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

On Capturing Light Lolette Guthrie

On NPR some time ago, I heard part of an interview with someone who was discussing a depression era photographer by the name of Walker Evans. He quoted Mr. Evans as saying, “the truly hard part [of photography] is capturing the light in the air”.  I realized in that moment that this is exactly what […]

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

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Posted in: LandscapePainting

The Magic of Realism by Joan Meade

“Nothing is less real that realism. Details are confusing. Only by omitting and emphasizing do we advance the true meaning of things.” “It is surprising to me to see how many people separate the objective from the abstract. Objective painting is not good painting unless it is good in the abstract sense. A hill or […]

Posted by: Trudy Thomson at 10:11 am 0 Comments

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Posted in: LandscapePaintingTravel Inspirations