adrienne mason art

glue + paper + scissors = collage

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Vietnam Collage

Last November I was fortunate to be able to take a fabulous trip to Singapore and Vietnam. I’ve been slowly making some collage (and a “bonus” sketch, which I don’t do, or at least post, all that often) based on the trip, mostly using ephemera I hauled home. And I finally pulled a few photos off my phone. Enjoy!



Book to Oz, etc.

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Quiet times on the blog this summer! I’m very slow getting back to people—and I haven’t had time for much art work—but here’s a bit of recent work. I’ve been making some small booklets, and here are a few pages of one I’m sending to Jack in Australia. (Check out his work. Love it.)

And here is some of the wonderful and creative mail I’ve received these past few months. Thanks for your patience, everyone!






This gallery contains 6 photos


Found Abstracts and a Giveaway

I’ve just returned from a weekend workshop on Whidbey Island at the Pacific Northwest School of Art. I had a great time learning from Jane Davies and hanging out with my friend and artist, Marion Syme. I don’t have any finished pieces to show from the workshop as it was primarily about technique and exploration, but suffice to say you should check out the school’s offerings as well as Jane’s work and workshops (many of which are on-line).

Before the workshop we spent a day exploring Port Townsend, which was a fabulous way to spend the day — funky old townsite, antique shops, art galleries, good food, a parade (which we missed, but still!; it was Rhodo Fest or some such). I picked up this wonderful etching by artist Kenji Ushiku. I loved it as soon as I saw it, but resisted going back to buy it for a few hours since it was in the first shop we entered. I’m glad I made the purchase; it’s sitting on my mantle now. (Sorry about the glare.)

Print by Kenji Ushiku

Print by Kenji Ushiku

We also spent a great hour or so exploring Fort Worden and we came upon Battery Kinzie. Old buildings and military history aside, we were struck by all of the abstract paintings we found on the walls of the battery. Ostensibly the marks were to cover up graffiti, but I’m not so sure. The colours and marks seem so well chosen. It feels like artists were let loose with the paints and rollers. I can’t find anything on-line, but if you have any info., please leave a comment. Here are my found abstracts:

Fabulous or what? I think the colour combos might find their way into some work. I was a bit jazzed when I got home so I got busy with the paints, stamps, and monoprints I made to create a few abstract postcards last night. Here’s the giveaway part. If you would like an “Adrienne Mason original” (ha, ha!)—or would like to surprise someone with one—please leave a comment with info on how I can contact you and I’ll send one along (randomly chosen). And please feel free to spread the word.



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Uppercase Abstracts

Postcard for the Uppercase Collection from Windham Fabrics

Postcard for the Uppercase Collection from Windham Fabrics

I’m an avid reader—books and magazines are some of my best friends—but I’ve also had to move around a fair bit in the last year and a half, so I know that those things carry a lot of weight. So I’ve tried to streamline a bit (and now that I live two blocks away from a fabulous library, I can borrow more), but there are a few things I still will buy and keep. In the magazine world, there are Uppercase and Kolaj. More on Kolaj later, but I want to do a shout out to Uppercase today. If you are interested in art and creativity and design, then check this magazine out. I am in awe that it is pretty much a one-woman show, with Janine Vangool being publisher, editor, and designer. And I’m hugely proud that it is a Canadian magazine, produced in Calgary, Alberta.

The magazine comes out four times a year and each issue is based on a theme—book arts, postage stamps, typography, colour, and on and on. It’s beautifully produced and endlessly interesting. Janine creates a unique pattern to be used on the spine of each issue and these were recently made into fabrics (displayed in the postcard above; each issue has a couple of postcards tucked into it). The most recent issue had a catalogue showcasing the fabrics, and, well, I couldn’t resist doing a bit of abstract collage. Thanks for such a great magazine, Janine.

[Later. This was a very nice surprise that wound up in my inbox on May 11. Janine put my collage at the top of her Uppercase newsletter. Very fun. Thank you, Janine!]



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Monochrome & Monoprints

I’ll have a mail art post up soon as I’ve been receiving some fabulous mail, but for now here are a few collage experiments.

Over the Easter long weekend I spent a great evening making art with a few friends. We each had our gelli plates out and were just mucking around (and, ahem, drinking wine). For inspiration we watched Dudley Redhead‘s (aka Tara Axford) great video on some techniques she explored after visiting a botanical gardens in the Netherlands. It’s really fabulous, but she moves quickly, so we had to watch it a few times.

If you haven’t played around with gelli plates and monoprints, I’d highly recommend that you give it a try. I was primarily doing it to make unique papers for collage, but there seems to be no end of techniques you can play around with. Here is what I came up with in a few hours:

Monoprints from March 24, 2016

Monoprints from March 24, 2016

(Sorry that the image is a bit fuzzy.) You can see the great variety of patterns and colours that get pulled off the plate. It’s always a bit of a surprise and you can’t have too many expectations or worry about things being too precious. My favourite paper is often the one that I use to clean the plate. It comes out with wonderful, complex layers of paint that would be impossible to re-create.

I made a few collages, none of which I’m over the moon about, but here goes. (The transparent pieces are the masks I used on the plates. I liked how they turned out, so used them in the collage. That’s how it goes—everything is fodder for a collage artist!)


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Brooklyn: Collaged (+ Kurt)

I’m a fan of German artist Kurt Schwitters’s work, a lot of which is composed of found litter, such as this piece Merz 460. Two underdrawers.

Kurt Schwitters_Merz

Merz 460. Two underdrawers by Kurt Schwitters

Here are a few more from the Guggenheim. And I got to see three in person yesterday, at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s show, MashUp.  (I neglected to get down the name of these pieces though and my photos aren’t great.)

But what I really wanted to post about today—the connection being that both artists use found material in their work—was the fabulous collage map of Brooklyn by Jennifer Maravillas, which I was introduced to via this article on Atlas Obscura. Here is the image that caught my eye, called 71 Miles (the size of Brooklyn):

Image and map courtesy Jennifer Maravillas.

Image and map courtesy Jennifer Maravillas.

Fabulous, no? It took her three years to complete. And now she’s working on 232 square miles, which will encompass the five boroughs of New York City. (You can see the blog on the progress of that project here.) She thinks it will take her ten years. You can read more about the process of creating 71 Miles here. Thanks for allowing me to post the images, Jennifer.


Cartography Cardinal

For something completely different, this weekend I moved far away from my usual freeform abstract and made this:

Cartography Cardinal

I think the paper I used for the snow was a mistake (I was trying to pick up on the glitter in the other washi papers I used), but otherwise I think it was a good exercise. It’s a lot of little bits of paper though. I finally just laid the glue down first and added paper on top, rather than trying to apply glue to each piece. I first sketched the image on a piece of transparent film and used painter’s tape to hold it on top of the background (in this case, topographic map) and was continually flipping it back and forth for positioning.

I’ve received from great mail lately. The collages below are from Jack Oudyn—love his stuff— and the laminated tag now has a place of honour on my desk. He makes these great little books, often while travelling, which are always so interesting.

And these are some pieces from regular correspondents, Tofu and Torma. Tofu’s combined two vintage postcards into one (an idea to steal/adapt, I think!; here’s his post on these altered postcards) and Torma always has such interesting stamps (rubber and postage). Thanks to all three of you!