Recycled Bits and Pieces in Art

December 11th, 2009

A little sneak peek of something I've been working on for a book by arist, writer and teacher extraordinaire, Carmen Torbus, that I'll be featured in along with an amazing group of artists. So exciting! And it's so hard not to share the whole thing because I love the way it came together! But soon enough.

I share this little snippet because it fits well with the recycle theme going on this month for the Creative Every Day Challenge. In this piece and in a lot of my art, I recycle bits and pieces of paper to create the collage backgrounds for my paintings. In this small section, is a bit of to-do list stationery and some sheet music.

Where do these bits and pieces of paper come from? Well, like many creative folks, I'm a collector. I see interesting pieces of paper and I have trouble throwing them away. So, they get stored in boxes and eventually used in artwork. Sometimes I buy the scraps at fairs that sell antique goods in the summer, sometimes I trade with other artists for scraps (I loved doing this for a 6x6 collage project), and sometimes I find the bits myself in everything from my own scribbled notes, junk mail, and doodles on rice paper. My sister-in-law recently gave me a great stack of old blueprints that I adore using and my bff recently gifted me an old book of design forms. I like having the variety, so when I sit down to collage, I can pick through my supplies intuitively and use what works for me in the moment.

Sometimes it's easy to forget what we have, so it's good every so often to sort through it all. Whenever I do this, I'm always inspired by what I find and re-discover amongst the boxes. What are some of your favorite recycled goodies that you use in your artwork?

p.s. I was recently interviewed as part of the "Inspiring Women" series on the All Things Girl blog. All Things Girl is a fabulous zine filled with great articles, art, and interviews (and you can submit your artwork too!) that I highly recommend checking out!

12 Responses

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I too love to collect scraps of paper to work with. How exciting to be a part of Carmen’s project. From what I can see of your painting, it is gorgeous. I’ll be sure to check out the All Things Girl site. Thanks for all of the great linkage this week.

I’m a big pack rat as well, when it comes to papers, stationery and tidbits. One thing that I’ve started collected here in Italy are clothing design tags. They are so darn cool – well, at least here in Italy! Cloth, leather, plastic…so many variations!

Congrats on the interview and book Leah!

All papers are favorite around here, but right now I like making background papers, cutting them up and sewing them together again! :-)

Happy December!

I loved your interview. I wasn’t aware you are a big Harry Potter fan! So am I!
Can’t wait to see your new book. How exciting for you!
I too collect papers of all kinds. Love to make habdmade paper as well – must get back to that.

thanks for give inspiration

I also love papers, particularly from old falling apart books, asian packaging, and anything in a foreign language. I love metal things too. Finding an old rusted bolt or can on the side of the road can make my day. Old tins with neat pictures are good too. I just looked through my junk, I’ve got buttons, bones, bits of string and thread, beads from old broken necklaces. Umm… I think I’m a packrat! Thank goodness my DH puts up with me.

my fave are wool sweaters—felted of course–to re-sew into all sorts of things–from bags to stuffed critters (or softies)

Hi Leah, Cool collage; I particularly like the colors! Congrats on being included in the book AND on being interviewed!

Dear Leah!
Thank you so much for visiting and commenting on my desolated blog. I just posted a new picture. I love your contribution pictured here, I’ve always enjoy pieces with music notes in the background, yours is beautiful.
ThanKS a lot for the links, the zine sounds exciting, I’ll have to check it our.

i’ve really enjoyed looking at your blog!
lovely art & spirit!
much encouragement to you!!
from rachel in st. paul

I also want to thank you for stopping by to visit my blog! I am looking forward to being a part of the Creative Everyday challenge this upcoming year! The artwork you do is beautiful! Thanks for being a creative force out there in the world inspiring us all to live up to our own creative potential!

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