Love Nest

They were nesting, buying plants, painting old furniture to make it new again, setting up the kitchen and decorating the apartment with a combination of his and hers.  Young love blossoming and solidifying in the give and take of your’s and mine, becoming ours.

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The nesting box

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The lid

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The love nests

The ephemera: old love letters and papers from 1800’s France; natural history plate of bird’s eggs.

The found objects:  vintage tart tins; tiny pewter hearts; paper wasp’s nest; small bird’s nests; various feathers; seed pod; antique porcelain doll arms; moth cocoon; vintage anagram letters; antique cigar box with labels.

 

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CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

Natural History, naturally became Sir Percival’s passionate pastime. He travelled hither and thither across the globe in search of the quintessential specimen to add to his quirky collection. Meticulously mounted for display in his study at the Manor House, they piqued the curiosity of all those privileged enough to enjoy a peek.

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Sir Percival himself                               his cabinet of curiosities

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Sir Percival prepares for an expedition.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe curiosities

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The ephemera : original old pages from medical dictionary 1933, original chart of systeme nerveux des animaux from French school book 1868, original page from an electrical manual 1924, reproduction of a natural history book title page, original French letter 1800s, original notarized document 1879, reproduction of label for cabinet of curiosities, snippet of a map of India, reproduction of vintage photo of Victorian man.

The found objects: wooden piano striker key, antique optical lens, copper nail, vintage silk cord, old book cover, jaw bone of a young deer, seed pods from tropical trees in Costa Rica, dried fungus, poppy seed cage, robin’s egg, peacock feathers, horse tooth, vial with deep blue delphinium seeds, manuscript dipped in encaustic wax and a small vintage box lid, wooden box with hinged lid.

Size 8 inches by 10.5  inches wooden box when closed, 18 inches by 10.5 inches  when open.

The time bending machine

The time bending machine.

Enter with care, if you dare.

We may not find your hide nor hair.

Set the clock.

Turn the key.

And we shall see where you now be.

Past, Future or in between…

will you come back with tales of what you have seen?

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The ephemera: original old city plan from 1933, original star chart from 1933, reproductions of poison and anecdote chart, Vitruvian Man and old manuscript.

The found objects: old scrap of measuring tape, vintage doll’s glass eye ball, vintage key, old brass frog, inner workings of an old cuckoo clock, vintage dial and watch face, vintage number 7 door plate. Old crate and hand turned bowl by Gary David.

This piece was gifted to Gary David in appreciation of his support of my work and his generous sharing of his photoshop skills.

New game : altered cigar box

What was she up to?

A new game, it appears.

What will her next move be?

Only she holds the key.

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The ephemera:  original document cover from 1855, reproduction of swan game board, reproduction of soap label, reproduction of vintage postcard, reproduction of natural history image of bird’s nest, reproduction of botanical illustration, handmade rag paper, leaf ribbon scrap, reproduction of old topography.

The found objects: old Parisian key hole, vintage key, old cigar box

Une nouvelle idée! : assemblage

Elle a toujours une nouvelle idée qui lui tourne dans la tête!

Il faut dire que le vin, ça aide.

Ouvre la boîte et jete un coup d’oeil.

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The ephemera : reproduction of vintage photo, reproduction of old love letter, reproduction of vintage sheet music, original antique pharmacy labels, original stamps and bits of old letters and bills and vintage bus tickets.

The found objects: tiny antique lavender coloured bottle, antique optical lens, old crystal from a chandelier, old zinc number, old key hole, vintage hinge

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.

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!

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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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.

SOLD

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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.

 

EMPTY NEST

She spent her days building the nest.

With care and love, it was warm, secure and nurturing.

It was her most important task in life.

Time passes and the fledglings have left

the nest empty.

The task is complete.

SOLD ( as Maple Bay Marina Gallery)

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The ephemera : Old map of France, handwritten envelope destined for Paris, handmade paper with tiny twigs, old dictionary pages. Found objects: birds nest, antique key, door handle, small icon, beach glass, old crystals from a chandelier, beach stone and vintage thread.

THIS MAN REFUSED TO OPEN HIS EYES: assemblage

This man refused to open his eyes
to the possibility of a different kind of life.
He remains imprisoned
by the same old patterns
that got him here in the first place.
Trapped by his unwillingness
to make a change.
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Assemblage box: How to

Step one Find a suitable box: old wooden whiskey crate

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Step two:
Cover the box inside and out with old papers…in this case city plans from an old atlas and an old french document from 1868

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Step three:
Gather found objects and ephemera that suit the theme or idea
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Step four:
Make shelves to fit chosen objects
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Step five:
Affix shelves and main image (mug shot from the 1920s)
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Step six:
Affix found objects
beach combed door handle, padlock, key, metal arrow tag, safe dial, glass eye ball, fishing hook, mouse trap, wooden castor

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MOUVEMENT: étude du squelette

The three of them moved as one, with grace and strength, always together and yet always restricted by the watchful and critical eye of propriety.

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Main Box:The grace, strength and beauty of the three of them united in movement and affection.
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Lid:The strict eye of Victorian society, censoring and judging them for their alternative life style.
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The ephemera: Vintage dancer/acrobat photo; vintage pharmacie label, vintage postage stickers, page from French school workbook from 1886.
Found objects: lid from an ink bottle, electrical tag, old fuse, clock part, vintage key tag from the Empress Hotel, dolls leg, old folded ruler, vintage metal slide cover, vintage house number and an old cigar box.

YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED redux : assemblage

Borg Queen

You will be assimilated.

Resistance is futile.

This is a remake of the original piece that is now defunct.

GIFTED to Rachel

See CATartrophe https://creartfuldodger.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/catartrophe/

creartful dodger you will be assimilated again assemblage copy

The ephemera: reproductions of old plans, handwritten manuscript from 1889, old text cut into a diamond pattern, unfinished painting by Lucas Cranach The Elder.
Assemblage bits: old binocular parts, gears, nuts and bolts, typewriter keys and parts, rusty registration plate, tiny light bulb

SOS NUMBER 259

SOS! Let me out of here! Who, who locked me up?

SOLD

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The ephemera: a vintage owl natural history illustration ( reproduction), Old hand written French receipt from 1901 ( original ), a vintage padlock and key, 3 vintage metal typeset letters, a small bottle of china paint powder (golden brown ), a vintage post box number  and some rusty wire mesh.

Size : 8 inches by 8 inces

For locals I sourced the key and the letter press SOS letters here:

https://www.facebook.com/EverythingOldCanada?fref=ts It is a very cool shop in Saanich near the ferries.

 

THE BORROWER: shadow box

The borrower swoops in to make off with your most prized possessions…the love letter from Berthe; your best horse’s tooth; your tiniest poison bottles; your magic crystal; your old tv tubes. He gleefully watches over them with a lock and key and waits, for your back to turn, so he can return to scamper off with more treasures for his hoard.

GIFTED to Robert

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Big shadow box (13″ X 13″). (SOLD)

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DETAILS: poison bottles, crystal, lock and key, t.v. tubes, watch front, a gauge, watch parts, old horse tooth, antique clock gears, an old tap, a label from a bottle of  Chateau Neuf du Pape, a 1908 French love letter from Berthe,  the ace of spades, an old slide ruler, an old French receipt from a Parisian chemist lab and a French document from 1794.

shelves 2 shelves

I must admit that this piece is somewhat autobiographical….

NEWS FLASH: This piece was chosen as one of three out of more than 100 entries in the CVAC Spring Art Show by judges to have a jury talk and won one of the BEST IN SHOW awards. Apparently it will go off with the others on a tour of other galleries in the area before returning home to roost.

Junk drawers: shadow boxes

In the junk drawer: a watch face, a vial, the letter W, a dice, a key, a tiny sea urchin, gears, a gasket, a type writer key and a lost girl. (SOLD)

shadow box creartful dodger

In the junk drawer: , a chess piece, a dice, some watch parts, a circus ticket, a stamp with hitler on it, a key, a transitor, a bus ticket, some typewriter parts, an old love letter, a SOS from the Titanic and the borrowers of course. (SOLD)

shadow box borrowers

 

In the junk drawer: a watch face and parts, a broken pottery bit from france, a food token from world war II, the number 7, a thimble, an egg, a key, a crown, a shiny trinket and the magpie that colllected them all. (SOLD)

shadow box thief