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Collage, Poet-Portraits, Fragments & Words, Words, Words

Sara Biggs Chaney and I have been busily working with papery word fragments, piecing them together, layer upon layer, until greeting a face.

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Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lucille Clifton, Elizabeth Bishop, and HD. These are poets we admire. Their words forge textures on the page. Each one is an 8×10 artwork collage ready to brighten any room. The beauty of words and faces, of fragments and figures, shines through the glue in each portrait.

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Gwendolyn Brooks

You’ll notice how the titles of the books in the re-worked photo above are comprised of more lines from Brooks’ poetry…. And by the way, for now, our favorite adhesive is liquitex matte  glaze.


Lucille Clifton

There are stiffer papers used in the Clifton collage above. Collage challenges the camera and our eyes to see things normally perceived through touch–like contour, edge, weight.

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We selected our subjects for the force of their original poetry. And we wanted to memorialize great poets.


Elizabeth Bishop

We prefer mod podge and home made mixtures for other projects, but these were perfect for the matte glaze. The paper and words are the focus of these portraits.

We hope you like them.

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Michael and Sara

To purchase one of these portraits or to see more,  visit the shop




new visual poem in Florida Review

We are pleased to have a visual poem up at Florida Review online or Aquifier with Sara Biggs Chaney

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New Collage published in New Delta Review

Some intricacies of cut paper appear in the latest issue here


check out more here


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see more on our collaborative website here

Where to Submit Visual Poetry

Here’s a new list of magazine rankings for those poets who traffic in the pictorial…


Art for your holiday season

I have been making art for many years.

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I began painting as a child. My mother taught and encouraged my brother and I to take our art-making very seriously.

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Masked Birches and Orange Winter Window

My latest pieces feature foraged materials and poems by my co-artner Sara Biggs Chaney.


A close up of “New Ember” (as in November)

When seen up close, they offer intimate reading experiences. At room distance, they liven up any wall.


I paint all of these with oil paint. Most are on stretched denim or jeans fabric. I enjoy the ridged effect of the denim as a ground for painting landscapes especially.


I paint landmarks from Cleveland and Vermont–my two homes.


Birches and Big Fun–a Coventry-neighborhood icon in Cleveland

The two places mingle well together when outfitted in the same durable gear.


Peaches and Wood       $70    9 inches by 9 inches

The wooden frames distinguish the art and highlight the fabric it is painted on. In the end, it is about making art that I can share with others.

Hence, this post–as well as the etsy shop where all of these works can be purchased.

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For a limited time, you may use the coupon code below to receive further discounts:





Ten Best Visual Poems

Check out the latest list here


updates to a mini oil painting of a Coventry Toy Store Big Fun


So thrilled to finish this piece. It’s not the first time I’ve painted this view.

I distinctly recall painting it the first time. It was during a small snowstorm. I had been making art on Coventry during the early 1990s, so it was not uncommon for me to be painting the buildings. I remember the sky being grey a lot. I remember a small muddy painting on cardboard of yellow construction machinery in front of Coventry library.

Big Fun was physically something different. The sight of a store front as bold as this one, with its primary colors and children’s letter-block design, took my eye. I thought it deserved artistic commemoration. I set up across the street (under an awning!) and captured the obvious contrasts.

This is a version of that original painting with redefined highlights around the legendary letters of the storefront’s signage. It’s a view of a store in its first location, a store lost to the community of physical objects only, but which lives on in every spurting can of springing socks you’ll ever imagine.

To purchase, go here.


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