I’m obsessive about recycling and reusing things. It’s a part of me that filters into most of my life. Whether it’s plants in the garden, furniture, clothing or materials I’m trying to find ways to bring things back to life, back into use.
This is true in my art as well. I have a binder that is exclusively for using leftover paint from a larger project. With each set of unused paint I try to “paint” a portion of a new project into the binder on separate pages. They are often free form, using bold, often contrasting color, basic shapes, and lines. Most often the “background” gets filled in first; eventually I go back and fill in details or paint a subject in the foreground. They rarely have lots of detail. This happens, often five minutes at a time, with a “finished” piece being present after fifteen minutes, or about three sessions of five minutes.
The piece you are looking at was completed in this manner. I felt it had an eighties vibe to it. The image on the lower left is the original, scanned. The painting on the lower center, is the original, photographed with my phone in regular light, and the the one on the bottom right is photographed with my digital camera, in induced lighting.
Each has a very different look it presents. The image on the left is truest to the way the painting looks to me in real life. The second is dark and muted. The third is muted as well, but the reflective elements of the background come forward. In the end I like the way in turned out, but but I thought it could be better. I really wanted it to glow! So, I pulled it into one of the art programs I have and used a color restoration feature and enhanced all the colors I wanted to. The end result is the header thumbnail graphic and the larger version below.
It has everything I wanted. Neon color. A more eighties color pallet. And all I had to do was press a button. My point is that some unused paint in this case yielded two new pieces for me and aided in my process in developing the piece. Give the things around you a second chance; let them guide you in doing something different. They won’t all turn out the way you want, but even then you could use them for another project or cut them up and use them for collage. I have a giant horde of papers and “failed” paper projects in bins to use for other things. More on that in another post!