Saturday, August 9, 2014

Eco Art

Last April the Art Walk in my hometown fell the same week as Earth Day. One of our Art Walk people decided to put out a call for Eco Art- Art made by recycling or repurposing. I love having an "assignment" and got a few ideas in my head right away.
The first two ideas were ducks! I have an interest in ducks as you may have noticed if you've been hanging around this old blog very long. I decided to make a torn magazine paper collage of a mallard based off a photo I took over spring break. It went pretty smoothly. I sketched the basic outline and proceeded to find colors to tear, arrange, and glue to the paper. I enjoyed trying out that style of collage. The mallard collage was donated for a fundraiser to help with future art walks. 
For my next duck, I focused on a drake wood duck coming out of the water. I started off using the same approach as the mallard- I sketched, I tore, I glued. I tried painting the background of my cardboard panel. It wasn't good. It was too flat. I had to make the hard decision and come up with a new plan. I like the look of corrugated cardboard and figured since the theme was "eco" art, there was no reason to try to hide the material. I used an exacto knife to cut around the duck and then started to peel the top layer of paper off. After I had removed the top layer, I painted over the corrugation to get my finished piece. The hardest part of this project was actually finding magazine papers to match the colors close enough. Wood ducks have a LOT of different colors and those colors aren't always easy to find.
The last project I created for the eco art challenge was a simple gouache painting on a small cereal box covered with gouache. I used Elmer's Art Paste for the papier mache process. I used to go with liquid starch but after reading about how the art paste goes a long way and will last quite a while I decided to give it a try. I still have a whole bunch in a sealed gallon ice cream carton waiting for my next project. After I had covered a few boxes with newspaper, I let them dry and then gave them a coat of white paint. On this box I decided to paint a picture inspired by a barn that I see on my drive to school. Of course I always end up making my colors brighter than they are in real life. I hadn't used gouache since college but I think I'll pull out those little tubes more often. I love how quickly it dries! This little painting sold after the art walk.
I hope you enjoyed this little peak at some of my artwork. Recycling has become a priority to me since becoming a parent and doing it through art is a fun solution!


  1. love your mallard in the water collage! great job creating that water look!

  2. Fantastic! I love hearing about the process that led you to your corrugated duck piece (my favorite). You've inspired me! :)

  3. It is a joy to hear the Adventures of an Art Teacher who is really an artist. The effort you put into your work shows and is an example to all artists with another job. My other job pulls me in so many important directions too but like you I have to make personal art time too. Good job on the ducks and the recycled works of art.

  4. What a great idea and what a beautiful result! There are so many possibilities in art with recycling! Sharing this one too!