Living the Creative Life: Rex Amos

Our trip to Cannon Beach was all business, that turned out to be all fun too.  We were meeting Rex and Diane Amos, and Roger was to make a visit to Rex’s studio to see what was on hand.  As often happens, I get the fun of going along.  Rex lived and worked in Portland for 35 years, Diane taught at Roosevelt high school.  They moved to Cannon Beach and put a big addition on a little cabin, making a lovely and comfortable home.  Rex’s studio is on the other side of town in a storage unit, and Rex shares the studio with his long time friend Matt Glavin, a painter.

Rex does collage and turns these into chine colle…for years at the wonderful Magnolia Editions in Oakland.  Rex and Matt had the habit of working hard and every six month or so, going to Oakland to work at Magnolia.  Rex would bring stacks of collage, and Matt acrylics on paper, and they would transform into something quite wonderful at Magnolia.

the collages themselves are beautiful and Rex has become the master of cutting (“cutting things out makes me terribly happy”)

After seeing the studio we went back to the house for a cup of tea and to hear the narrative of Rex’s life.

After the army and Portland State Rex was making large assemblages from junk he found at the dump and off the streets. (This one was shown at the Portland Art Museum in the 1970’s…)

And this more recent one …a response to the horror of 9-11…was illustrated in a book by art historian Henry Sayre:

In the 1960’s, he told us, he had the habit of writing and writing (and still does that…), taking the sheets and sealing them in envelopes with some collage and putting them away.  Under close questioning a few boxes of these wonderful items were produced…still unopened…

We toured the house seeing a variety of work

The conversation was interesting, lively and fun, with a few surprises, including that Rex was born in the small Idaho town where Roger grew up.  What a world!  Stay tuned for a view of Matt Glavin’s side of the studio…


  1. OMG–and I thought I had piles of paper… they proudly “hoard” (is this a naughty word?) absolute mountains of it–and what marvelous collages! Thanks for bringing these studio experiences to us,
    dear Hulls.

  2. Bonnie, I am so impressed! You effectively and colorfully captured Rex’s creative life with that tiny camera and posted it on your beautiful website all within twenty-four hours. Thank you for this.

  3. I am inspired, envious, I want to go cut something out right now — but somehow I don’t think it will turn out beautiful like Rex’s collages
    Thank you for this splendid tour —

  4. I don’t think I SAID how tremendously literate and tremendously FUN Rex is…but I think you might have gotten that just from looking at the work???

  5. Yes, Bonnie, this describes what the heart part of me has seen and understood as my friendship with Rex and Diane has grown. You illustrate and describe Rex articulately and beautifully – perhaps only he and Diane can take us further. I am happy that we are all on the same planet at this potent moment in time!

  6. Literate, funny, talented, good-humored people are rare treasures…and that would describe Rex and Diane, Norma. Yay…heard about Bud. xo

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