Dumpster Diving, Painting, Sketching

Upcycling Teaching Artist Statement


My respect and concern for nature have led me to find ways to repurpose in my life and art.  If I cannot recycle throwaway items in a traditional way, I endeavor to change their identities to create beauty, humor and/or functionality:  I create sculptures or collages from - paint on - or incorporate into my paintings - objects and substances that would otherwise end up in a landfill or polluting the waters.


As a teaching artist, I induce awareness about the reusability of most trash and the volume of it, barely used or appreciated, which ends up in the environment after we throw it out.  In so doing, my students and I take note of the artistry that goes into products and product packaging, and employ our own artistry to extend those items' usefulness in ways that simultaneously allow personal expression.

Artist Statement

I am inspired by nature, eyes, psychology and repurposing.

Nature’s fractally pattern recurrences within an astounding array of forms challenge the imagination to invent original shapes. One form suggests another: the leaf-like eye or the tree branch-like progression of veins and cracks.

Eyes are the most potentially beautiful and disgusting part of the body: moist, fishy brain extensions that are exposed, easily strained and damaged.

Painting is the medium that best allows me psychological exploration – the reactions colors elicit, the experimentation the process affords, the communion of my psyche with my eyes and hands and paint and brush. Incorporating repurposed and natural objects adds not just dimension, but also the psychic impact of modernity clashing with nature.

My respect and concern for nature have led me to find ways to repurpose in my life and art. I change throwaway objects’ identities to extend their lives and create beauty.