adrienne mason art

glue + paper + scissors = collage


Dream Week

In the fall I got a text from my friend (and fabulous artist), Marion Syme: Melinda Tidwell was coming to the Pacific Northwest Art School on Whidbey Island, Washington. I’ve long-admired Melinda’s work, so we jumped on the opportunity. And what a week it was. (Well, aside from the first night at a horrendous motel. And it’s hard for to get me creeped out by a motel; my standards are pretty low.) It was one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended, just the right mix of instruction and time to experiment and practice. Melinda was there if we wanted her, but happy to lay off if we weren’t quite ready.

Here are a few of the collages that I created during that week (ah, a week-long was so fabulous), and a few I’ve created since. If you love collage, or even if you want to learn more about abstract collage and composition, I can’t recommend Melinda’s workshop highly enough. Hopefully we can entice her to come to Canada for a week or so!

My classmate Dayna also posted about the workshop. Go!


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Viaticum – 17.5 cm x 12.5 cm (7″ x 5″)

One of the things I love about collage are those unexpected surprises that just appear in your work. I was making a few quick collages to warm up, using the random bits of paper that were on my desk.

I wanted a bit of text so ripped a page from the nearest book, which happened to be a tiny Spanish-English dictionary. Then I just carried on. When I was placing the black strip, I noticed the word viaticum was visible. So, of course, I needed to know what that meant. Here’s what the Oxford English Dictionary says:  “The Eucharist as given to a person near or in danger of death.” Kind of appropriate for that swooning woman I started the whole thing with.

I have been collaging, but I haven’t been posting. That, I plan to rectify. More soon.


Art Walk – January


My blog has been quiet, but I’ve been busy. Busy in a good way—with work (that I love), family (whom I also love), time experimenting at the art table, etc.—but just not a lot of time to blog about it all. And I’ve vowed not to obsess about it, so I’ll be here when I’m here! Today started with a quiet morning—my husband is away and I was up early so I went for a long walk through my neighbourhood and Victoria’s big city park, Beacon Hill, then down to the beach. I collected a few things along the way, then came home and made some foraged art, with a few bits and bobs I picked up. I’ve two things to say about it all: (1) I need to learn how to get the most out of an iPhone camera (and figure out a lighting set-up) and, (2) thank goodness for peacocks.



This gallery contains 9 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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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.