Monday, November 11, 2019

What Happens in the Chair, Stays in the Chair?

Under The Plum Blossom Tree What Happens in the Chair, Stays in the Chair? collage by June Anderson, vintage handcut paper collage by June Anderson, vintage paper collage by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree, vintage kitsch collage

Friends, a few weeks ago I mentioned that with collage the magic can happen after a time-consuming session of paper cutting.

I enjoy flipping through old magazines whilst I have my 5:30 p.m. coffee. That is usually followed by another session of cutting out images I'm attracted to. Then the fun part is just sitting with them and looking, looking, looking.

As a result, I think 'vintage kitsch' caught up with me on this collage! Both of the black and white images are from advertisements and each were interesting to me in their own right. Then, in one of those flash of an idea moments, I got the notion to look through my vintage gardens books for a possible way to connect the two and I am very happy with the results!

I'm looking forward to creating more collage magic to share with you, so please do stop in again in a week or so. Thanks for reading!

 
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Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Amelia, It Was Just a False Alarm

Amelia, It Was Just a False Alarm collage by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog, Amelia vintage paper collage, Amelia hand cut paper collage, Amelia Joni Mitchell, Joni Mitchell Amelia, aviator Amelia Earhart, pilot Amelia Earhart, Amelia Earhart transcontinental flight, collage of Amelia Earhart, Amelia Earhart artwork, Amelia Earhart American pilot, Amelia Earhart last flight, story of Amelia Earhart

Friends, in a serendipitous moment I found myself exploring the feelings of isolation and loneliness as I pieced together this collage.

On a recent chilly autumn day I was leafing through a copy of Wild Flowers of America by H.W. Rickett looking for a specific image (I don't remember what it was now) and stopped to study this Prickly Pear (Opuntia polyacantha). Later that same day, as I was looking through my file folder of people images torn from magazines, I spotted this image of Amelia Earhart and immediately thought of the Prickly Pear. Then suddenly a verse from Joni Mitchell's Amelia popped into my head:
  
I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747's
Over geometric farms
Dreams, Amelia, dreams and false alarms


In Amelia, Mitchell is referring to Amelia Earhart (b. 1897), an American airplane pilot. Earhart was the first woman pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, authored books about her flying experiences and mentored women in aviation studies. In 1937 Amelia and Fred Noonan, her navigator, disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean while attempting to circumnavigate the globe. Amelia's body was never found and she was pronounced dead in absentia in 1939.

Singer-songwriter and musician Joni Mitchell (b. 1943) wrote Amelia in 1976 as a tribute to 'the sweet loneliness of solitary travel' while driving cross-country by herself 'reflecting on the cost of being a woman and having something you must do.' In the song Mitchell alludes to Earhart's solo airplane travels while telling her own story of a love lost:

A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm


It felt appropriate to place Amelia in a quiet isolated cactus world, standing alone, surveying her surroundings. To further enhance the atmosphere, I added three flying geese (solo pilots?). Is she reminiscing about solo flights of the past? Or can she see into the future? Is she lonely, or comfortable at icy altitudes? These are universal questions each of us must ask ourselves from time to time.

It felt good to explore them through art making.

Thank you for looking, and here are the lyrics to Amelia in full:

Amelia

by Joni Mitchell

I was driving across the burning desert
When I spotted six jet planes
Leaving six white vapor trails across the bleak terrain
It was the hexagram of the heavens
It was the strings of my guitar
Amelia it was just a false alarm

The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture post card charms
Amelia it was just a false alarm

People will tell you where they've gone
They'll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Others just come to harm
Oh, Amelia it was just a false alarm

I wish that he was here tonight
It's so hard to obey
His sad request of me to kindly stay away
So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell Amelia it was just a false alarm

A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia it was just a false alarm

Maybe I've never really loved
I guess that is the truth
I've spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitudes
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia it was just a false alarm

I pulled into the Cactus Tree Motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams Amelia - dreams and false alarms

© 1976; Crazy Crow Music

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Grow into Your Power Pose

Grow into Your Power Pose a collage by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree, vintage hand cut paper collage, hand cut vintage paper collage, vintage collage, fashion collage, floral collage, botanical collage, empowerment collage

Hello friends! Well, it's been one week since I returned to the blog after a long absence and I'm back with another collage to share with you.

Have I mentioned my love of using vintage imagery for collage? I can entertain myself for hours looking through old magazines and books and be amused at the way life used to be and fascinated by the ways in which people were depicted. 

In collage, the fun begins when you start cutting out images that you like and are attracted to. And the magic happens after you've spent some time cutting and ideas start percolating. 

Grow into Your Power Pose is a juxtaposition of some of my favorite subjects - fashion, birds and flora. It was an experiment in creating a kind of bird person which is something I've been seeing a lot of and wanted to try. The surprise came in discovering how the hand of the woman exactly matched up with the root ball of the flower. It's as if her power is derived from the energy of the plant and from the earth. It felt very powerful and grounded - definitive. It made me think of how difficult it can be for some women to stand in their own power and how if we could think of it as something that comes from a natural force (the earth) then it might be easier for us to grow into our power rather than trying to fit into a predetermined mold that may not suit us. 

Right now it's all about experimentation in this medium and searching for windows of opportunity in both having the time and space for creating and for thinking about subject matter and developing ideas. I'm enjoying the process immensely and, so far, the ideas keep coming. I'm on a new wave! Hopefully I will be back again in a week or so and show you another piece.

See you then!

 


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Monday, October 21, 2019

A Busy Day in the Forest

A Busy Day in the Forest collage by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree, hand cut vintage paper collage, vintage floral collage, vintage black and white floral collage, collaged vintage images, vintage woman collage, vintage magazine collage, collage with vintage magazines, collaged flower crown, vintage hand cut flower crown collage

Hello blog world! It's so good to be back. The funny thing is that I didn't know I was going to be absent from this blog...until I was. In the beginning of 2019 I was excited that this is the fifth year of the blog. I had plans! And then they slowly fell away and I found it refreshing to not have any plans.

Then when spring came around it was time to start making art again. The City of Eugene Mayor's Art Show had a call out for submissions so I started cutting and pasting. I came up with several compositions but I knew I wasn't making anything that would fit their criteria - but I didn't care - I was on a new wave with collage and it has been making me happy! I submitted the work above, titled A Busy Day in the Forest, and it wasn't accepted. But that's okay, the rejected works were shown at the Salon des Refusés across the street from the Mayor's Art Show.

The main thing is to keep making art, right?

And that is what I intend to do. From now on I am limiting my creative activities to only working on collage. For the time being, I am restricting what time, energy and resources I can gather to this one thing. So that means this blog will change. But that's okay - I've been 'throwing it all out there' for five years now, trying my hand at many different kinds of topics to blog about and art has been one of them. So I've decided it's time to make up my mind and stick to one thing - a scary thought! 

So wish me luck on my new wave and check back in sometime. Consistency on the blog has never been my strong suit - that's for real life - job and family. But I do love to share what I'm excited about and am interested in what you struggle with in pursuing an art practice or creative endeavor, so leave me a comment!

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Vintage Tea Treasures: An Etsy Shop Update

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Hello friends! Welcome to another shop update for Vintage Tea Treasures, my Etsy shop, where you'll find classic, timeless and fun teatime china ware suitable for any occasion where timeless beauty is what you require.

Did you know that Vintage Tea Treasures now offers vintage gifts? Since opening the shop it has been a fascinating and challenging journey learning all there is to know about the history of the British pottery factories. As that understanding grows, so does my curator's eye as I am out and about searching for lovely tea ware for you to enjoy.

For example, when I recently spotted the two c. 1992 Royal Doulton bone china ballerina figurines above I knew they would be perfect additions to the new 'vintage gifts' shop category. Modelled by artist Alan Maslankowski each captures the beauty, grace and elegance of a classic ballerina. Hand made and hand decorated, both 'Little Ballerina' (above left) and 'Ballet Shoes' (above right) are available now.

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I think my eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw this Spode bone china 'Bridal Rose' coffeepot! At this point I have seen many pieces of lovely vintage tea ware that are designed to look like real botanics such as teacups that suggest flower petals and have 'branch' handles, but I never saw anything so rich in texture and detail as this very special coffeepot.

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With its realistic cabbage leaf-like textured pattern 'growing' up from the base to its branch-like handle embellished with pretty rose bouquets, perhaps 'Bridal Rose' was truly meant for a bride or bride to be.

And lastly, how lovely is this Harleigh China pink roses teacup and saucer duo? There are not too many Harleigh China pieces out there for comparison but I can assure you that it is a high quality brand that pings with perfection, loudly and strong. A testament to the timeless quality of vintage bone china.

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For all the details about these and more than one hundred other vintage tea ware offerings, (and the new vintage gifts section) including additional photographs, measurements and prices, please visit Vintage Tea Treasures on Etsy. And as an Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog reader you can save ten percent off your order with code PLUMBLOSSOM10.

Thank you for reading!
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

Faffing With Vintage Tea Treasures - Georges Briard 'Peony' Teapot

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Hello friends! This past weekend I had the pleasure of saying goodbye to another piece of vintage tea ware when Marie in California purchased this lovely Georges Briard 'Peony' teapot from my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures.

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Ukrainian born American designer Georges Briard (1917-2005) came to the United States from Poland in 1937. After earning an MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago Briard began what would eventually become a successful career in commercial home ware design. His style is best described as whimsical and modern with a touch of elegance.

I'm sure you would agree that this 'Peony' teapot, with its dancing green leaves outlined in red, its fully bloomed stylized blue and red peonies, and the abstract red and blue border pattern all serve to incorporate the above described design qualities.

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Furthermore, according to the inscription on the bottom of the teapot, this design is Briard's homage to a traditional 18th century Japanese design known as Imari.

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An interesting feature of the teapot is Briard's modern twist away from the traditional teapot lid. The lid lays flat within the top opening and has two grasp holes.

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And the classic bamboo handle reminds me of all the Japanese teapots I've ever had over the years.

I hope you've enjoyed this small peek into a whimsical, modern and elegant piece of vintage tea ware as well as learning a little something about its designer and historic design influence.

If you love midcentury modern home ware design, and would like to see more of Georges Briard's creations, I made a Georges Briard Pinterest board just for you.

And, if you are interested in purchasing any of the items in my Etsy shop Vintage Tea Treasures, you can save 10% off your purchase with code PLUMBLOSSOM10.

Thank you for reading!
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Friday, May 10, 2019

World Collage Day

World Collage Day, World Collage Day 2019, collage making, paper collage, Mrs. Grosvenor Contemplates the Evolution of Her Next Tea Party and Owl #1 by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog

Friends, World Collage Day is Saturday May 11th, 2019. The first World Collage Day was held last year when the publishers of Kolaj Magazine declared the second Saturday of May to be a day for artists to celebrate art making and to raise awareness about the art form.

More specifically and in their own words, Kolaj states:

World Collage Day is about artists connecting across borders against a global context of entrenchment and separation. And the day is about an art medium that excels at bringing different things together to create new forms and new ways of thinking.

We created World Collage Day because we wanted to honor this community of artists and to remind the world what a spirit of cooperation, mutual support, and creativity can look like.

World Collage Day, World Collage Day 2019, collage making, paper collage, Mrs. Grosvenor Contemplates the Evolution of Her Next Tea Party and Owl #1 by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog

Collage is a medium that I have been exploring for the past few years. For me, collage provides an emotional connection to the world that is unseen, felt on a very personal level, and difficult to describe in words. I am, after all, an introvert...

World Collage Day, World Collage Day 2019, collage making, paper collage, Mrs. Grosvenor Contemplates the Evolution of Her Next Tea Party and Owl #1 by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog

Owl #1, for example, was created out of a concern for the health of birds and the relationship we humans have with them. There are about three more in this series in various stages of completion.

World Collage Day, World Collage Day 2019, collage making, paper collage, Mrs. Grosvenor Contemplates the Evolution of Her Next Tea Party and Owl #1 by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog

Mrs. Grosvenor Contemplates the Evolution of Her Next Tea Party features an Aesthetic Movement (1870s -1880s) teapot in the form of a woman holding a flower. Her bent right arm serves as the handle and her left arm extends out forming the spout. It made me chuckle a bit when I cut her out of a Sotheby's art auction book and positioned her whimsically bobbing about on a wild flower waiting for her eggs to hatch while geese fly by in the background. (What, do you suppose, is in those eggs?!!!)

World Collage Day, World Collage Day 2019, collage making, paper collage Owl #1 by June Anderson of Under The Plum Blossom Tree blog

So you see, collage can be serious and emotional but it can also be humorous and quirky. Fostering ideas in visual form from disparate parts can, indeed, "create new forms and new ways of thinking."

Happy World Collage Day!


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