Copyright: All artwork/content protected under ©2007-2011 Lynne Ciacco

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Buddha Bits

These 5 x 7 inch mixed media pieces began as simple collages. Using Photoshopped images of Buddha statuary that I had photographed in a public garden on Prince Edward Island, cut-up motifs from an old wallpaper sample book, bits of handmade paper (not handmade by me!), scraps from an Asian (Korean?) newspaper, and fragments from a book of Zen writings, I glued them onto watercolour paper with acrylic matte medium.

Once all the elements were in place, though, I realized that those wallpaper images were copyrighted. I then had to go at them with my paints to completely alter them and turn them into my own designs. But they'd served as a good jumping-off point, giving me a solid basis for an interesting composition.

There are more four more in this series. I'll be posting them soon.


  1. Love the mix with nature. Shares so much devotion and relaxing spirit. Love the colours and textures!

  2. I like your term collage artist and your philosphy about changing the images enough to make them your own if they are copyrighted. That's what I do with writing.
    How do I get a copy of Cloth paper scissors? What issue is that?

  3. Great collages. I couldn't get the images large enough to be 100% sure, but the script is too complicated to be Korean so it's either Mandarin or Cantonese.

  4. Thanks, Julie-ann! The fit with the Buddha heads and nature seemed logical as I'd found the statues in a garden. But I suppose, symbolically, they ponder the nature of being a buddha. (I just thought of that now). I'm glad the colours and textures resonate with you. It's hard to convey them in photos, but you get the idea.

  5. Hi Susan, Yeah, I'm pretty freaked out about usurping anyone else's imagery. I think a lot of amateur artists out there just use things they find willy-nilly, which I guess is okay if it's just for their own walls or journals, but once you start presenting your work publicly, look out!

    I didn't actually coin the expression "collage artist." I don't know where or when it originated but it's bandied about all over the art world now. It covers a lot of territory, and I don't mean just geographically!

    Cloth Paper Scissors has a website and they probably have back issues you can order. My article was in the Nov/Dec 2007 issue. I'd post the whole thing but am afraid of copyright infringement! I have a few extra copies that they sent me by mistake. I could send you one if you like, as long as the postage cost isn't nuts. Let me know.

  6. Hi J, I'm happy you like the collages! Here I am all freaked out about not violating any copyrighted material, and just assuming that no one would be reading the Asian script! I tried to not expose too much of it at a time so that it wouldn't necessarily have any real meaning in case anyone did read it, though.

    I tore it from a newspaper I picked up in Seattle a couple of years ago (yeah, Pack Rat Syndrome) at a big Asian Food Fair/Grocery Complex.

    When I post the next batch of collages I'll make at least one of them "biggable" enough so that you can get a better look at the script and let me know which language it is. That would be very cool! Thanks.

  7. Thanks for the nice comment on my blog. I'm really liking this Buddha series!

  8. Hey Robin, I'm glad you like them! I hope you'll come back to see the rest--I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your work, too. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Hi Lynne!
    I really love these collages... beautiful, calming stuff. I've been thinking of doing some Buddha related tiles for quite some time, but just haven't gotten around to doing it. Your art here has piqued my interest again and I think I'll take a few design steps in that direction.
    Thanks for the inspiration. !
    PS -- The wallpaper design copyright issue makes me chuckle a bit, but it has me thinking that navigating copyright concerns must be more than a minor task for a collage artist, huh?

  10. Hey David, I'm glad if my little collages re"sparked" a creative urge in you! I know without a doubt that you would come up with a beautiful Buddha tile design. Your lines are so expressive (not just the ones you give the ladies!)

    I haven't done that much collage work, being primarily a painter up till now. But watching out for copyright issues is tricky, esp. if one has artisitic scruples!