Artwork

I'm proud to be an author and artist. Since the 1980s, I've created houses and architectural sculpture from vellum paper. All of my artwork is handmade. Though my recent creative focus has been writing fiction, I continue to find artistic inspiration in the natural and manmade worlds around me. More projects to come!

SELECTED ARTWORK - 1987-2020

Winterbridge (2020)
Winterbridge 1    Winterbridge 2

I envisioned Winterbridge as three equally important symbolic elements: the bridge, the arches, and the roof. The bridge provides a safe pathway over threats passing beneath the elliptical span. The arches represent hands raised in unison to honor each person’s unique journey on the pathway. The roof represents shelter for everyone who passes through the bridge at different stages of life.

Walls were excluded from the design. The transparency of Winterbridge suggests an open welcome to all who enter. This piece was donated to Equality Illinois for their 2020 Gala & Charity Auction.

DJC emoticon
Christmas ornament set (2018)
Ornament for Sofia    Ornament for Tommy
The anticipation of Christmas morning was my inspiration for this set of ornaments for two wonderful recipients. For Sofia, I created a winter gazebo for her to gather with friends who've returned home for the holidays. For Tommy, I created a clock tower, with hands just about to strike midnight on Christmas Eve. This piece has an open back to allow the glow from the tree to illuminate the clock's face.
DJC emoticon
Joy to the World and Happy Hanukkah (2017)
David Jay Collins holiday artwork.   David Jay Collins Happy Hanukkah
In 2017, I created two mosaic pieces: Joy to the World and Happy Hanukkah. I converted both into downloadable PDFs that were shared on this website. Each piece could be printed, folded, and displayed as holiday decorations. Joy to the World was a colorful sunburst that could be displayed in quarters or in a full circle (as shown here). Happy Hanukkah was an arrangement of eight Stars of David, which would visually "lock" when printed in multiples and displayed side by side.
DJC emoticon
Home Tweet Home (2014)
David Jay Collins Home Tweet Home 2014     David Jay Collins Home Tweet Home 2014
This was my fourth "Home Tweet Home" piece, which I donated to Chicago House for their final Birdhouse Art Auction & Cocktail Party in 2014. Following the theme of the fund raiser, I created a tabletop birdhouse with a conical shingle roof and offset black and white floor tiles. Each piece was colored, cut, and placed individually for a weathered look. Each blade column ends in a point, to complement the perch. As with my other birdhouses, there is no suggestion of a cage, but rather a house where birds would willingly choose to nest.
DJC emoticon
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Formal Pin Box (2011)
Delta Sigma Theta pin box
Delta Sigma Theta pin box elephant silhouette.   Delta Sigma Theta pin box
This formal pin box was a gift for Soror Jacqueline Teresa Jackson, after she mentioned difficulty finding a bespoke place to keep her sorority jewelry. The red and white triangular box is comprised of two elements: a tray to hold assorted regalia, and an angled support and cross bar to hold the formal pin. The riser and upside-down triangle suggest an elephant, a symbol of the Sorority. The box lid is covered on three sides by lattice, symbolizing the never-ending connection among Sorors past, present, and future. Atop the lid is a triangular overlay, with the recipient's name and date of crossing written underneath.
DJC emoticon
Home Tweet Home (2011)
David Jay Collins Home Tweet Home 2011     
Home Tweet Home 2011 overview      Home Tweet Home 2011 oculus
My third donation to the Chicago House Birdhouse Art Auction & Cocktail Party was a cylindrical birdhouse with a central oculus. The horizontal shingles were banded in line with the spiky rays of each column. The swirling gray and white floor tiles, nearly monochromatic, and white columns and roof shingles were a departure from the colorful Home Tweet Home 2010 donation from a year earlier.
DJC emoticon
Home Tweet Home (2010)
Home Tweet Home 2010 at Room and Board auction
David Jay Collins Home Tweet Home 2010
David Jay Collins Home Tweet Home 2010
My second donation to Chicago House's Birdhouse Art Auction & Cocktail Party featured two towers connected by a bridge. Abstract bracing in each tower allows free passage through a succession of ribs in the bridge. Each tower is angled outward, but meets the bridge at ninety degrees. A tall roof covered by rows of orange shingles is visually offset by brown shingles along the edges. Perches on either side offer a friendly welcome.
DJC emoticon
Home Tweet Home (2009)
.    Home Tweet Home 2009 roof bracing
My first donation to Chicago House's Annual Birdhouse Art Auction & Cocktail Party was a traditional, four-sided decorative birdhouse with blue and white offset roof shingles and warm orange and brown floor tiles. The walls are angled outward, which gives the pointed roof one and a half times the height of the base. On my first donation to an art auction, I wanted this modest piece to stand out. 
DJC emoticon
Blue Christmas (1998)
Blue Christmas front     Blue Christmas ornament back
This tabletop ornament turns 25 this year. Blue Christmas is a simple front-and-back townhouse with elliptical door, window, and roof accents in blue. The front door is left slightly open as a nod to holiday-time hospitality.
DJC emoticon
New South (1993)
New South front David Jay Collins   New South back David Jay Collins
This Southern-California influenced Greek Revival was a gift for a much-beloved college professor. As with many of my pieces from the 1980s and 1990s, portions of the interior were finished and visible, allowing light to shine through the artwork. A Shaker-style roof gives texture to an otherwise clean design in traditional proportions. New South turns 30 this year.
DJC emoticon
Kenwood Station (1987)
Kenwood Station side  Kenwood Station back
I built this HO scale train station for my Bachmann DeWitt Clinton train set, which we ran around the Christmas tree every year. I found Gothic Victorian particularly appropriate for a train station, but found nothing in the plastic-kit marketplace. So I built my own! Even then, I thought about perspective and paid attention to the back of the structure - the side that disembarking passengers would see first. A Romanesque arch welcomes visitors into the building, and on to their destinations.
DJC emoticon