Found Art For Your Home And Yard
My Goodness, What Did You Drag That Thing Home For?
If you have ever heard that said about something you found and brought home, you may already know about "found art." Everybody can afford found art because it's free. Found art is any object, natural or man-made, that attracts your attention and can be used to decorate your home, yard or patio. It can be a rock, a stick, a bone, dry flowers, an old hat, a vintage piece of hardware. Art, like beauty, is in the eye and mind of the beholder. If you find something and like it and think it would look really cool on your patio, you've found art!
All images in this article are mine.
What Makes it Art?
We tend to think of art as something created by an artist but anything can become art if it has a natural beauty or an interesting look and is appropriately displayed. As I sit and write this I have an old weathered cow skull hanging on my wall, I found it on the ranch where I grew up. I also have a coyote hide hanging on my wall, I found it on a coyote. I have a weathered cowboy hat with sweat and dirt stains on it. It was worn by my father and I found it at the ranch house after my father passed away. I also have a leather bull whip and a rusty animal trap hanging from my wall. For me, its art, for another, it could be junk. Much of my found art connects me to a special place, person or time in my life.
Art can be something beautiful, something interesting or something memorable. It can have any or all three of these attributes but ultimately it's in the eye and mind of the beholder. We could debate as to whether found art is true art or a decoration but the distinction seems meaningless since we can decorate with a painting or a cow skull and I've seen cow skulls with beautiful designs painted on them. The status of being art or a decoration is an attributed status so we are free to go either way.
If you collect found art, tell us about your prized find.
Do You Collect Found Art?
Some "Found Art" Ideas
How about weeds? You don't normally think of weeds as art but in the fall and winter as many plants die and dry out, some make beautiful dry bouquets. My wife was an expert at collecting dried weeds and arranging them into bouquets. You can spray paint dry flowers (aka weeds) with silver or gold for a special effect and you can spray them with hairspray to keep them from falling apart for a longer lasting display.
Don't forget pine cones, they are easy to find in the woods and can be arranged with other found art for year-round display or throw in some green branches, holly leaves and colorful ornaments for a special Christmas display.
A piece of old weathered wood might look great hanging from you wall with a few found horse shoes, dry flowers and whatever else blows your hair back mounted on it. You could frame it with a weathered rope and throw in some pheasant or peacock feathers. Art can be what you make of what you find.
My found art includes old bottles, glass insulators, old lanterns, rusty horse shoes, a saddle, a wagon wheel, a milk can, moss covered sticks, rocks, an old wooden cigar box, an old bathtub (you heard me right), an Indian-made stone mortar and pestle, an old Mobile gas pump (you heard me right again) a leather saddlebag, and old oil can, a bobcat skull, a ceramic doorknob and an old coffee pot, for starters. For the record, I'm not under consideration for the Hoarders TV show, or the My Strange Addiction show, but I do seem to accumulate found art and it finds a place on the wall here and a shelf there and especially my patio. My wife's art and my photography also find their place on our walls so we use found art as accent art rather than a theme for decorating our house.
A Found Art Patio Decoration
Here's another example of found art on our patio. The rare Indian grinding bowl and pestle are too specail not to put on display and it looks great on our patio.
Did Someone Say Patio?
Found Art Has Other possibilities
If you are into photography or art you can do other things with your found art. Here I included a gas pump, an old tractor seat and a milk can in an image I am creating. I found the moon and threw it in too - just because I could. Other than the moon these are objects of found art. I don't know what, if anything, I'll do with this image but I enjoy playing and creating.
Below I extracted the Mobilegas insignia from the gas pump and put it on a brick background as a folded card on my Zazzle website. I thought that perhaps someone would have fond memories of the Mobilegas insignia and buy the card. In fact, someone did.
While You're Thinking About Decorating - Check Out These Great Amazon Products
My Fine Art Photography Website
I have a fine art photography website where you can view my diverse photographic interests. I have a gallery dedicated to vintage vehicles and buildings, galleries for landscapes, waterfalls, birds, wildlife, painterly photography and a variety of other specialized subjects. Mount Shasta and various northern California scenes are prominent in many of my galleries. Most of the galleries have background music if you play them as a slideshow. This allows you to kick back and listen to the music as the images flow by. Whether you are looking for some interesting images or looking to purchase some photographic art, I think you will enjoy your visit to Chuck Nelson Photography.
I have applied many of my photographs and digital art to a wide variety of products such as mugs, mouse pads, T-shirts, cards, etc. If you are looking for a one-stop location for unique gifts, be sure to visit my Zazzle website.