The Mechanics of Assemblage Art

This is a voyage into the world of Assemblage Art that you may find useful in the sorting through materials that may be used in three dimensional ‘Junk or Found Art’. In the world of ‘Common Objects’ and elements, we find that they can be transformed into a representational art form. There are certain modes of construction and cohesion in the relational paths that bring you to a finished piece of work.

What may look like a series of broken pieces in front of you will ultimately grow to become an ‘Assemblage’. As with much art there is a series of readjustments, while at other times there may be simultaneous harmony where everything comes into play quite rapidly. Usually though, it is through time, making your own methods along the way, or by using adaptations that are already in use by a host of related influences. Also it is through time and through some patience, trial and error that you find a unified coherence of composition. Oftentimes mistakes in the joining of objects that are different can lead you on a new path creating a ‘happy’ mistake. This is the adventure in the evolution of the making of assemblage art, like a poetic development.

The way the process begins is through inspiration of found/ discarded objects and by continually moving them around and abstracting them into what ultimately may be a unified body. No assemblage is started with a clear view of what the finished piece will look like. After much fussing and labor, common objects begin to form the dynamic of a certain cohesion with a new life for these discards. In order to enhance the identity of a found object the item is often deconstructed and taken to it’s various parts.

Also, it should be said, whole object forms may be used unaltered when good placement may be achieved. By deconstructing you possibly lose all vision as to what the item had been, now being a component of your assemblage art. Conversely the whole object may be used when it may be a critical focus piece within your structure. Putting yourself in the role of a spectator can help the visualization process leading from randomness of dispersed objects to the discovery of a cohesion of a newly created ensemble.

These altered variations are filled with color, depth, texture and reflections. They also can convey a meaningful dialog.

Possibly the viewer sees familiar objects (perhaps now unrecognizable) that have been altered with a new take where these objects have transformed the bounds of their original use, thus taking the viewer to another place in consciousness with the ability to enrich our lives. Michael Wilson 2017



Art and The Power of Healing


Michael and I were cleaning up photo files on our devises today, (thank you Leslie Saeta’s blog at ) Amazing how good it feels to purge hundreds of redundant photos and free up space on the computers, not to mention pare it all down so we can actually find photos we want without wasting time searching and searching for them.

Anyway, I ran across a photo of a work I did last year when I had the flu.

I rarely get sick, but guess I was due. After a couple of days of misery, boredom set in and I crawled up to the studio, and became immersed in this piece. It wasn’t a particularly serious work, but it was great fun to work on. Just right for a recovery process.

I don’t remember feeling sick during the time I was working on it. I do remember having fun arranging the corny Buck Rogers-like images and the imagined sounds of the ray guns going off. I also remember being amazed how long I was concentrated on it (days) when I couldn’t keep my attention on TV or a movie.

I think this all speaks to the healing power of art. That meditative state we reach as artists where time stands still. I believe it was one of the reasons I got over that flu quickly when it seemed to hang on for weeks for others. Doing art is a healthy practice, I just wish our society could see that and encourage art for everyone along with physical activity. Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Happily, this piece found its way to a good friend’s house, he chose it from a wall full of pieces. I hope it brings health and happiness to their home.



Modern Runes by Susan


As a result of last year’s drawing group at our house and studios, Susan is enjoying working in mixed media on paper. Not only have these sessions opened doors to new art ideas, but the comradery between fellow artists is a major benefit.

Above, one of the new works, ‘Modern Runes’, is on display at Lauren’s in Boonville along with works by other members of the Anderson Valley Art Guild.

Modern Runes started with listening to Miles Davis playing jazz on the radio and exploring the play between abstract shapes and staccato images. The dreamy wanderings across the paper reminded me of ancient writings imagined against a midnight sky. It was finished quietly perched up in the studio where we can look out into the tops of the firs in the forest and meditate a little on our place in the universe.



New Exhibition of Assemblages

Michael and Susan are going to be exhibiting an extensive collection of their assemblages, both new and older works through the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah, California. Opening reception will be at the museum January 30th, 4:30-7:00pm. The show will run through April 17th. If in the neighborhood, and interested in checking out some intriguing works by several assemblage artists, do stop by! We will be announcing dates for our artist’s talks concerning our works, and historical interests of assemblage in general.