Trash to Treasures by Nancy L. Smith

As the Crow Flies

As the Crow Flies


Last summer, I began painting with an artist group at a friend’s studio. The tables we used were covered with white paper for protection of the surfaces, but by the end of two months the papers collected quite a mess of paint and marks. I didn’t see the beauty in those papers until I participated in an artist challenge to create a painting using extreme cropping. As I slid an adjustable 2 x 3 inch mat over my table’s paper, I noticed that many beautiful images started to appear. As the Crow Flies is a perfect example!


Monet's Garden #2

Monet’s Garden #2

I felt I was suddenly a very skilled landscape artist. I couldn’t have created the delicacy or spontaneity in Monet’s Garden #2 even if I had tried. I photographed the tiny image and enlarged it for printing. I then encased the print in beeswax to create a collage. If only I could paint a landscape like this intentionally.

Early Spring Cardinal

Early Spring Cardinal

Some of the images begged to be under-paintings for my figurative work.    In Early Spring Cardinal, I initially saw a cat in the tiny image but it didn’t translate well when printed.  After several months of gazing at the piece in my studio, I used beeswax to collage a cardinal image onto the surface. It began to take shape as I added more collage elements to the piece. Despite all the additions, the focal point ended up being in the area where the under-painting was most prominent.

I look for treasures in my trash now, collecting scraps of paper, tissue, and paper towels I’ve used in creating art. It may take several years but I always find the perfect use for them. Many times the trash becomes the treasure.

See more of Nancy’s work at her website.

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 2:52 pm 12 Comments

Evolution of an Idea by Luna Lee Ray

  Every winter, my thoughts shift from the skies to what lurks underground.  Dormant seeds and water channels were on my mind this past winter and I began a series of small pieces inspired by these thoughts.  In this series, I focused on the idea of a seed, or a cell, and its micro-environment. Soon […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 6:44 am 3 Comments

Out of the Comfort Zone by Jennifer Hahn

For every artist, stepping out of one’s comfort zone and attempting a new medium, technique, or process is important. It can cause us to see with fresh eyes, open up new dialogue within our work, and challenge our abilities in order to learn. Such was the case for me last summer, 2015, when I attended for the […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 2:01 pm 1 Comment

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Posted in: Ceramics