Greener Art Practices for a More Beautiful World by Lauren McKinley Renzetti published in NUUC Newsletter November 2013
I am an artist and an environmentalist who is constantly juggling the need to create with the need to reduce my carbon footprint. These two notions are constantly in struggle with each other so I have come up with some art practices that are light on the land and inexpensive or free.
Markers that don’t work: Crayola Brand or water based markers. Soak them tip down in super hot tap water for 1-2 minutes, after, dry off and shake down ink to tip and see if there is anything left, if not try it again just in case. If they are no good you can always keep the lids for crafts: vases for small interior dioramas, legs for a chair, frippery for masks.
500 ml Sour Cream or Yogurt containers with a reseal-able lid:
Lids can be used as a paint palette , bucket to hold water, this is great a for on location painting
Palettes for acrylic paint: When using the lid- left over paint does not need to be wasted, simply spray with water and put the body of the container on as a lid. This will keep for weeks, if the seal is tight. When the paint is used up let left over dry and they peel off easily. This means no paint down the sink, no use of water for that part of clean up. The left overs could even be peeled off and transferred into a thick painting or collage.
Old hard cover text books or encyclopedias: What do you do with old books? You turn them into art . Using folding techniques, paint, yarn etc. you can make this antiquated book into a great wall hanging.
Greenest ART imaginable: I have recently moved into digital art using an iPad and a program called Art Rage. This offers the best of all worlds. It is portable and has every range of colour and media from drawing with crayon, pencil and pen to watercolour brush to the look of heavy acrylic or oil. There is no clean up and no additional materials. I teach a multi week workshop at the AGO using this program.
Works of art on paper and Magazines: I create far more than I keep as a finished product. I save failed art attempts to use for collage in future works. I also reuse magazines for collage.
Broken toys, broken rulers, keys, buttons & Detritus from the road : These can be used as inclusions in art. Modeling paste or plaster is a great binder for thicker things in a painting. It does not go to landfill and could add great texture. (DCR: Church eye is picture for this )