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A Year of Yes: Dreadnoughtus, my first multi-panel collage

I’ve been working on my first multi-panel collage. I wanted the subject to be fitting for a larger piece.

I give you Dreadnoughtus. Discovered by Dr. Kenneth Lacovara and his team in Argentina, it is one of the largest animals to ever roam the planet. It is part of a large group of plant-eating dinosaurs known as titanosaurs.

I recently learned that dinosaurs skeletons are never found in totality and many times are reconstructed from a small handful of bones. The skeleton of Dreadnoughtus was exceptionally complete with over 70 percent of its bones represented. In life, it was 85 feet long and weighed approximately 65 tons.

Collage explanation:

Dreadnoughtus is entirely composed of the faces of other animals closely related to dinosaurs—birds (which are in actuality dinosaurs) and modern-day reptiles. The skeleton in silver paint illustrates the bones that were part of the discovery in Argentina per this schematic:

Dreadnoughtus-iv

The salmon-colored sky represents the asteroid (comet) which likely caused the end of the 165-million year reign of the dinosaurs. There is still some mystery surrounding the exact cause though it is widely believed that the Chicxulub crater on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico suggests that an asteroid or comet approximately 10km wide hit the Earth, and created a series of events that led to their extinction.

Below Dreadnoughtus, I used bits of paper from a photo of the gnarled landscape of Wistman’s Wood. Packed with moss-draped boulders, ferns, grass, and lichen-covered dwarf oaks, and dense fog, it’s located in Dartmoor National Park in the U.K. It’s a landscape that inspires myth and mystery, the kind of wonder that dinosaurs inspire in so many of us.

The other items in the collage represent everything that was born into the world because of the exit of the dinosaurs. The truth is that if the dinosaurs hadn’t died out, if the asteroid or comet hadn’t hit the Earth exactly when and where it did, we likely wouldn’t be here, nor would many of the other species that exist today. Nature is opportunistic and chancy, one species loss is another’s gain. Everyone and everything we know and love came about on the backs of the dinosaurs. Our history is intricately intertwined with theirs. We owe them a great deal, as Ken explains in his book, Why Dinosaurs Matter.

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Wonder: My Paper Collage Portrait Collection

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My paper collage portraits

I just finished my 7 paper collage portraits. Each of them has a little “wink” in them about the subject of identity. I’ve had a lot of fun exploring bold colors, textures, and ideas in this group. What makes us who we are? How do we see ourselves? How do others see us? And how do we reconcile the differences within us?

From the upper left corner, the collage titles are:

Inspire the Future
Always Pay Your Rent
The Best Things
A Certain Recognition
Don’t Crack Under Pressure
Writer in Transit
Mrs. President

I really like this art form and I’m thinking of ideas for a much larger piece with a greater variety of materials.

This just in: The art I made for my dog, Phineas, for Christmas

What do you get for the dog who has everything he needs? The same thing you get for people who have everything—art. I made this paper collage for Phineas to capture his philosophy on life. Merry Christmas, Phin!

Here’s the Phineas Way:

  • Join a parade whenever possible
  • Don’t be afraid to lead the way
  • A first snow is a very happy thing
  • Sometimes the best thing to do is sit and be quiet like a yogi
  • “How good can you feel?” is a question you should ask every day, and answer
  • Share something wonderful with everyone, always
  • Fall in love with as many things, and people, and animals, as possible
  • There’s cool stuff out on the edge
  • Be excited
  • Embrace the wild
  • You’re perfect just the way you are
  • Stay unique
  • Learn how to be a good copilot
  • You can never have too much joy
  • New York is my soul city, and always will be
  • Embrace tomorrow, no matter what happened today
  • Live color fully, in many different directions
  • Sing loud and proud like a bird
  • Be unstoppable
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of the greatest places in the world to hang around
  • I love snuggling; snuggling’s my favorite
  • I have one goal: to be the best dog ever. (And, for me, he absolutely is!)

This just in: D.C. Cool – my newest paper collage

D.C. Cool

D.C. Cool

This is a snapshot of my newest paper collage. It’s a re-creation of the D.C. Cool logo composed of small bits of paper that were part of advertisements for other cities.

Washington, D.C. has a bit of everywhere packed into a big city that feels like a small town. I moved here about 9 months ago and it’s really beginning to feel like home to me. I’ve still got a lot of exploring to do, and this collage is a reflection of my journey in this shining city so far.

This just in: My first paper collage

Many hours and thousands of bits of colorful magazine ads glued on canvas conspired to create my first paper collage. I’m really proud of taking advertisements that told us we need to buy more to be more and transforming them into a creative act. Below are pictures of my process. I hope they inspire you to create your own art!

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