My artwork has two focuses; mixed media collage and landscape painting.

I have always been drawn in both directions. The landscapes have often been inspired by my numerous road trips while much of the collage work has incorporated old maps, vintage postcards and other travel ephemera. One might say these two directions are more like parallel paths. As society digitizes more information, we are generating fewer pieces of ephemera. While we are not going to run out of collage material soon, an artist's choices of material are changing. Many of the things I prefer to use are gradually becoming scarcer. This led me to start thinking about making my own collage material.

In 2013 I began bringing collage and landscape painting together. Most of my landscapes are painted on paper. I started thinking about creating new paintings for the purpose of cutting them up. I have been re-approaching familiar subjects like Point Reyes and the California desert. I start by painting areas of color to represent the palette of a specific place. The first stage is a painting that is a sort of deconstructed landscape with fields of color. The next step is when the painting is cut into hundreds of small pieces. The final step is to randomize the pieces and then reassemble them in some sort of geometric pattern. These works, that I call collagescapes, are both paintings and collages.

Since the beginning, I have used old maps in my collages and incorporated map inspired ideas into my art. In 2001, I experimented with the first collage using only maps. That experiment changed the direction of my work for a decade. Much of the map work took its inspiration from other traditional art forms using repetitive patterns, in particular quilts and other textiles. In 2011 I spent the year creating a large-scale piece called the 2011 Project. Essentially I created a map of the year by making a piece of art on each and every day of 2011. The work is made up of 365 individual, mixed media pieces, each 4"x4" in size.

The 2011 Project was also a sketchbook for future work. I experimented with new materials and subject matter for many of the pieces. Those ideas have been playing out since 2011. 2012 saw a solo show that was a travel-themed, mixed media installation called Imagining Val Travel. In 2013, a series of beer-themed mixed media work for a solo show in San Francisco. A large show in 2014 where collage and landscape came together and in 2015 a new book called Helen's Postcards. In 2016 another new series, Time Travel Photos, had their first solo show.

(c) Scott St. John (aka Tofu), 2019