Detritus, aka Making the Art Sausage

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Note: This entry first appeared on my Patreon page. Join to see the newest news and receive art rewards!

When we see a work of art hanging on a wall or seated on a pedestal, it looks like it appeared there by magic. You might get a hint of the work that went into its creation - brush strokes, fingerprints, chisel marks, and so on. But what don't you see?

The process of making a painting bleeds over into my surrounding workspace. There are a lot of leftover bits. Why let them go to waste?

Paint on the Palette

I'm using a glass palette these days for my acrylic paints. It's easier to clean than plastic, but there's an awkward side effect. When my acrylic paint begins to dry on the palette, it forms flakes that absolutely do not mix with wet paint. Grr.

My solution is to take a paper towel, fold it in quarters longways, saturate it with water, and squeeze out my paint onto that. I still use the glass for mixing color, and clean the mixtures off when I'm done.

If I unfold the paper towel carefully, the next day I have this cool object that's just begging to be collaged somewhere.

All the Trimmings

I've been using my extra paint to make postcards. They are standard-size and ready to be stamped and mailed. Or you can just set them on a shelf and enjoy.

I make these by cutting 9 x 12 Bristol board into quarters. However, there's a half-inch that needs to be trimmed in order to meet the USPS' standard postcard dimensions. I've been making a lot of postcards, and these strips are really accumulating. What will they become?

Trading Cards

Are you familiar with Artist Trading Cards? They're made where are collecting and business cards intersect. They're tiny - 2.5 x 3.5 inches - and that's where the standardization ends. I use ATC's as a great place to use up extra paint, switch gears, relax with a small piece, and then have something cool to give away or swap.* Will my Patreon patrons be getting Artist Trading Cards at some point? Signs point to Yes.

* You can buy ATCs on eBay. But I prefer them to be gifted or traded hand-to-hand.