Entries in recycled plastic (92)


Funny papers, Turkish lanterns, Pharell Williams and big dreams...

I was dizzy for a week, even after medication, so my doctor took a cautious road and had me go to the hospital. So far, all that has turned up is my EKG not being up to snuff. I told my nurse all about my projects when she came to collect my water bottle, so as soon as I got home I was dying to try out some new ideas. Thankfully, I had a rogue bag of bottles in the garage left from one of the dozens of 'good fairies' that collect them for me. I often come home to a sack of recycled bottles on my doorstep.

Today, I played around with Sargent Art's glitter glaze and peal medium with the comics or 'funny papers' as my mother calls them. They took on a mosaic glass look, especially the crossword puzzle!

I also filed my nails because my Jamberry nail kit comes tomorrow. In my enthusiasm for color and OCD over having all the colors in the crayon box, I signed up to represent another company that offers the opportunity to pop a surprise of color in my outfits. Prepare for Miche/ Jamberry pairings in my wardrobe though I resisted the beanie I found on eBay even though it is very fashion forward as I discovered this morning when I watch a lovely interview with Pharrel Williams. The best part was when he was asked how he feels about being the 'happy' music guy. "I feel blessed" was his reply and in the course of the interview continued to attribute his success to all of the people in his life that supported his dreams. I've got a lot of those folks too, and some big dreams brewing so hold onto your hats friends.

Small dream: Make 2 liter bottles look like this...

a bridge over water that looks like this :                                                          or this:

And someday, somewhere, a fair trade workshop that looks like this:


My artistic process: Dizzy decaf delirium... 

I used to tell my kids that boredom is a gift because it drives you to find something interesting to do. I've been holed up not feeling well all week and coming down with an acute case of cabin fever, so I delved into some ideas for my recycled work that I've had percolating for quite some time.

I want to do a landscape using the recycled plastic bottles and  to experiment with texture, so, taking the paints and leftover bottles I had on hand, I started 'quilting' a landscape. I am  loosely following a Van Gogh study I painted years ago that hangs over our fireplace. I probably wouldn't have chosen this particular painting, but was too tired, lazy, and/or caffeine deprived to hunt down something else. I know it is going to evolve into something completely different . (That is really a disclaimer since the panel of bottles doesn't look even remotely similar to my painting. )

Above is a photo of bottles done in different cuts that I am hoping will yield interesting texture. I'm envisioning something along the lines of a weaving done with different types of yarns and materials. (Note: I don't like Lipton tea but I've been dizzy so don't want to drive to the store to get my P&G Tips. We are also out of coffee which could explain the dizziness and my use of the word 'percolate' in my first paragraph.)

Here's my painting on the mantel I was too lazy to clear off before snapping this photo, so you get a glimpse of my daughter and son-in-law at their wedding and Danielle's screen print bebop of color she gave me for Christmas. 

This is the beginning of my plastic interpretation which I will manipulate further with a heat gun. I am contemplating making a large branch across the view using bottles wrapped in newspaper before they are cut.

Also on the back burner: cloudy white gallon jugs and texture made by soldering iron holes, but it's all over if I run out of Lipton.


Cherry blossom season and the meaning of spring...

One of the best things about my work in recycled plastic is hearing from people all over the world who are using my tutorials. My favorite thing is to receive pictures, but I always get side-tracked and forget to share them here. The latest is from a woman who visited me at AnnMarie Garden in Maryland. She gave me permission to share her photos. Her hanging baskets reminds me that it is cherry blossom season in DC, not too far from where she lives.

It makes me smile to think of all of the thousands of bottles that now happily litter the landscape across the planet,  not as refuse, but as art. Does it get any better than that? Psalm 103  describes God removing our transgressions as far from us as the east is from the west, and the measure of his mercy and loving-kindness is as high above the earth as is the sky. I think that might be the same distance as that of trash to treasure.


Fussy chair...

The Mustard Seed of Central Florida has an annual fund-raising event for which artists decorate chairs that will be auctioned off. Here's my entry.  I was thinking about the mustard seed story in the Bible. Even though it is a tiny seed, it  grows into a plant that offers shade and becomes a home and shelter to birds and animals.  The chair I used is wooden, originating from a tree, and then found it's way to The Mustard Seed's thrift shop. The plastic bottles are a lower material than that, our community going to great lengths to dispose of them. Combining them with the chair to create something beautiful, reminds me of the hope of renewal and the work at Mustard Seed offers as they seek to rebuild lives that may be broken or even discarded. Hope is an amazing  source of transformation. Their event is tonight at 6 pm if you want to see the chairs in person and put in a bid for this lovely.


Paints, paper, pens, and purses... grab color wherever you can!

Sargent Art sent me a big box full of paints to play with before I present a workshop for them at the National Art Educators Association conference in San Diego next week. When I started doing my bottle installations I dreamed, even prayed (which is probably the same thing), that I could go around the country creating collaborative projects. I forgot about that prayer until recently, after having done installations here in Florida, in Michigan, Maryland, and now in California.

I'm obsessed with Sargent's liquid water colors called Watercolor Magic. I realized that playing with color cheers me up so I played on paper:I love taking a fine point permanent marker and outlining all the little archipelagos the salt blooms create. (far right) Watercolor with salt on good paper can be torn into what ends up looking like little landscapes, then attached to create mini landscapes on note cards. I want to do a workshop on this! By the way, I love Arches paper because it is gorgeous, French, and it has a long tradition ;the company was established in 1492.

I played on the computer:

Made this postcard to take with me to NAEA with my artist statement and bio on the back. Maybe I'll pick up more gigs!

I played with painting tissue paper and newspaper to create a new technique:

 Last but not least, I played with purses! I'm so excited and thankful for my 15 member team and am proud to display this killer collection.