Assemblage is a collection of lots of different kinds of stuff, usually united in a container or on a support. It's kind of a 3-D collage, but each assemblage turns out to be unique to the creator. It's amazing how a bunch of junk can be put together into a beautiful and meaningful work of art.
Two of the participants had taken my classes before. They each brought a new person to the Art of Your Life. Janene brought her friend, Jodi, and Nell brought her mother, Penny, who is visiting from out of state. Penny said the day was a great mother-daughter bonding activity!
Penny wanted to celebrate a dream she and her husband are in the midst of achieving. They are creating a small farm where they will have cows, chickens, and pigs. This was Penny's first assemblage. She experimented a lot with placement and rejecting some items she had chosen and adding others. Like I have, she found that an assemblage can be more powerful with some pruning of elements, difficult though it may be not to use some of your favorite items! (The answer to that is, of course, to make more assemblages.)
Below she works on her assemblage, trying out different placements. She used a barn red background, straw-like paper, and a colorful design of chickens, which was part of a napkin set I found at SCRAP a few weeks ago. She found a vintage picture of a girl with a huge straw hat which I think represents herself becoming a "farm girl" at last. She "floated" the picture of the girl on a small piece of soft foam to make the image stand out from the background.
Penny tries out placements
Janene chose a palette of soft pinks, ochers, and black and white. She combined text, images, and paint treatments, to make an elegant statement. She also included a piece of a vintage dress pattern.
Janene's work in progress
Nell lets her intuition guide her
Having had Nell as a participant in a previous workshop, I knew that she prefers abstraction to representation in her own art work. I thought this would be an interesting challenge for her in terms of assemblage. Most assemblages I've seen have a clear theme, so I was curious to see what she would come up with.
Jodi's theme was "Hatching Hope." She built an exquisite nest out of many elements, including Easter egg grass. She wanted to age the grass and was curious to see if she could do this using re-inking liquid. She dabbed some "Espresso" onto a wet paper towel and used just the right amount of color to age the grass believably. She wondered a few times if part of her assemblage was too "busy" but fortunately, she went along with the rest of us when we shouted, "No, it's perfect!"
Here's Janene's piece, almost finished. If you've ever been in her shop, Paperdoll, you know that this looks "just like her." This is so magical.
Here's Jodi's delightful nest, just waiting for its occupant. She's going to add a bird image she has at home.
Nell pulled off an evocative abstract assemblage with rich colors and a dreamy quality. She used transparent starry fabric in the upper right of the piece. The horizontal and vertical accents on the right side are colored with rich re-inker liquid and medium.
Thanks to all the participants for a creative and joyful day!