Reduce Reuse Recycle
Most of the artists I know are really into recycling, whether it’s using found items in their artwork, reimagining objects discovered in thrift shops, or even painting over old canvases. I do my part in several ways. For my mosaic pieces, I’m lucky enough to have friends who are stained glass artists give me their scraps, which I then cut up into smaller pieces for my work. Also, I’ve become the repository of many broken dishes and tiles, though I have to admit I haven’t done as many pieces with those as I’d like!
Another way I like to recycle is actually recreating images I’ve used in other pieces in different media. Sometimes I’ve created a pattern or image I love in mosaic that I simply have to try as a painting or collage, or vice versa.
I recently tried this with the piece I wrote about in January, Not Quite Right Angles, and the painting started out alright. I hate wasting acrylic paint so whenever I had some leftover at the end of a painting session I would start putting in various blocks on a 16x20 canvas. Then this past weekend, I focused on the body of the piece, using various shades of blue for the base, and then finishing it by adding “grout” lines with a fine-tip applicator. Just like the way my trapezoids (not squares or rectangles!) annoyed me in the original piece, outlining the blocks in white paint also proved to be frustrating. I had to keep reminding myself that not-quite-straight lines signal that the painting was made by a human, not a machine!
Here are some other pieces I’ve “recycled” -- hope you enjoy them!