Mixed media artist Timothy Weldon creates his singular pieces by incorporating found objects with a vintage flair. From classic board games to well-worn wooden household items, Timothy searches high and low for the elements to compose his works. No source is off-limits –– he’s scoured everywhere from estate sales to found objects on the roadside.
He assembles his found objects into complete works of art through an enigmatic process. Even he cannot fully explain it. Instead, he relies on instinct and a technique he’s dubbed “Serendipitous Exploration.”
He finds when he’s willing to listen, the pieces often build themselves. Along the way, they provide both him and the viewer with an important message. Hear more from Timothy about his process for encouraging happy accidents.
Why did you choose this medium?
The use of found objects came to me by seeing the work of Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Nevelson and Raymond Saunders and has been in my mind for many years. I started collecting vintage signs –– both metal and wood –– old game boards, toys, vintage ephemera and recycled wood, doors, frames, and a variety of other objects.
From the very beginning of my introduction into the visual arts, I knew that I wanted to create backgrounds with a relief of rescued materials for my whimsical sensitivity of foreground characters.
What challenges you most about this medium?
My process begins with the actual “treasure hunting” of a particular group of found objects. Traveling to different locations by using smaller roads and finding things on the side of the road, flea markets, garage sales, and vintage stores. I never really know what I’m looking for until I see it and then at some point a piece might “build itself” from all the stuff that’s been gathered. There are always minor challenges, but after all these years they are few and far between.
What do you love most about this medium?
I love the process of my work and have come to embrace it. I also love recognizing the “happy accidents” that happen along the way within the process. I call it “Serendipitous Exploration.” I love when I realize that within a certain piece, I feel as though I am the conduit for a larger message than what the viewer sees when looking at my work. I’ll pick a piece of vintage sheet music out of a pile for an unknown reason and then somewhere in the title or the lyrics of the song, there will be a message that was meant to be shared and also meant for me to read. It happens quite a lot within the scope of my work. I realize that there are no accidents when you are “in it” and this happens to reveal my soul. I love that.
How are you using found objects that might be different from most?
I think I’m different from most other artists in the use of found objects by the type of materials I use and the way they fit together, sort of like a puzzle. It’s more of a jumbled meaning for me but the viewer gets a totally different perspective of it. My work is more nostalgic in nature, inviting us to remember when life was good…when we were kids, not a care in the world, wide-eyed and curious, and a bit fearless at times. I trust my instincts now more than ever because it’s proven to be a good formula for me, even though my work is not formulaic. But there are other artists that I see along the way that use things that resonate with me, and that gives me ideas of how that kind of thing might fit within what I do.