Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Beach Junk for Art

Below is a water color painting I completed on a piece of old plastic found on the beach.

An artist friend asked me to help her find a piece of driftwood she needed for a commissioned art piece she was trying to complete.  She had searched several beaches near her house and couldn't find the correct size, and asked for help.  

On our beach, I doggedly searched for the piece of driftwood with her specifications and found only some small pieces of wood, along with old shoes, pieces of plastic, an unhinged toilet seat, a few seashells, as well as plenty of seaweed and lots of old, jangled, plastic rope. 

Are you surprised by my description of what I found on the beach?  You shouldn't be, as most ocean beaches are cluttered with junk.   Much of it is plastic.  

When I told my friend that I couldn't find anything she wanted, she replied,  "Well, we should just switch to painting on plastic.  There sure is plenty of that laying around."   

A few days later, while again scrounging around on the beach, I found a rather large piece of blue, eroded, plastic that used to be part of a 25 gallon container.  It was an interesting shape, so i took it home then scrubbed it up and left it outside to dry in the warm sun of our Island of the Abacos.  

Then I painted the plastic, first designing the structure with gesso, a kind of acrylic base, then following up with watercolors.  The roughened and worn plastic surface moved the water colors slowly around in interesting ways. Where the plastic was still smooth, the paint moved about quickly and then mingled and mixed with other colors.  

As I shifted the brush size and character, I started to get some pleasant varied patterns on the old plastic.  

Pretty soon, I was lost in the painting and having a great time.  

The end result has a sort of shiny, porcelain look to it.  

I like finding junk to paint on.  And I sure like the price of the canvas.  

Plus, now there is one less piece of plastic garbage on the beach.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful piece of art Mary that you made from a piece of old plastic you found in your beach, great way to redeem our beautiful earth that we have poisoned with plastic. Coincidentally yesterday Adolfo brought home two statues made by a very creative couple using old tires from bycicles, cars and trucks plus other material they pick up from the garbage disposal yards here in Santiago, Chile. One is an actual size of a Navi Woman from the movie Avatar and the other is an actual size of beautiful dog. We are now displaying them in our terrace for family and friends to see these beautiful pieces of art made from old tires. I will send you some photos via email. Much love and appreciation always my very dear friend that I miss so much from our hard but also fun working together at the UN for so many years. Thanks for continue to be such an important, enriching and loving part of my life. Cristina
    P.D. This is the third time I post this comment, hopefully this time will appear in your blog