Assemblage Art Studio
(scroll down for "Volunteering to Create Art ")
My assemblage works are an arrangement of objects that represent a scene. They are usually landscapes with animals in them, some illustrating the Tucson desert. This is the way that I make my version of Assemblage Art:
For most paintings, the background is created separately and is usually made with sand or rocks, and acrylic paint all set on canvas, wood, or tile.
Objects like stone or shells are arranged until they seem alright. Natural materials are more fun to work with because they are more complex than manmade objects.
The arrangements are rarely created directly on their future backgrounds so they are transferred, exactly repeating the same arrangement. Then the components are individually lifted and affixed to the background.
Volunteering to Create Art
Volunteering to create art for the public is a fun activity. Many nonprofits' budgets can't allow for the hiring of people to do this kind of work. Yet it can raise spirits when the surprise of art is added to plain areas. Many neglected environments could really be improved if someone (anyone!) showed a creative interest in them.
If you're interested in volunteering to create art then it should be easy to find nonprofits that will welcome your efforts. Some will want your ideas on paper first but many don't. Here are some ideas about things to try. Included are some examples of garden art, as well as a theater set, and outdoor signs.
Patio Garden for a Clinic
These planters were created using mailboxes and plastic containers. They were primed in grey, coated with white-tinted shellac, and then finished with a clear topcoat. This gave a cloudlike effect. Tile cement was used for the glass mosaics. The aim was to create a soothing environment for children as they waited for doctor's appointments. The planters have withstood the desert heat and sun for over two years. The wooden chairs and wooden planting box (right photo), which were painted in the same way, only lasted for about a year in good condition. All nontoxic plants were used in the design.
Click for design
Following is a close up of a Frankenstein set for a small theater. The main challenge was to create a lightweight set that would be easy to move. Cardboard boxes and styrofoam were used to make a laboratory table and shelves.
GARDEN ART Outdoor art is difficult in the desert because objects are exposed to intense sunlight, and 100+degree days, for months. They are also subject to extreme thunderstorms during the monsoon season. Most painted objects will last for less than 2 years under these conditions. Using a UV blocking top coat helps to protect outdoor artwork but most work is temporary because of the elements.
Outdoor signs for a park
Landscape Elements for a Tucson Park
This sign was set on a concrete form, donated by the Habitat for Humanity "Habistore". The mosaic was created with semiprecious and other stones. "Glow in the dark" paint was used on the interior of some letters. Surrounding the sign were two "rabbits" composed of herbs and other nontoxic plants ( to learn if a plant is nontoxic call Poison Control). The "rabbit" eyes, ears, tails, and feet were all mosaics on wire supports so that they could be set into the ground.
Restoring Another Artist's Work
This was an old sign by an unknown artist that I was asked to restore. It was originally done in black and white paint that was very faded. I decided to leave the original untouched and did my copy on the reverse of the sign in color. It was a very long and labor intensive project. Probably best left to professional art restorers but it was a new experience for me.
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