Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 02nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Piece of My Art

ae seaotterInnovative collage artist Anita Landon makes her Open Studios debut

Anita Landon grew up in rural New England with a mother who painted murals on their walls, a brother who dabbled in sculpture, and a grandfather who painted in oils. All told, five of her eight family members growing up were artists. Perhaps that’s why Landon, who is participating in her first Open Studios this year, strives to make the best use of the resources available to her while creating art.

Two years ago, Landon had been working in pastels when she decided to try something different. Her sister, who is a painter, called and urged her to enter an art contest in Alaska that only accepted artwork related to fish. With the similar subject matter, Landon figured it would be hard to make her own painting stand out. Since she had a spare mat board and a lot of materials on hand, she decided to try a collage.

After completing the fish collage, Landon was hooked. She's been creating collages ever since. Her works typically convey her formal training as a painter and people often mistake her collages for watercolors. That’s because her style differs from traditional collages that combine images. Instead, she assembles materials based on their color or texture to form a new image.

“I call it painting with paper,” says Landon. “It’s not like traditional collage with (already) existing images.”

Landon collects paper scraps in her studio as well as old magazines, which she clips and uses to create her collages.

ae2realandimagined“I use mostly National Geographic because the quality of the paper is really good and the colors are very saturated and intense,” says Landon. “Now when I look at National Geographic, I don't even look at the picture, I just look at the color … In years past, it was almost like sacrosanct: I wouldn’t rip up a National Geographic to save my life, because I just love those issues, but now I see them as a source of material. People give me their old magazines.”

Once she's picked out an idea for her collage, Landon will make a line drawing of it on an illustration board.  The filling-in of the spaces between the lines is where her imagination and resourcefulness thrive.

“You don't know what's going to happen because you’re restricted by the colors that you can find,” says Landon. “I’ll say, ‘Well I need a lot of blues (or) a lot of greens,’ but you don't always have a lot of one color, so things evolve.”

Just as necessity is sometimes called the mother of invention, in artistic endeavors, limitations or obstacles can often invoke an artist’s creative spirit. Landon finds that an imaginative solution to an imposed limitation can produce a pleasing result that might not have otherwise occurred to her. She also likes the economy of making good use of available resources. “The limitation sort of shapes the whole process,” she explains.

Landon takes inspiration for her collages wherever she finds it. She constantly carries a camera and takes photographs, whether she’s hiking in DeLaveaga Park, walking along the shoreline, or running errands in town.

“It could be anything,” says Landon. “I do animals; I do buildings, mechanical things. I have a kind of wide range—the image just has to be compelling.”

She was also inspired by the recent

Open Studios preview at the Santa Cruz Art League gallery.

“I think it's great. There's not enough time to see all the artists you want to see,” says Landon. “You see other people’s work and it gets you thinking about other ways of doing things.”

Landon will be showing 30 original collages and a selection of wraparound prints during the encore weekend of Open Studios, Oct. 19-20. She is both excited and nervous about participating for the first time, but thinks it’s an important event for the community.

“I think great civilizations are judged by the art they leave behind … the things they've created,” says Landon. “Maybe it's mosaics, or public buildings, (but) there's always some kind of artistic element to it.” 


Anita Landon and 250 other artists will be exhibiting at the 28th annual Open Studios during Encore weekend, Oct. 19-20. To purchase the 2013 Open Studios Guide for $20, visit artscouncilsc.org/open-studios. To see more of Landon’s work and view a time-lapse video of one of her collages being made, visit anitalandon.com.

Comments (3)Add Comment
Oustanding!! best wishes
written by Peter Keith, October 18, 2013
Great article! Awesome art! Congratulations! Anita. Love the time lapse bit, too! Our girls are going to want something in the mermaid theme for sure! Your 'Natural Bridges' is still my Fav!
Biographer/writer/artist
written by Dorman Nelson, October 16, 2013
Anita is one gifted artist in any media.....I was speechless when I saw her collages.....
Wonderful....please share with everyone.....
love the collages
written by brenda, October 16, 2013
congrats on the show. I have two of Anita's pieces. love them.
b

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover