Exhibition Girl from Body Mod... If My Hair Was Made of Flowers
So You Don't Like Art Classes... part one

8 Ways I Learnt to Be an Assemblage Artist

Twodetailweb What I do is, I guess a bit different, and it brings many questions regarding my 'training'.
A lot of people ask me at exhibitions... "Where did you learn to do this?"

So here today are the answers... the learning process is an Assemblage in itself.

1. BEING A COLLECTOR. I have always liked to collect what other people call 'Junk'. I'm a real life Junk Gypsy... beautiful ticket stubs, rusty bits of metal on roadways... in the bag it goes.

2. MY CHILDREN: An oldie but so true. I loved playing 'art' with my kids as soon as they could stick fingers in a glue or paint pot. I learnt to ALWAYS have fun and laugh, be a kid. I guess that's where the humor in my work comes from. So LIGHTEN up... there are no art police... oh yeah there are... ok be a fugitive learn to play!

3. A MENTOR...MY MUM:  Everything is created by my Mum from within and with intention. Her work is so Spirited and uplifting. No matter if it's a cheeky watercolour of a Kookaburra or a mixed media sunset, you are moved by her work. BECAUSE, it's always from the heart. Her love and spirit is always evident. So I learnt to work with intention from Mum, to create what means something to me. Her work is nothing like mine but I learnt how to really be an artist from her example. It;s not about what you do... it's how you do it. Find a mentor who inspires you... they don;t have do EXACTLY what you do either.

4. WITH A FABULOUS TEACHER...MICHAEL DEMENG: One day years ago a bBoardook fell on me, no really it did. I was looking at a book on collage techniques in the corner of an art book store and a book fell out from the shelf above and hit my arm. I picked up the book and was blown away. "The Secrets of Rusty Things" changed EVERYTHING for me. I'd lived in the USA and been to Mexico many times. Here was an artist who's work was very much based on the things I loved, old things, Mexican things, spooky things, weird things. He came to Australia to visit his Aussie girlfriend and taught a class... I went and learnt a hell of a lot about paint and texture with assemblages...I've taken a few other classes in things that may not even be considered art based and read loads of different books... you learn from everything and don't stop being open to learning even if it takes a book to hit you on the head!

5. BY LOVING THIS PLANET.... sounds hippy chicky? But yeah I'm a Pagan Goddesses loving  gal and try and do my 'bit' to help our Mother Earth. AND... When you start looking at things to create Assemblage Art with... you begin recycling, what is in many cases, even the unrecyclable. Now it's fine art! How cool is THAT? I find my very best pieces out of things that I would otherwise throw out. Start looking at what you can recycle into art.

6. I JUST DID IT... I know it's catchy but I didn't make that one up, sorry. Grab a whole bunch of stuff and PLAY. Stick it together, paint it, hammer it, twist it, cover it with paint and gems, have fun. The more you do the more you will learn and the more you will progress. Never be unhappy with anything you create. BIG SECRET... my best pieces are often created on the bases of my past failures.

 7.I  CREATE WHAT I KNOW. Love surfing? GREAT! Create surfboards. A Cat person? Make cats! Wings and things? Do it. The old saying for writers "Write what you know" applies with all art I feel... create things you are passionate about. I hesitate on commissions as I prefer to create what is in my heart, if you connect with me... awesome! If I was making Sand shoe Assemblage Sculptures, they may be popular but they would not have the energy of my Goddesses. I don't suffer artist block because I'm creating the things I have the most energy for.

8.I FELL IN LOVE... Ahhh no not THAT kinda lovin'. Alas. I did fall in love with my medium. I have created in many many different mediums, painting (oil, acrylics, mixed media, watercolors), drwaing (every which way), print making, collage, book binding, glass blowing, sculpture in stone & wood, photography, model making (everything from WWII bombers and tanks to Star Trek spaceships and aliens) and the list goes on.... some things I really missed the mark on and never mastered at all... but the day I made my first assemblage... was love at first sight. The smell of construction adhesives quickens my heart and the whine of a high spped dremel makes my head spin in unison.
When people say to me, they can't do art... I reply, "You just haven't fallen in love with the right medium".