I took Michael deMeng‘s assemblage class Morpheus Box at Hampton Art & Soul. I was nothing more than terrified. If you’re familiar with his art, it’s pretty intense; filled with depth of meaning, strong passion, concentrated color, and interesting (not to mention strange) found objects. So far from my sense of style (think architectural pieces, serenity, le jardin, and a dash of vintage thrown in for good measure). I knew I was taking a step outside my comfort zone but I didn’t want to learn his style, per se. I wanted to learn how he chose his composition, how he got the pieces to stick together, how he created multi-layered color and texture. And I figured, he’s from Montana… he’s gotta be a cool guy.
As a formally trained artist, Michael’s patience with those of us who were not is, in my opinion, worth mentioning. The knowledge he shared about paint (he uses Golden) and tools and adhesives took much of my fear and apprehension away. His demos were not only informational, his humor made the class fun. Although it was a large group, Michael took the time to give everyone the attention they needed. The critique session at the end of the day was great. He honored each student/artist with sincerely positive words and admiration. Everyone’s project was unique. I’m really drawn to the work of my new friend, Leslie. I love the colors and the way she incorporated each element into a cohesive work of vintage beauty. The piece just exudes her creative energy, don’t you think?
Michael maintains a very busy teaching schedule including workshops in Italy and Mexico and Bali (in 2009 with his sweetie, the wonderfully talented Judy Wilkenfeld). I would definitely take another of his classes. Oh, and don’t forget to check out his latest book, Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects into Art.
I was so pleased and quite surprised with my completed project. Michael called it sacred and playful at the same time. My favorite elements are the color and texture; the sheet music covered with a translucent layer of roses; the key, frozen Charlotte, and the words on the spinner; the little cherub; and the tiny casters. I’ll be keeping this treasure for my personal collection.