Art Alchemy Studio

Mixed Media Art by Chaska Peacock

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Secrets of Rusty Things

Being a fan of Michael De Meng's work, and never having had the opportunity to take a class with him, I was excited to finally have this
book roll off the presses and arrive on my doorstep.
It's a beautifully designed book, and Michael's descriptions of how he
comes about his old, and strange finds, are interesting and funny. I love his style. However, I was a bit disappointed in that it does not
yield any directions whatsoever. The photographs are small, and the
fact that the reader knows the use of power tools and the mysteries of
hardware type materials is taken for granted. So, it is not the book I
had hoped for. But, it is a book of a very interesting artist's process.
I admit that I no longer want to be Michael de Meng, though. I would have to move my studio to the garage, and it's way too hot there. I would have to go through boxes and boxes of old
rusty things, not only getting very dirty in the process, but breaking my fingernails! Though
Michael says that he brings order to chaos, it is a grungy kind of order, whereas my shrines, even with the use of antique boxes, looks polished. Now, please don't be upset that I am talking about my own and Michael's art in the same breath. I mean, why not? I have worshipped his
work, and now I realize, and though I will continue to use rusty things, I don't want to go there in De Meng style, after all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad I read your comment about no instructions in this book - I cancelled my order.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mai Liis,
I did take one of Michael's classes, and I can tell you, he would be thrilled that you want to keep doing it your way. He encourages that individual spirit. I made a shoe shrine and it was in one of my favorite colors - Turquoise! At first he said he was worried that it wouldn't turn out well, but completely reversed his view when I was finished. Everyone's shrines were great, and each was very different. Michael studied each one and told us what made ours unique, heaping on huge amounts of praise. It was the best class I've ever taken. If you can, try to take on of his classes. You will learn a lot and you will come away feeling great! April

2:42 PM  

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