plan brewing.

If all goes according to plan (hahaha), my blog shouldn’t be interrupted, but we’re dealing with technology and codes and secret handshakes, so stay tuned and please check back.

 

Funky Junkyard Birds Are For Sale . . . Thanks for asking

I’ve had a few inquiries about whether my Funky Junkyard Birds are for sale and the answer is yes. Because I don’t usually sell direct or online, I needed to figure out the best way to make this happen. The first thing I’m doing is listing all of my birds on this blog post with a photo, name, and price. If you would like to buy a bird, please email me (dayna@alleyartstudio.com) and let me know which bird you have chosen and I’ll send you a Paypal invoice. If you live local, we can work out an in person exchange and no shipping will be necessary. If I am sending you your bird, the mailing charge will be $10.

Here is the whole gang, and in alphabetical order, no less!

Funky Junkyard Birds
Allie
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
Barnaby
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Beatrice
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Beckett
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
Cooper
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
Crawford
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Daisy
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
Guardino Gallery in Portland

Funky Junkyard Birds
Evangeline
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Evelyn
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
Finn
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Guardino Gallery in Portland

Funky Junkyard Birds
Gilbert
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Harvey
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
J. L. Munkres
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Lila
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Guardino Gallery in Portland

Funky Junkyard Birds
Lucky
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Margo
by Dayna J. Collins
$65
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Maverick
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
Oliver
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Palmer
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds
Patterson
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Guardino Gallery in Portland

Funky Junkyard Birds
Pearl
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Poppy
by Dayna J. Collins
$65.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Ruby Ann
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Guardino Gallery in Portland

Funky Junkyard Birds
Taylor
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
SOLD

Funky Junkyard Birds
Whitfield
by Dayna J. Collins
$75.
Salem on the Edge
Downtown Salem Gallery

Funky Junkyard Birds: A New Flock Has Landed

It is no secret that I am a collector of worn out and tossed aside objects, the rustier, grittier, and grimier, the better. If those objects are scratched, dented, and beat up, my heart skips a beat. Every couple of years, I feel the tug to create a new batch of my Funky Junkyard Birds. I pull out vintage tins and pieces of metal that I’ve been squirreling away over the months, and begin selecting which pieces will be used for making my metal found object birds.

Although I’ve been a collector for years, the idea for creating metal birds came in 2010 when I took Leighanna Light’s Birds Gone Wild class. I was immediately smitten and Leighanna gave me her blessing to make my version of the birds, saying, “Yes, of course, sell away!”

I started my latest batch of birds in February, with an offer from my husband to cut out and flatten the vintage tins and cut out the bird parts: wings, heads, pants, shirts, and bodies. I selected which tins I wanted to use, drew shapes onto the metal, and then turned them over to Howard to cut and sand the razor sharp edges. After a couple of weeks, I had beautiful piles of bird body parts.

In March, the auditions began. This involved combing through my basement stockpiles, opening cupboards, pulling out drawers, digging through bins, and pawing through boxes. I pulled out various found objects that might serve as a body, then tried out different heads. Personas began to take shape; pants or legs were added; an array of wings posed;  balancing shape, color, and design. Unique bits and crazy finishing trinkets added to the emerging personalities of each bird.

Once the birds were Frankenstined together, a process that took several weeks, each bird was given a name, photographed, and are now making their debut.

Here are a smattering from the 25 I created over the past four months.

Funky Junkyard Birds
Ruby Ann
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Poppy
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Maverick
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Margo
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
J. L. Munkres
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Evangeline
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Daisy
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Crawford
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Cooper
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Beckett
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Beatrice
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Barnaby
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Allie
by Dayna J. Collins

Funky Junkyard Birds
Whitfield
by Dayna J. Collins

 

Handmade Journal: The Great Pause (Part 2)

On March 23, I created a handmade journal, which I titled The Great Pause, referring, of course, to the Corona virus pandemic. Since that time, I have continued to work on the pages, gluing in more fodder, pieces of old books, and lots of scraps from my collage bins. Besides continual alterations and additions, I have been writing on the pages, in no particular order, just finding the best space to write down thoughts, quotes, poems, rants, and even daily activities during such a strange period in my life. I decided it was time to share some of the pages, calling this post Part 2. I could offer a caution that some will be offended, but it’s my journal and my feelings, so I’ll not write about why I included what I included, but just share photos of some of my pages as they continue to morph and emerge.

 

 

 

Stitching With Book Linen Scraps

My latest obsession has been exploring using little bits of book linen tabs, collected from when I rip books apart. I have quite a stockpile of these colorful little remnants.

I’ve been fascinated with the small size, the jewel-toned colors, and the raggedy edges since I began ripping books apart. In 2019 when I had my Salvage Collage show at Guardino Gallery, I first experimented with using the colorful little bits:

The Circus by Dayna J. Collins

This was one of my favorite pieces from the show and when it sold, the design idea flew out the door along with the art. Until recently, when those little linen tabs started to make themselves known to me once again. Over the past week I’ve been playing and experimenting with them every time I walked into my studio; I started thinking of the little linen remnants as stitches used to hold pieces of paper together.

Stitched collage in scrapbook journal by Dayna J. Collins

And then I added some stitches in my Great Pause Covid 19 journal.

Stitched page in “The Great Pause” Covid 19 book collage journal by Dayna J. Collins

Of course, I couldn’t resist making a series of stitched collages on book boards.

Book board Salvage Collage by Dayna J. Collins

Book board Salvage Collage by Dayna J. Collins

Book board Salvage Collage with “long stitches,” by Dayna J. Collins

 

Time to go rifle through my bin of scraps.

 

 

Handmade Journal: The Great Pause (Part 1)

 

In mid March, all hell started to break loose as the Corona Virus began to consume our lives in one way or another. On Monday, March 23, Governor Brown mandated a statewide stay at home order. March 23 was the day I decided to create a journal where I could record not only what was taking place around the world and in Oregon, but also for me tucked safely inside my home. What was my new life going to look like in the upcoming weeks, or perhaps months.

The first thing I did was to make a journal using an old book and then gathering lots of paper fodder. I used book pages, music, scraps from torn apart books, and pieces of random papers, post cards, and handbills from my collage stash.

 

Once my papers were gathered, I bound the book using waxed linen thread and began embellishing the pages with scraps and raggedy book bits. Every day I would go through my journal and add interesting pieces to several pages, put wax paper between the pages, weigh it down overnight, and then come back the next day and do it all over again to different pages. I did this process of turning the pages and adding more day after day for three weeks.

Finally, on Monday, April 13, I declared that my journal was ready, the pages prepared.

At the same time, throughout the past three weeks, I have been writing notes to myself and making lists about the pandemic: sleeping in, routines, gift of time, rhythm of the day, tooth pain, sporty sneakers, oral surgery, helpless, daily walks, fake news, megalomaniac, self care, roller coaster . . . . .

I have printed things I have read: a poignant poem, a particularly good article on adjusting to how to live during this strange time, the timeline of how our president has fumbled and mismanaged the entire pandemic since the beginning. All things I feel inspired to record, share on my pages, or use as jumping off points for processing the range of emotions I have been feeling.

For now, I’m sharing a sampling of my pages before I make any entries, do any writing, make any lists, record poems and timelines, letting the beauty of the collages and materials speak for themselves.

Did I mention when I made the first journal that I made two more at the same time!?! What was I thinking?

 

Obsessive Quarantining Activity

Before all hell broke loose, I registered for Nicolas Wilton’s popular 12-week ART2LIFE Creative Visionary Program. If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s how Nicolas explains it:

The program is designed for beginner to advanced artists who are interested in significantly shifting and improving their art. This program will guide you into a better understanding of your own unique creative expression. Over the 12 weeks, we will be taking a deep dive into all the 6 Art2Life Principles – Design, Value, Color, Texture, Risk and Soul.

Gaining a thorough understanding of the nuances and interconnectedness of these fundamental principles will allow you to have tremendous creative freedom in any kind of art-making you desire to pursue. Whether you paint realistically or abstractly, draw, paint, collage or any combination of the three, this intensive program will give you all the tools you need. The program is principle-based and its primary purpose is to clarify and strengthen your own authentic creative expression.

The program and the Art2life team of coaches provides you with an amazing community of supportive artists, concise ways to create a more sustainable,  joyful art practice and most importantly, the fundamental art-making principles to finally bring your Art to life.

The program is intensive and to do it even nominally, requires several hours a week, and that is without doing any painting. Then, all hell broke loose when Covid-19 began gaining ground and I found myself with extra time to jump all in to the ART2LIFE Creative Visionary Program. However, this post isn’t about the program, but about how Nicholas has all of his paints in squeeze bottles, often the type that restaurants use for ketchup and mustard. One of the benefits of using the squeeze bottles is the consistency of the paint, not too thin (fluid paints don’t work for this program) and not too thick (like tube paints). Nicolas has his own line of paint that are the perfect consistency, but Nicholas is generous with information and he has shared how to get paint to the right consistency.

For the past two weeks, I have been on a mad tear sorting all of my paints, throwing out old dried up ones, and then combining like colors into a mixing bowl, whipping, stirring, adding mediums and water, and then pouring my energized and reformulated paints into plastic condiment bottles. Most of the time I mixed like colors together, even if they were from different brands, but sometimes I just mixed up an assortment of colors, like several different greens, which after mixing I dubbed “Weirdo Green.”

It has consumed me, it’s been messy, but the end result is a beautiful cacophony of colors. No more excuses not to paint.

A side benefit in the clean up process, is that I started wiping excess paint onto a large canvas and I’ve ended up with a vibrant first layer.

 

 

Featured Artist at Open Studios: Salvage Collage

I was the featured artist at our recent quarterly Open Studios at the Mill, held on February 13. My show focused on a series of revamped and new Salvage Collages as well as some acrylic paintings done on book board covers, utilizing my materials in a new way. I worked on pieces feverishly right up until it was time to get the show hung.

Artist Statement about my Salvage Collages:

Dayna Collins has always loved old books. She hyperventilates at the sight of books which are stained, defaced, torn or marked up. She rips battered books apart, reclaiming their faded fragments, and creates collages using only materials she has excavated.  Dayna’s mixed media pieces reflect the passage of time, repurposing the scraps that are worn and weathered, transforming the aged and tattered pieces into something unexpected and beautiful, celebrating their fragile decay.

My husband hung my show in two stages, and it turns out he has quite a knack for curating and hanging.

The end result was quite nice.

Some of the pieces in the show:

And some of the paintings on book boards:

 

Many thanks to those who stopped in to say hello, and to Luis Noriega for attending our Open Studios and interviewing some of our artists for his podcast: Down the Rabbit Hole DTRH Podcast

Head’s Up: Next opportunity to see my Salvage Collages will be at a Pop – Up in July in Astoria, Oregon! 

Daily Art Practice: Visual Painting Journal – Final Pages

I did it! During 2019 I set a goal of painting in my visual journal every day. I sometimes fell behind if I was out of town, other times I took my paints and journal along with me and kept up. I fell waaaayyy behind in mid December and it took me until mid February to get completely caught up, but family medical emergencies are never convenient.

I filled 6-1/2 visual journals (I wrote about my process and the type of journals I used here) and created 366 pages of paintings (I accidentally painted two pages for the same day). Throughout the year I did blog posts sharing about my project and posting photos of my favorite pages; now I want to share some final photos of favorite pages created since my last post in early November.

November 9, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

November 10, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

November 13, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

November 19, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

November 22, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

November 24, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

November 30, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 1, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 3, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 4, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 5, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 6, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 9, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 13, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 22, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 25, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

December 26, 2019
Dayna J. Collins

It was a great year. Some of my takeaways:

  • I challenged myself to get into my studio every day.
  • I experimented with new ideas.
  • I pushed myself to use different colors and compositions.
  • I explored using a bigger vocabulary of marks and lines.
  • I challenged myself to be bold and at times audacious.
  • I had fun, which helped me paint loose.

Mission accomplished.

Page dividers from the past year.

And now I’m doing something different for 2020. . . . . . .

Willamette University Exhibition: Salvage Collage – A Sort of Magic

I’m pleased to share that I currently have an exhibition of my Salvage Collages at Willamette University’s Hatfield Library. My show, Salvage Collage: A Sort of Magic, is on view through January 20, 2020. It is always a thrill to show at the library, where I used to work 20 years ago.

Leading up to my exhibition, I was feverishly creating new work and revamping some old pieces to give them new life.

On the day of hanging, I used book carts to get my boxes and suitcases to the second floor of the Hatfield Library.

Then I spread everything out and began the process of stacking books in the cases and auditioning where to put the assorted Salvage Collages.

After a couple of hours, my work was complete.

The public is welcome to visit the library (and my exhibit) during library hours.The best place to park is on State Street, where there is metered parking (Willamette is located right across the street from the State Capitol). While you are at the library, check out the Pacific Northwest Artists Archives, which is right next to the two cases where my exhibition is. There is also some great art on the first and second floors by regional artists.

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