Saturday, September 22, 2012

Some Notes on My Life's Debris

by Jacquie Roland
by Jacquie Roland
by Jacquie Roland

Tourist with "MICKEY MANTLE"
by Jacquie Roland
MICKEY MANTLE was later installed in the lobby of the Pittsfield City Hall

by Jacquie Roland

Every once in a while, I forget that some folks aren't familiar with my fixation on the art of assemblage.   I started making them in the 80's, I think... but just considered them one of my own little foibles.  I fell madly in love with the work of the artist Kienholz, after seeing his piece "State Hospital" and though I started with small, 8"x10" shadow-boxy kinds of works, quite a few of my pieces are life-sized and more... way more, now. Many of them are now built on handcarts. My smallest are 2"x3"... my largest historical piece is 6'x30', installed at the Crosby School in Kingston, NY... the one on baseball is around 4'+x8', installed at the Pittsfield City Hall. A couple of years ago two of my pieces were included in the book, "Modern Methods of Mixed Media II". Here are several, for those of you that aren't familiar with my "Life's Debris". All of the pieces above tell a story... the artifacts all have a meaning, and reason for being part of the piece, if only to me. I've included a comprehensive 'how to' for "MY VICTORIAN DREAMS".

This is how I work:
                                      "MY VICTORIAN DREAMS" by Jacquie Roland
This is one of my personal favorites,
since it was the first of my pieces with written narratives... which proved to be quite popular...

My Victorian Dreams

The pressure was finally off.
At age 31 I found out that I couldn't have children.
That door was shut...
Those dreams flown away... the stork wasn't coming.
That light would never go on for me...
Crossed out by those little red dots every month.

Over the years, The Queen of Hearts
Found other outlets, other loves
That's the key.
... The number on my 'scoreboard'?
I would have given anything to have had
Children with any one of the four.

Initials of the men I loved are included in this piece.
(Full names on request)

Don't see your initials?
... Tell the truth... You didn't love me either,
Did you?
--------------------------------- (  At the opening for this piece I told the names of the 4 men 'on request' )

My Victorian Dreams - Supplies

Antique mirror, or frame with a back
Wooden Wings... "Borrowed" from a garden angel
Broken bits of antiques
Silver baby cup with votive candle
Antique letters, all types
Antique box
Light bulb - old style
Metal piece from door
Scoreboard from old game
buttons/keys/game pieces
Broken pressure gauge
Antique mold
Hearts - all types
Driftwood/Old pcs. of wood
One uncut emerald
Red thumbtacks
balsa wood dice-size blocks
Other debris to suit

Jewelry cement
Clear Construction adhesive
Xtreme Velcro
Electric drill
Glue gun

This is one of my story boxes.  Most of my boxes, even the largest,  are of this type.
Most of my boxes are chock full of real antiques, old photos and collectibles, which add to the value.  When I found out that green was the Elizabethan color of love... I added the emerald.

Once the basic box, or substrate ( in this case an antique mirror) has been chosen... (for shape alone)  ALL other pieces are chosen for the story I have to tell.
The story itself is either attached to the back of the box, or displayed in a frame alongside.  ( Gallery owners love them because they are 'talking points'.)

Every story will be different, but the techniques used are the same. 

 I rely on the 5 adhesive/connectors above.  Two "tricks": When connecting large, clean, flat surfaces, Xtreme velcro is great. Put the pieces together, Hook & Loop/Fuzzy side while the backing is still on... remove one backing & place on side A. Push for a tight seal. Then remove remaining backing, and push A tightly against side B. Make sure of your placement... it isn't going anywhere. ( Unless you wish to separate them in the future.) 
The other trick is when you adhere two heavier pieces together, use the construction adhesive. The only drawback is waiting the alloted time for the adhesive to dry. (I use both hot glue & adhesive.  The hot glue gives an instant bond, and holds the piece together while the adhesive dries. Works for me)
 My favorite stores are always scrap metal dealers and antique stores. I haunt auctions, dumps and flea markets. Yard sales make me insane. (I'm not forgetting fabric and art stores... since my boxes 'look' old, I've been known to use Liquid Rust on a modern piece or two, but try to use real rusted pieces when possible.)  I've been quoted as saying "I never met a piece of rust I didn't like."

I do not clean my antiques... I like the patina, and some times dirt.  Clean your contact points though.  Vary the size & the height of your objects... overlap them without obscuring the bottom piece or photo. Prop them up with the little balsa wood blocks. or cheap wooden blocks of any kind. Children's toy blocks work well if 
the sides will be seen.  Old photos can be used for themselves, or as a base for other photos or cards.

In this piece I put a votive candle inside a silver cup. NEVER leave it lit and unattended.

Sorry about all of the "by Jacquie Roland" tags... It has to do with a law called 'Orphan Works'
It should go without saying that all of the works are copyrighted by Jacquie Roland.

Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm now a certified collectible

I had a birthday recently, and not long after that I was rooting around on eBay, and came up with the neatest find. Under the eBay auction title Jacquie Roland -Actress, was this nifty little auction.  Damn. One little birthday now-a-days will push you right on over the edge.  I'm now, according to eBay, The Baltimore Sun and the Tribune Photo Archives... a collectible. Certified. With a certificate of authenticity.   *sigh*  It could have been worse... at least they didn't list me as an antique.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This is one of my Hallmark cards... today a friend sent me a photo of it in a display in El Paso Texas. On the outside it says " A Loteria card... how nice"..
inside: " Next time you'll learn to be more specific when you ask for Cuervo for your Compleanos !"

Sunday, August 19, 2012


Many folks have mentioned how much they love this painting, RIVERDANCE , the original of which was sold at last year's 5X7 Show at the Kleinert Gallery in Woodstock.   I made a print of it for myself, an 8x10 gallery wrap, which I showed along with my originals at my studio tour this month. Few folks realized that it is what I call a "Topsy - Turvy", or two paintings in one.  I do these for fun. As you can see, if you turn the little devil upside down, and 'refocus' ... the painting becomes FROSTY FARM MORNING.   I'll probably make a few more of this type this year. :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


After such a busy few months... Mother Courage & her Children are enjoying a quiet morning, here in the Hudson Valley. :-)