What’s Your Story: Artist in Residence Concludes

My month long Artist in Residence¬† (AIR) at the Salem Art Association’s Art Annex, ended on November 22. I moved into my temporary studio on October 24th (and blogged about it on October 25th and again on October 31st). It was a busy and exciting month of creating a series of mixed media collages on watercolor paper, as well as pushing myself into some new territory.

Where I hung out for a month, located in the middle of Bush’s Pasture Park.


Welcome to my studio . . . .



During my Artist in Residence, I had open studio hours and loved having visitors.

A page from my guest book.


Stephanie and Tory stopped for a visit; Jim and Jo Hockenhull were frequent visitors and brought their nephew.


Visitors to the Annex stopped to check out my project.


Cynthia worked on collages she started in my earlier workshop. Howard stopped by to wire some of my art.


Irene enjoyed looking at my old photos.


Nic (Dave) and Sloy (Sandra) stopped for a visit.

I completed an expansive body of work. Here are ten of my completed mixed media collages, all created using black and white photos of strangers.


For those curious about what the day-to-day experience of my AIR was like, I’m sharing some of my journal entries and corresponding photographs.

Wednesday, October 25: First official day of AIR. Fine tuning my set up. Brought in another table, also a comfortable roller chair. I will finalize my class packets today, hang sample collages, and hopefully get started on sample technique cards: paint, plaster, transfer, inks . . . .


Wednesday, November 1: Ready to settle in to do my own work, but first I need to finish putting things away from Saturday’s workshop and put away my bounty from Sunday’s antique EXPO. Of course, all my stuff makes me reevaluate how I have things organized, but I get joy from organizing it and I am continually inspired and come up with new ideas.

Wednesday, November 3: My brain is full and bursting with ideas. I try and jot notes as ideas form and then transfer the ideas into my journal. TAKE AWAY: Dedicated daily studio time is essential for spinning off new ideas and to create a body of work. Yesterday I worked with transfers and backgrounds. I will continue with that thread. Also, wood. I am moving away from paper and toward wood.

Wednesday, November 8: A full day ahead, as many hours as I want or need. Continuing to work on wood pieces, especially the crate pieces. I must tackle the center of the wood pieces; stymied by the transfer image I put in the middle. I need to build a surface. Color? Plaster? Original style: collage on complex background? Or grid using papers, and then unified by collage (simple or complex). Yikes. I’m stuck.

Thursday, November 9: Yesterday was extremely productive and I landed on an idea for the three wood pieces, which gave me focus. Today I will hopefully create three book cover collages (or five . . . .). I will also finish 3-5 collages for my wall in the style of the original pieces. Fun to continue expanding that vision. Not bored with it after all.

Wednesday, November 15: Rainy and I wanted to stay home, tucked inside, but I’m honoring my commitment and I showed up. Puttering with paper collages and getting ready to sand and stain my plastered boards. I’ll begin to lay out book covers, matching a photo with a library check out card – I’ve got some good ones. Counting today, only four more days of my AIR . . . . unless I work this weekend. It’s possible.

Three completed pieces showcasing defaced book covers.


“The Accuracy of Memory,” by Dayna J. Collins.


“Years Bleach Away the Sense of Things,” by Dayna J. Collins.


“The Familiarity of Something,” by Dayna J. Collins.

Tuesday, November 20: Final day of working in the studio. Feeling sad to be leaving. I’ve treated my time here as a job, showing up regularly and moving my projects along, gaining new ideas and insights along the way. Today is a bit about photography – capturing images, more than enough. My friend Stephanie said I was part archivist, part storyteller, part mad scientist. Another quote to post.

My big, beautiful, and expansive inspiration wall.


Wednesday, November 21: Packing up and moving out.

Taking down the last of my inspiration wall.


Packed up and moved out.


I’ve spent the past few days getting settled into Studio A, my space for the past three years at The Art Studios at Mission Mill, located on the second floor of the Wool Warehouse at the Willamette Heritage Center. It feels good to be back and I’ve already been working on my What’s Your Story project.

I’ll end by sharing a quote from my friend, Stephanie Brockway:

I love your alternative history exploration. This speaks to me so loudly, not everyone was important. Some lived quiet lives, with no heirs, lives boxed up, taken to the curbside and scattered to the wind. Taking the broken fragments, detritus, and ephemera is such an act of love and respect… conserving with a twist, the odd elements of the human condition never cease to amaze me, too. I’m hyperventilating about our next archaeological dig and what might be found and discovered.

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