Collage/Altered Art

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This website is a portfolio of my work in collage and altered art. 
( I usually post once a week on Sundays...but no promises. )



Prints of some of my pieces are available for purchase at Fine Art of America

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/wilma-millette.html

I see beauty in everyday objects from the past and like to re-purpose them in  artful ways in my pieces. A trio of old door knobs, well worn from all that opening and shutting, the patina is perfect.An ordinary document, for the sale of a parcel of land, so beautifully written, on parchment paper.

Off to the tropics again: luggage tag

Costa Rica Song

I wanna leave this place yeah to never be found
I wanna leave my old life far behind
Can I lose my name, be someone new
And I’ll throw my trouble deep in the wild blue

Let’s leave too me and you babe
Let’s go to Costa Rica
Let’s leave to me and you babe
Let’s go to Costa Rica

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deVpimIEvGgcosta caribe

The ephemera: Natural history illustration of a toucan, vintage map of Costa Rica, vintage postcard palmtrees.

Mme D’amour: Maison Meublée

Maison Meublée à louer…Paris apartment, fully furnished for rent.

What does Mme D’Amour keep in her aparto? Is it full of art deco?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Why a swan of course, enchained by a golden choker, accompanied by some coral from the South Seas and a healing crystal. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Twin tarnished crowns complete the decor. Maison meublée by Madame D’Amour.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Vines and Time to top it all off.   Always “À la une ”  is Madame d’ Amour.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The ephemera: old French notarized document (original), British station clock (reproduction), old Swan game board (reproduction) , old French advert (reproduction), botanical illustrations (reproduction).

Found objects: coral, quartz crystal, wooden drawer pull, vintage drawer pull, vine ribbon, brass crowns, old cigar box.

Thank you to Graphic`s Fairy for the French topography  and Bibliodyssey for the Swan game board image http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.ca/

Ostrich on the run : art tag

Hurry, scurry, hop to it. You’re late. You’ll never get there on time.

Run, scoot, off with you! Skidaddle, fly, get a move on!

Step on it! Time is of the essence so snap to it , I say!

Come on, giddy up! Let`s go!
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The ephemera : old book cover, original French bill from 1900, natural history image of ostrich, old airmail sticker from Peru, muybridge`s running lady, vintage clock face.

 

Trifling with Eiffel: assemblage

Marie was all cut up.

How could he have trifled with her so?

“Enough!” she said and on went the new frock.

Time to rejoin society.

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Front of the box when closed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe ephemera: cover from a legal document 1828, old receipt from 1879 (reproduction) , old  handwritten envelope, vintage postal stamps and stickers, old metro ticket (reproduction), vintage French postcard (reproduction)

The found objects: old optical lense, feather, old cigar box

Thank you to Trishia Jacobs Carney of French Kissed Postcards  for the gift of the Eiffel girl postcard. I hope you like what I have done with her.

Thank you to Alwen of Belle Brocante for the lovely old document and for the inspiring day that gave me a start on this project. See Art Play Date for details.

 

Calcul: assemblage

Calcul mal fait!

Ils croyaient avoir tout prévu:

le château d’eau , la corde , la somnifère, la clé.

Hélas, ils ont raté leur coup et les voila en dedans…

5 ans au prison de Caen.

 

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Inside the boxOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

front of the box when closed

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The ephemera : vintage mug shot, handwritten document from 1828 (original), old image of water tower, étiquette prisons de Caen, page from school calculations notebook 1879 (original) .

The found objects: old cigar box, vintage Canadian uniform button, old wooden checkers piece, small bottle of china paint, old electrical tag, vintage key, old wooden letterpress number.

AN ART PLAY DATE WITH ALWEN

When Alwen from Belle Brocante invites you for an art play date…you drop everything and shout YES!!!! and then you hyperventilate from sheer glee.

She is my  collage  guru and I have learned so many great tricks and techniques from her over the years…..And, she also is a lovely, generous, fun person….. And, her creativity is awe inspiring.

I packed up some supplies and headed down island to Victoria to Alwen’s house.

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Her house is like Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe. It takes a while to drink it all in.

I drooled over her new acquisitions from her latest Brocante treasure hunting trip to France. She will be selling many of her fabulous finds on her etsy shop.: Oscar Naylor

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We had a great time catching up and creating together.  I started work on a couple of new assemblage boxes while Alwen worked on painting some antique Natural History Illustrations with water colours.

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Charlie her adorable cat made sure he got his fair share of our attention.

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Thank you Alwen for a great day!

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STUDIO: cubbies by hubby

C’est le bonheur d’avoir un mari bricoleur!

Merci Michel pour ton aide et ton talent.

My husband is such a great support. He is my number one cheerleader and helper.

He has built a set of custom cubbies to mount on the studio wall.

They are made of pine and stained with dark walnut stain.

They will hold all my tools. Hurray!

Here they are with my old computer table. Painted the table legs to match.

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And here they are all filled up and ready to go!

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STUDIO: paper filing cabinet

The studio is coming together. Next piece a paper filing cabinet from an upcycled dresser.  We found a very inexpensive tall narrow dresser at the General Salvage store. It had 8 drawers. Perfect! This is not the actual cabinet…I forgot to take a before pic but it was very similar to this.dressercollage3

 

Two coats of charcoal FAT paint, some light distressing and three coats of wax and it looks much better. We also added some nice trim.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe added some lovely drawer pulls and labels.

 

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Filled up the drawers with my paper collection.

 

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And voila the finished cabinet.

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STUDIO – upcycled desk

Creartful dodger is still working on the new studio.

New installment upcycled desk.

Found a great inexpensive desk at a second hand shop in Chemainus.second had desk before

I knew it was meant for me because it had a world map laminated on the top. I mean really, we all know I adore maps! It was a no brainer.

Second hand shop desk with laminated map

Carted it home with glee. Charmed the Monsieur into helping me reinforce it.

Charcoal FAT Paint and Wax  worked wonders on the frame and door fronts.

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Wooden knobs from the other cabinet got new life with chalk paint and collaged clock dials. (Saved moola by DIYing the drawer pulls! Feeling clever).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And Voila! What was old is new again and will be the perfect computer desk for my new studio office.

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I think my little R2D2 speakers look fine perched up on there.

Feeling Fancy!

Four Colly Birds

Four Colly Birds

Three French Hens

Two Turtle Doves

And a Partridge in a pear tree.

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The ephemera: natural history image of blackbird, old sheet music, christmas postmark

NB :In researching “Calling Birds” I discovered that  in the older versions  of the song The twelve days of Christmas , it is four Colly Birds referring to blackbirds but it has been changed in the modern version of the song to four Calling Birds.

 

BLOG HOP

Richard Guest from The Future is Papier Mâche asked me to be part of a blog hop. As I understand it, the purpose is to link artists of all sorts, by sharing their work and a little about their process.   The Hop consists of telling a little about the artist who nominated you, answering four questions about yourself and nominating two other artists to carry on the hop. So here we go.

Richard is a street photographer among other things. He spends time most days taking pictures of stylish and intriguing people on the streets on London. He invites us to join him and shares with us where and how he came to choose each subject. They are invariably fascinating people. I love people watching, and so for me, Richard’s creative, interesting and stunning photos permit me to wander the streets of one of my favorite cities, staring with curiosity at the people who call London home. Enjoy.

Street Portrait (for and of Oli), 2014

Street Portrait of and for Oli by Richard Guest 2014

About Me : Wilma Millette of Creartfuldodger

How does my process work?

My process varies quite a bit. Sometimes an idea for a collage or assemblage just pops into my head as when someone once referred to me as a magpie and The borrower came into being.

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Other times the ideas come from the materials themselves as in the Stickmen. I was gifted an old yard stick and was trying to think of something to do with it and then I was looking through my collection of old photos…and the idea to make stick people was germinated.

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For the most part, I strive to convey some meaning in the pieces I do. I try to give some relevance to the materials I use. I love to use ordinary, often discarded objects and paper ephemera from the past. They have a certain beauty that is often lacking in the modern world of mass reproduction. I like to think that the people who made them all those years ago would be pleased that their work is being appreciated and valued.

How does my work differ from others in the genre? ( Hard question!!!)

Well there is certainly a wide variety of styles and materials used in collage and assemblage. There are some really wonderful, creative artists in this genre. I think perhaps that the combining of text with my pieces to create a narrative is something that not many collage artists do. Perhaps also, it is the juxtaposition of objects that do not normally go together that surprises and intrigues people.

What am I working on?

Lately I have become enamored of making assemblages in shadow boxes. I am ruminating on several ideas for more of those. I am however currently setting up a dedicated studio space in my home.  My husband and I are scouring the salvage shops for vintage furniture pieces to hold my materials and to display my work. We found a great old dresser today to hold my collection of old papers. I have books, papers, atlases, found objects of all sorts. I want my new space to reflect the work I do and to display my materials in an artful way. I take much pleasure in organizing and playing with all the raw materials.   I also  plan to hold workshops in the late winter and early spring when the studio is complete.

Why do I do what I do? ( I agree with Richard, this does sound like a song title)

Because….I want to…is the short answer.

Here is the longer answer: I believe that to  be a well-rounded healthy being,  a person needs to have creativity in their life. All my life I have engaged in creative endeavors. It was encouraged in my family.  I have tried various other genres of visual arts including, drawing, oil pastels, watercolor, clay, yadda yadda… with mediocre success. When I discovered collage/ mixed media I fell in love with it. This medium allows me to express my creativity in a way that is completely satisfying to me. It is the silver lining that came out of difficult year of nursing a very sick child. The happy ending is that he fully recovered and I discovered a source of great pleasure.

Here is my very first collage made during that very difficult time. It is called

The four corners of the earth

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Here are my nominees.

Jenny Morbey over at This Rosy Life

I always look forward to Jenny’s new work, it make me smile. She exudes positivity and we all could do with a big dollop of that! On her blog page Jenny writes: It’s my dream to add rosy cheer to your world through my happy and whimsical art! She makes lovely, quirky, colourful collages and greeting cards with a happy, rosy, uplifting attitude. She creates them from her home studio in Barcelona. Enjoy!

Veronica Cay  at Drawer(n) from life

Veronica is versatile artist from Australia.  Her stunning 2D  and 3 D pieces are made of ceramic, textile, found objects, mixed media and more. She is a storyteller.  Her multilayered work acts as a vehicle for exploring identity and human relationships. I am mesmerised by her work.  Enjoy!

In the studio

Creartfuldodger will be not be cre-arting for awhile…

Instead I will be working on my new studio, in an artful way of course.

Whoot! Whoot! It’s a real studio, not just a corner of a busy shared space!

Phase one : Repurpose a salvaged tool drawer unit that was destined for the skip.

Here it is in it’s before state: or almost we added some wood to hold it together.

Note the ugly brown paint and green labels…it was dirty! I decided to try my hand at chalk

paint for the first time.

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Added two shelves and a new top with some trim.  Sanded and cleaned each drawer. Two coats of Emerald Green Fat paint and wax purchased from Cameo Boutique and Union 22 in Cobble Hill. Reaffixed the old copper hardware. Lined the drawers with old Atlas pages. And it was ready to hold some creartful junk. Feeling smug! Merci Michel mon cheri pour ton aide et ton soutien!

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Sisters : assemblage

Sisters, Sisters

There were never such devoted sisters.

Never had to have a chaperone “NO SIR!”

“I’m there to keep my eye on her”

-Irving Berlin

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe ephemera: vintage photo of the dolly sisters, French antique dictionary pages, vintage handwritten letter, fragment from a vintage French school book, old colour swatch image, vintage tobacco  labels.

The found objects: old optical lenses, watch face, peacock feather, metal crow’s foot, tiny watch part vial with pearl beads, typewriter keys and game pieces to form the word sisters, vintage buttons, old heart charms, the lid of a vintage music box, old tobacco box.

 

Fais dodo

Fais dodo

Ma petite lapine

Ohé, ferme tes yeux

Demain tout ira mieux

Tu verras ma petite coquine

Fais dodo

 

Mixed media collage…trying something different.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

The ephemera: fragment from a handwritten antique french letter, scrapbook paper, vintage photo.

Found objects: old checker game piece, vintage lotto numbers, zinc letter nails

London Gentlemen’s Club : assemblage

They went down to London to spend a few days at the Club.

The East India Club, number 16 Saint-James’s Square.

Away from the the toils and trials  of country life

Was  the motive one of pure pleasure: reading, gaming, brandy?

Or was there something more shifty, more sinister, afoot?

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the ephemera: page from a french school copy book 1889, faded green soft book cover on sides of box, weathered paper, vintage bottle label.

the found objects : stickmen from previous post, red clay poker chip, old black game dice, wooden checker pieces, spectacles, and small bottle of ochre china paint powder.

the library at the east india club  (just for fun)

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STICK MEN : assemblage bits

Boomdeadda came to play

On an island summer’s day.

She gave the gift of an old yard stick.

I chopped it into little bits…

And made stick people out of it.

I will pay to her hommage

When they show up in an assemblage.

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Sorry K…the poem is a little lame but I love the gift and I hope you like what I have done with it. Here they are in sets of threes. I already have a plan in mind for three of them…he he he.  And here it is : Gentlemen’s Club

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The ephemera: vintage photos, a vintage sticker, an image of an old door knob

The found objects: old typewriter keys, old game pieces, a spring, a watch face, a verdigris crown , a rusty key, a washer, a heart shaped charm, a red scrabble tile, a tiny drawer handle and of course a vintage yard stick from a Seattle paint company.

 

STANDING FIRM: assemblage

He was

standing firm,

sticking to his convictions,

even under close scrutiny

and in the face of dissent.

He knew he had the key

to a better future.

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The lid of the box opens and closes to give a different effect.

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The ephemera: vintage mugshot , vintage lighthouse postcard.

The found objects: cigar box ( thank you Tommy), antique optical lense, vintage key, old serial tag, old game piece number.

HANDLE WITH CARE: assemblage

Handle with care. 

Caution.

Do not turn the handle

Do not touch the bird.

Do not drink the poison.

Do not turn on the oven.

Do not do things by halves.

Do not follow the rules.

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The ephemera: vintage postcard, vintage postal stickers, old stamp.

The found objects: old cherry-red slide rule, tart tin, vintage wooden coaster, old address number 1/2, old hemp twine, retro oven timer, small antique bottle and vintage poison label, antique door handle, antique clock part, old drawer painted red and a pretty red-headed bird.

SOUS LE VENT: assemblage

Sous le vent

Si tu crois que je t’oublie, écoute

ouvre ton port aux vents de la nuit,

ferme les yeux

et fais comme si j’avais pris la mer

j’ai sorti la grande voile et j’ai glissé sous le vent

Fais comme si je quittais la terre

J’ai trouvé mon étoile et je l’ai suivie un instant

sous le vent.

– Jacques Veneruso

 

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The ephemera: old map of italy, vintage postcard.

Found objects: vintage fishing lure and flasher, vintage vials with china paint, vintage thread spool, old door knob, tiny coconut, vintage hinge, printer’s block X.

PETER HAS HIS GAME FACE ON : assemblage

Ever since kindergarten Peter had always loved playing games…but never by the rules. Devious, he hid behind a complicated set of moves, needing to win at any cost. It was all about power and perception. Others are starting to see through him of late, questioning his intentions and backing him into a corner. Had Peter finally out manoeuvred himself?

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The ephemera: original pages from an antique French copy book from 1890 containing the words  homme honnete; original pages from an antique Larousse dictionary from 1900 containing the words jeu, facade and deception, reproduction of vintage caricature drawing.

Found objects: vintage game pieces including lotto card, poker chip, chess piece, bingo numbers, dice, dominoes , scrabble tiles, a playing block, old slide ruler and vintage number 1.

 

BROKEN BUT BEAUTIFUL

What is broken can be fixed.

Live, make mistakes.

Be afflicted but not crushed.

 Be perplexed but not driven to despair.

Restoration is possible.

                                      It is when we are broken that we seek wholeness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe ephemera: old architectural plans, vintage photos of flying french nuns, french manuscript from 1868, antique french hand written letter from the 1800s.

Found objects: frozen charlottes, old metal slide frames, a broken bit of old pottery, a vintage clay poker chip, an old door knob, a tiny blue bottle, top of a broken antique ink bottle, old print block ampersand , vintage house number and a vintage cast iron decorative detail.