104 Things To Do This Summer: Reusing Materials and Ideas

It’s that time of year when people put signs up and direct people to their location. It’s garage sale season. Let’s give out a big hurray! HURRAY. I like to head out and find deals at garage sales; mostly children’s clothing (much cheaper than the store) but also materials for artwork.

Repainted Canvas

1. Visit a garage sale

It’s fun to discover unknown treasures. Last week, I found a great deal on a frame with a picture for a dollar and fifty cents. The picture is one of those prints that are from a retail store. As my husband pointed out, I made sure that it wasn’t a valuable piece of art. Generally, when it’s has a clearance sticker on the back, and it’s a print with no signature you are good to go.

2. Reuse what you find

I took the painting and covered it up with a coat of white acrylic paint. The surface was canvas like with little bumps but not a canvas. I also put a coat of black paint on the outer frame. Now my painting needed an image on it. I told my daughter is was a polar bear in a snow storm eating an ice cream cone. She didn’t believe me.

3. Reuse an idea

Artists Do It With Flair by Anne Slattery

This idea has been sitting in the back of mind for over a year. Last summer, I went to a fabulous museum called the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum. According to their website, “Operated by volunteers of the Two Rivers Historical Society, the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum is the only museum dedicated to the preservation, study, production and printing of wood type. With 1.5 million pieces of wood type and more than 1,000 styles and sizes of patterns, Hamilton’s collection is one of the premier wood type collections in the world.” So it’s a pretty cool place to visit. While I was there I saw this poster made by Anne Slattery in 2002 called Artists Do It With Flair. The size is 15.5” by 21.5”. I took a picture of it because the poster was not for sale. I was going to make my own. I forgot about it until I was in Barnes and Noble store looking at a book about mixed media and then it clicked.

4. Putting together reused materials and ideas

Artists Do It With Flair! Adapted by Christy Berry

I took my painting and the idea and put them together. I added a bit more to the original idea to make it mine. I used most of Anne Slattery’s words. I left out a few because I couldn’t read it in my photograph and I ran out of space. I did leave out the math part, because I can actually do math very well. I like how it turned out.

Artists Do It With Flair!
Adapted by Christy Berry

artists do it because there is no way around being creative if that is what you are given
artists do it best
artists do it well but screw it up by talking about it
artists do it like other artists and deny it
artists do it but wont talk about it
artists do it neurotically
artists do it because they don’t know how NOT to
artists do it, ironically, to survive
artists do it to make something
artists do it because we need to smile
artists do it because we can

This idea could translate into the classroom by having students find a section of text or poem that they like.  Then create a painting using the words in order or mixing the words up a bit.

Have fun treasure hunting!

-Mrs. Berry


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