THE BUTTON LADY
COLLAGE / ASSEMBLAGE
Collage and Assemblage Artist based in Florence, Alabama
Hello! I am Beth Davis – THE BUTTON LADY! I create vintage style collage & assemblage art.
I add at least one timeworn button to every one of my art pieces! THEREFORE: I NAMED MY BUSINESS: Beth Davis – THE BUTTON LADY.
I have always loved BUTTONS! I began to actively collect them in 1990, & that’s when I began using them in my collage art & assemblages.
My hand-crafted nuggets of artistry include images, found items, a mixed bag of media & include focal points that remind me of “back in the day” when times were simple & life was easy.
I mostly use copies of old sepia-toned photos of people that I have collected for many years now.
Some of my works of art include a bit of kitsch & they remind me of happy times – “a lifetime ago” - & special memories. My clients have described this particular style as “fun” – “child-like” – “full of whimsy” – and “light-hearted.”
In them, you may see part of a rhinestone necklace, an aged key, furniture hardware, glitter, lace, rubber stampings, pastel crayons, acrylic paint, alcohol inks & other inks, wallpaper pieces from my 1920’s apartments, special papers (metallic candy wrappers are a fave!) as well as the quaint buttons I use.
I use both dappled & gay colors in my representations.
WHAT – Many of my works of art could be considered “portraiture,” as I use in numerous ones a copy of an old-timey brown-toned photo of a long-gone person or persons. They emit a feeling of dreaming about remembrances from the past.
I paint a background, then add my clippings & other mixed media & then embellish the piece.
WHY – I create my art pieces because I enjoy telling stories about how life used to be. I enjoy day-dreaming about my life the way it was when I was growing up in the 1950’s & 1960’s. My works remind me of living that lifestyle then & that at best it now can be called “retro.”
In other works, I use fragments from the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, & even earlier (19th Century.)
When I was around four years old, I watched the children’s variety TV show “Romper Room.” The hostess (Nancy Claster) was my very first inspiration to create collages & assemblages. She suggested to her young viewers to get a shoebox & to place in it crayons, colored pencils, tape, scissors (those “kids’” scissors with the rounded blades), glue, construction paper, magazine clippings, & bits, bobs, & bangles such as Granny’s broken earring or a stray plastic toy soldier.
I did exactly what she said, so I was ready any time she had “arts ‘n crafts time.”
I LOVED IT!
From this adventure of creating collages & assemblages came my love for clipping out a smorgasbord of found art & locating “little nostalgic ‘things’ “ with which to create a potpourri of “pictures.” (Collages & assemblages)
My Granny (mom’s mom) was also instrumental in building in me a love for cutting and pasting. She was a very talented lady. In her girlhood, she & her sisters learned to make dress patterns from newspapers using burlap from potato or flour sacks as material. She once said: “AND WE WORE THEM DRESSES TO SUNDAY SCHOOL, TOO!” She could cook or bake anything, including the best sour dough bread you’ve ever had…and tasty “greens.”
I would use my box of art supplies that I used for “Romper Room” and Granny would show me even more about how to collage.
She often cut out “Little Debbie” from the snack cakes boxes and “Little Miss Sunbeam” from the “loaf bread” package by that name. They were my paper dolls.
I deeply appreciate Granny taking time with me to teach me my favorite kind of art.
In the 2000’s, when collage artist Claudine Hellmuth CREDIT: AMAZON & CLAUDINE HELLMUTH) started her art career, I was drawn to her vintage style.
I got to meet Claudine in the early to mid-2000’s in Houston! I was making plans to fly out to Houston to see Dad when I discovered Claudine was holding a 2-day workshop there! I signed up and BOOM! Once there, I attended the workshops. I was in heaven!
(Claudine has moved in a different direction as of several years ago, using a style she is now famous for, which is “retro whimsical.”)
Next, I found collage artist/jewelry maker Nina Bagley. I love the colors she uses: black, white, gold, silver, bronze, & copper...along with images of old-timey folks & places.
Several years ago, I discovered Canadian collage artist Heather Murray She is my latest inspiration with her vibrant colors & old-school/retro storytelling in her hand-crafted works. I actively collect her art pieces.
I have taken classes in the past from both Claudine & Heather to hone my style and learn new techniques. They are AWESOME artists!
An added direction for me in the future may be collages created using “juxtaposition” and “surrealism.” This type of collage also has both a “yesterday” feel and a “future” feel at the same time!
I have had a strong desire to sell my art since the early 1990’s. Different aspects of “life” got in my way, but now, I have reached a point in my life where I’m able to sell my collages & assemblages.
…& I hope that this will make you as excited & joyful to buy my works of art as I am to create them!
Beth Davis – THE BUTTON LADY
"Button up your overcoat
When the wind is free
Take good care of yourself
You belong to me."