The Art of Collecting!

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about collections and the act of collecting. What is it that drives someone to collect one particular type of object (horse figurines, stamps, books, teddy bears, baseball cards)? Why are some things more “collection-worthy” than others? Does collecting something somehow give it more significance–more value?

Last weekend I had the opportunity to spend a few days at my husband’s side of the family’s beautiful cabin. Surrounded by trees, mountains, and gorgeous wildflowers, I enjoyed one, if not two or three Wonder Walks every day. On my last day, for reasons unknown to me, I began to notice tiny treasures hidden amidst the dirt, tree trunks, and plants. It began with the discovery of a rock. It was a very small piece of quartz with one smooth side and one bumpy, irregular side. After studying it for some time, I continued my walk, alternating between rubbing the smooth and bumpy side. This discovery soon led to many more–culminating in the discovery of a small bark rabbit! Please excuse the quality of the photo below… I wish I could capture this incredible natural sculpture–complete with two separate floppy ears!

Bark Rabbit

So, since returning from my fun “nature art” hunt, I have been thinking about collecting…and what that means for artful explorations in nature. Though we have collected natural materials for nature art challenges (Nature Mosaic Challenge), we have not explored the act of collecting as a form of art making in-and-of-itself.

So, for the summer, I plan to build a collection of “nature art.” Each week or so, I will post an idea to inspire a new addition to the collection. As always, I welcome any fellow explorers!

Tomorrow I will post more specific “nature art” collection details. In the meantime, start thinking about what type of collection you’d like to have. Are you wanting to collect certain shapes/textures/materials? How might this “collection” relate to you?

Cheers to summer artful explorations! 🙂


8 thoughts on “The Art of Collecting!

  1. Delightful post about Nature artwork! I’ve been collecting “found objects” for many years. I have three shelves of rocks, beautiful driftwood, minerals, shells and other objects. It’s healing to touch the various textures, noticing the grains in the sandstone, feeling the smoothness of a stone or shell. I’ve carefully packed my nature art collection and taken it with me when I’ve moved. One of these days, I’d like to make a mobile or wind chime with some of the pieces. Lovely posting, as always! Kindest regards, Karen

    • Thanks, Karen! Wow–your collection sounds beautiful! I think a mobile or wind chime would be a fantastic idea. Although I often pick up little treasures during my walks, I am excited to start a “collection” of my finds!

  2. I collected small stones, during a certain period of time. And even seeds! I really like to collect the gifts of Nature, and then composing little magic chests. Good collection to you, Tara!

      • Yes! the stones are in a large bowl I have in my room, I would cover them all with motifs made ​​with crochet. The seeds I use them in my soaps and my candles, together with the flowers 🙂

  3. I’ve always wanted to know more about the collecting gene. Clearly, there is a lot of aesthetic happenings in assembling and creating a collection of something. I think the distance between artists and curators is a slim one. Have a great summer and good luck with your collection!

  4. George Szekely art ed prof extraordinaire is quite a collector and encourages collecting and arranging collections as an important art form. I’ve enjoyed collecting rocks, leaves, pinecones, and seashells. I also have a collection of doll dishes. Collecting, arranging, organizing, and sorting are especially important to young children I’ve noticed. Think of all the design skills that are developed and fostered as well as the appreciation of form, function, color, texture, and more!

    • I’ll be posting more about collecting as an art soon! Thanks for sharing about your collections! I’d love to see pictures! Arranging and organizing collections seems just as important to the art form as the act of collecting in-and-of-itself! Eventually I plan to develop an “art of collecting” lesson to try out with my art kiddos! You’re right–so many important skills can be fostered through collecting!

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