adrienne mason art

glue + paper + scissors = collage


Fun with Popular Mechanics (and friends)

I’ve recently moved and, lucky me, my place is equidistant between two auction houses. Tuesday nights I turn left, and Thursday nights I turn right. Well, sometimes. I often just go for an hour or two. It’s good, free entertainment and I find it pretty fascinating, but also sobering. It’s sad how often peoples’ treasured possessions sell for next to nothing (especially those small collectibles that gather dust). Of course I have my eye out for old magazines, catalogues, and ephemera that I’m hoping no one will notice and I can get for under $5, maybe $10 or even $20 if I really love it. I had my eye on a box of old cheques last Thursday—I figured that the fabulous boxes of old postcards and stamps would be snapped up by some collector and out of my reach (and I was correct)—but the damn thing went for $30. Honestly, what use could they possibly have for a box of old cheques? I think I might have to start accosting people, because I’m pretty sure they’re after a few gems in the box and the rest is junk to them, but gold to me.

The next day however, I did manage to snap up a few old issues of Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, and Mechanix Illustrated from the 1940s and ’50s, which I’ve been having a lot of fun with. The ads are hilarious. I made a series of 8 small collages (about 11.5 cm x 11.5 cm) and tried not to think too hard about anything. I just worked fast and, with the exception of the one with the muscle man in which I used a photo transfer (transfer pen), they’re all fairly geometric.




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Working in a Series

Usually my collages are one offs. They have no relation to the next one I made. Late last year I decided to make a series and to make (slightly) larger pieces than I usually make. Here’s what I came up with using a vintage catalogue (Eaton’s, I think), dictionary bits, paint chips, old textbooks and other random bits of paper. (You can click on the small images to make them larger.)



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Paint Chips & Postcards

For something completely different, I’ve been playing with adding a single image to two types of backgrounds: paint chips and postcards. The paint chips haven’t scanned that well because I used a lighter colour (and my scanner clearly needs a clean!), but I’ll continue to play around with this idea. It was quite freeing just choosing one image. Fun (and slightly silly) times in the studio.


Helen’s Mystery Postcards

Not to be confused with artist Tofu‘s project, Helen’s Postcards, I have a little postcard mystery on my hands. I was cleaning up my studio/office in Tofino when I came across a stack of postcards. I have no idea where they came from and neither does anyone else I asked. I really (really) hope I didn’t actually buy them because I have absolutely no recollection of doing so, which is a bit scary. There are some rare beauties in the stack from places in British Columbia, but most are from the States (a lot from New York) and those that are addressed are to Miss Helen Booth in Calgary (& sometimes to her mother, Mrs. A. Booth, as well). Most seem to be from the 1950s. Here’s one of my favourites:


The note from Doris on the reverse is pretty awesome, too:

Dear Helen,

This is the most casual place you could imagine. Run around half the time without shoes on. See people shopping in posh stores in bathing suits. Bought myself a “Miss Hawaii” bathing suit. Ocean perfect for swimming. You won’t know me when I come home — what with my deep tan and sun-bleached hair.

Love, Doris.

P.S. Men are the same the world over.

Is that not the best postscript?