No Matter What Shape - The Archive


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Location: Syracuse, New York, United States

In its short-sightedness, blogger has turned its back on those of us stuck with old operating systems and I'm forced to find a new blog host. You will now find MickMathersARTblog at - use the direct link found in the masthead and remember to update your bookmarks. This place will continue as another archive for a large body of my work. As many of you know, my primary medium and working method is digital collage composed of manipulated photographs often combined with digital drawing & generative images. Netlabels, bands and musicians can view samples of my CD Cover Art at Mick Mather Illustration located on Tumblr. In another life I was an Arts & Culture consultant specializing in revitalization planning through creative public art projects and programs with Economic & Community Development Departments of towns, villages and cities. In these hard financial times this work is more important than ever and I still accept consultancy inquiries. You can contact me by email at:

Monday, February 28, 2005

"Jazz" - This weeks themed post to Illustration Friday. Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 27, 2005

"Lips" - I was working on 2 new pieces for the Crop Circles Series this morning. I like the way that this one turned out...the image below still isn't quite where I want it to be. Posted by Hello

"Pill Box Hat" - Nope, not quite what I want. Posted by Hello

Saturday, February 26, 2005

"Cut" - I signed up with FEEDSTER yesterday and have been playing around with some of the features there. For example, a search for 'collage' is going to keep me busy for a while. Before I get lost in that stack of sites I wanted to post this image from a street art/sticker art site that I liked quite a bit. Click here to surf elbow to elbow with me. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 25, 2005

F03C10 - This weeks submission to PixelWar. Apparently, I didn't make the cut for this round and I'll admit, this isn't exactly a terrific piece. There's always another round though, eh?Posted by Hello

"First Came Lunch..." - I actually used this as my cover letter in the early 1980's whenever I was seeking employment in graphic design studios. Doing that sort of work for clients who didn't have a clue got very frustrating and boring for me rather quickly so I only did such work for 3 or 4 years. At one particular art department (part of a printing company) the other graphic artist and I put a sign over our door that read: PROOFS R US. In those days you did it all by hand too! Wax machine, point tape, metal rulers, bristol board, spray mount, camera the size of a railroad car, Compugraphic Mark IV typesetting behemoth, markers, pens, pencils. I still love the idea of ripping, tearing, slicing or cutting up papers and getting my hands covered in wax or glue - okay, glue stick these days when collaging pages in my visual journal! Anyway, that "hands on" experience still makes my heart race when mind-deep in the creative process!Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 24, 2005

"Wrecker One Star Beer" - I used to publish a collage 'zine in the early 1980's. It was called 4-U-2 Post Magazine with the idea being that one might cut out the artistamps and post card pages and re-post them. I know that a few folks did, 'cause they reposted back to me! This particular piece began life as part of a post card exchange with a group of rubberstampers and eraser carvers known as RUSTMARX IV. The 8 1/2" X 11" original was folded to post card size and a rubberstamped star was added to the label in red ink.  Posted by Hello

"Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" - I could be knocked over with a feather! My image posting software is working again! So, have a look at a photograph I took on the Seneca River in a very picturesque village where I used to live, Baldwinsville, New York. While walking along I completely missed this shot, going out as well as coming back, until a squirrel came racing down a tall, old tree chattering and scolding me: "Look, look, look!" I'll be darned! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I have another whole series of photo-manipulations that need organizing and renaming. I invented a fine family called The Hinkley's who had a pack of daughters all at once. I won't give away too much just yet but suffice it to say that today's post - click here to have a look - is the first peek at "The Hinkley Triplets Series". Most of these were created using multiple images before being layered, multiplied, filtered, color-enhanced and tweaked. My penchant for manipulating photographs has been discussed in this blog a time or two - visit the archives if you have some time or post a comment and ask questions if you'd like to know more. The caption for this piece reads: "Grandpappy Hinkley scares the triplets with the discombobulator".

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

This is day three where the image posting software for blogger is on the fritz. I simply don't have the energy to uninstall & reinstall another time and I may soon decide to just move everything. Uploading images to ART CRUTCH is a tiresome procedure after working all day, catching that late afternoon nap and then disappearing into the studio. I've managed to calm my nerves a bit by doing some artwork (even though none of it seems to be coming out quite right), reading Ivan Pope's blog and investigating the links he posts daily. Today's treat was discovering Karen D'Amico's blog, FLUID THINKING, which lead me to another fine read - Bill Ive's PORTALS and KM - before getting me to sit down and do some thinking of my own. Too, where in the world did I spot that great Alvin Toffler quote today and how in the world did they know that I've been thinking about Toffler lately? On top of everything else, my nightly dreams have been filled with frustrating sessions at the computer churning out digital work, writing and commentaries that never seem to get saved for later review and editing even though I'm certain that everything is backed up properly! I'm tired. So very, very tired...forgive me, there's no image today.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Three uninstalls and reinstalls later, the problem between Blogger, Picassa 2 & Hello still has me feeling like yesterdays post: "At Sea". Click here to have a look at it.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Well, I'm darned upset with Picassa and Hello this weekend. The other night it gave me an error message and locked up everything on my computer - it took me 10 minutes to get all the programs shut down and then reboot. Even now, the program has stopped working entirely; so much for a beautiful thing I suppose. The support moderator mentions a "bug" in the program that they will have fixed in a few days. That post was over 15 days ago, I guess progress isn't what it used to be. In the meantime, I've been attempting to get an FTP Program working but, you guessed it, I can't even figure out what a "file path" is, or even what to save when blogger warns that you "better back this up if you make changes", among a dozen other overly-technical details (for me). A great, big, huge, gigantic Charlie Brown "sigh" from over here I'm sad to say. I've spent almost an entire day setting up an alternate blog called ART CRUTCH for the purpose of getting through this time of trial & trouble. I've not a clue as to how the two will work together but click on the link and have a look. Now, where the hell did I hide that old bottle of George Dickel anyways?

Friday, February 18, 2005

"NTV" - Every time I walk into my studio there's a maze of boxes, shelves, drafting table, computer station, books, magazines, k-7's and a few thousand LP's to navigate. Most of the boxes are filled with the ton of mailart received from the late 1970's straight thru till now. I'm not very active these days but once in a while a Themed Mailart Call catches my attention to the point that I submit something. These days I'm as likely as not looking through some web site somewhere marveling and chuckling at the wealth of talent that's out there. A few favorites are RODEO.27 (previously mentioned); MISPRINTED TYPE 3; {ths} and TARTART MAGAZINE. I came across this piece, circa 1979 or so, and its a bit of a commentary on what it might be like if the Eternal Mailart Network really was the basis for a television show. I suppose my stacks and boxes of artwork could still make a terrific cable access series, but cable is dead, isn't it?
Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 17, 2005

"Black Bog Snake" - If you can read it, this block-relief print is a paper test proof / artist proof / item G. It's an 'erasercut' carved on a novelty eraser known as 'The BIG Eraser for BIG Mistakes'. Before editioning this print-block I had another artist make some paper for me, hence the series of proofs testing each variety and/or thickness. The subject is a rather large bog snake that began as a drawing in one of my sketchbooks. A regular lino-cutting tool with a #2 V-bit was used to do the eraser carving and watercolor brush-tip markers to ink the block. Posted by Hello

F03C09 - My most recent submission to PIXELWAR, a web site that's tailor made for photomanipulators like me. It's a competitive site and work is juried by peer artists unless the max number of entries isn't acheived. Click the link above and have a snoop around. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

"Daisy" - A third image from the Crop Circles Series. What I'm doing here is taking some very, very small sections (about 100 X 100 pixels or less) of photo's that I discover while web surfing. This is a "fair use" exercise and a bit of my own throwing in with the Copyleft and Creative Commons propositions regarding free source and reinterpreting copyright laws (always read as: be fair) that the new media has well outgrown. The pixel size of this new work will, by itself, keep me well within the fairness arena. My process is to drag the cropped, found bit-of-image as far as I can into a 400 X 270 pixel frame and let the fun begin! Insert hours of manipiulating, building, adding, subtracting, tweaking and filtering to realize one possible ouput as seen here. Posted by Hello

"Indian Blanket" - Number two in the series. Posted by Hello

"A Prayer" - Here we go then, the very first image in the Crop Circle Series of photomanipulations. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

untitled - This is another photomanipulation that I had originally wanted to post at Illustration Friday. It's been the inspiration for a new project of mine that I'll be calling "Crop Circles". Posted by Hello

I've always enjoyed working with themes and ILLUSTRATION FRIDAY is a terrific web site that I've been watching for a while. Follow the link to their welcome page and read it - I really like their philosophy. While contemplating "flight" I remembered having this old sketch in one of my even older travel journals and decided to post it. These, by the way, precede my recently mentioned "visual journals" by quite a few years. I still draw everyday, but more often than not the work is digital, watercolor or tempera sketches...the hard sketches - pencil, colored pencil or pen & ink - usually end up in the visual journals these days. Posted by Hello

Friday, February 11, 2005

"Portrait of the Artist as a Vintner" - Another from the series (see 4 others posted at February 2, 2005). In all there are 7 of these and this one made me laugh the most while putting it together. Not so much at any grand cleverness of my own, but at one of my all time favorite New Yorker cartoons that came to mind as I was working. Two bums, in some Bowery Alley sitting on the pavement, leaning against a building, passing a paper bag between them. One sot, reviewing the experience for the other, says: "It was a good wine, but not a great wine." Posted by Hello

Thursday, February 10, 2005

untitled II - I manipulated the painting below digitally, turning it into a grey scale image. I've threatened to do more with this...perhaps. Posted by Hello

untitled I - Another tempera-on-paper sketch. I was messing about with a bit of bathroom tissue, laying it into the wet paint and immediately adding more paint on top. The tissue quickly turned into a colored pulp that slid around on the paper, making a right mess of things. I like the way it turned out when it dried though. After some contemplation I may need to give this a title - I now see a red helicopter at the bottom left scooting across a bloody landscape...damn, some post traumatic nightmare from 40 years ago? Working title: "In Country".

"Goldfish Pond" - A tempera-on-paper sketch that seems to be missing for the moment. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I spend a good deal of time looking at street art, grafitti and sticker art. There are more terrific web sites out there than I'll ever have time to view but had a blast checking out TWISTED INK and a few of their linked sites. Why not have a go yourself? Posted by Hello

"Page 4 - 1995 Date Book" - The three pieces seen here are monotypes I did using tempera as the medium. Let me tell you, there was quite a little bit of trial and error. If I used too much water the result was a blob and a mess...too little and the plastic sheet I was painting on stuck to the paper like glue. I spent about 3 months experimenting with different brands of tempera and varied amounts of water. I'm quite happy with all of these, but not quite happy enough to frame them. So, they went into the visual journal I was keeping at that time. Posted by Hello

"Page 16 - 1995 Date Book" Posted by Hello

"Page 19 - 1995 Date Book" Posted by Hello

Monday, February 07, 2005

"Page 11 - The Chairs Journal" - I keep visual journals; simply put, these are recycled calendar books, appointment books, other small journals or a diary where I paste in a page per day using anything that stimulates me visually. I often have 2 or 3 going at once. One is daily and another is a collaborative journal made up of stuff that someone else sends through the mail. The images you see here are from "The Chairs Journal". I've been keeping this for just over a year now and happened to notice that in my earlier journals chairs kept creeping up. Then I started painting them, collaging them, pasting in "found" images of chairs by other artists as I surfed the internet. Following is a seclection of collaged chairs with more pages to come another time. Posted by Hello

"Page 8 - The Chairs Journal" Posted by Hello