Monday, June 13, 2011

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a songbird will come. — Chinese proverb

So, what do you do when you have a bunch of leftover paint? I just cannot bring myself to throw it away. I pull out a canvas, or two if it's warranted, and find something else to paint. It's why I always have a bunch of extra canvases on hand. You just never know when there'll be leftovers that need using up. Sometimes, what happens on that canvas is, well, less than spectacular. And, sometimes it has a really nice feeling to it. On occasion, I might even get a spectacular piece.

So, after I finished my round of self portraits, I found myself with two sets of leftovers. The first thing I had was a whole bunch of leftover oil paint. I challenged myself to do a still life, using ONLY the paints on the palette, and further, to use only my palette knife. I am quite pleased with the results. It's loose, but figurative. I managed to stay away form getting too tight with the rendering.

Untitled, 11 x 14, Oil

After that, I still had some leftover was coming down to the bare bones, but I figured I would have enough to cover a 10 x 10. I like the result of this one as well. There is a certain "je ne sais quois" about it. 

Untitled, 10 x 10, oil

The other leftovers I had, were pistachio shells. I had been munching on them over the course of a week or two while working on those paintings. I was about to throw them away, but the sheer quantity of shells made me think twice. What, I asked myself, can I create with these?

The resulting series of 5 paintings called Pistache Panache was born.

Pistache Panache #1, 6 x 6, acrylic multi-media

Pistache Panache #2, 6 x 6, acrylic multi-media

Pistache Panache #3, 6 x 6, acrylic multi-media

Pistache Panache #4, 6 x 6, acrylic multi-media

Pistache Panache #5, 6 x 6, acrylic multi-media

So, maybe it pays to think green, in more than one way. Not only good for the environment, but also good for my art. How green are you in your art practice? What green things do you do? Write a comment, I'd love to know!


  1. I am right in there with you on this! I don't hoard up all my possible useful things. I use them RIGHT NOW~ Otherwise they just become clutter. Very cool pieces!

  2. Thank you IslandsOfTime! For sure I don't want the leftovers hanging around long enough to become clutter! Those pistachio shells were either going to become art, or garbage!