Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Free Plastic, A Community Weaving

Here is Free Plastic in the works plus some photoshop to elongate the effect.  I am really sucking at my action pictures or pictures in general.  I am going to step it up, more pictures, more documentation is on my to do better list.
I had a blast at Oz Family Day building Free Plastic, A Community Weaving with all kinds of new friends.  We talked about how to be better recyclers and even wrote some of our ideas down.  Using plastic that was destined for the landfill to build our community weaving, family day participates helped weave the weft into the warp.  Lots of plastic, oh my!  Not necessarily a good thing.

 I love the colors of all the different plastics.  The two pictures below I played around with the saturation in photoshop to really pop some of the contrast.  Weaving and talking about recycling statistics like, Americans use 2,500,00 plastic bottles every hour.  Most of them are thrown way.  

A plastic bag take 10-20 years to disintegrate in the landfill while a plastic bottle takes 450 years! 

The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person year, means that 5% of the world's people generate 40% of the worlds's waste.  

But with all those scary ones there are good ones we can concentrate on.  

It has been estimated that recycling, re-use,and composting create six to ten times as many jobs as waste incineration and landfills.  

Doubling the national recycling rate could create over 1 million new green jobs.

Lets recycle!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Summer Camp and More

I have been busy working on summer camp.  We start Monday, cross our fingers my back heals up before I start arting with 25 five to seven year olds.

The pictures below are some of my inspiration for summer camp at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts.  My camp is  Sculpture Mania! with 5 to 7 year olds.  Watch me Move: The Animation Show, American Ballads: The Photographs of Marty Stewart and Maira Kalman: The Elements of Style are all used as building blocks to lead the children on an informative and inspirational journey into 3D object making.  We will start with Characters, Set Design, then move into Found Object Art, Kinetic Art and Installation Art!  Woo Hoo!

Can wait to see what we make.  I will take lots of pictures so I can share, I think I am going to really enjoy the collaborative art making.  I have plans to make a giant dinosaur!

Hanging a art work at SmART for there Grand opening June 26th from 6pm to 8pm.  Trying to curate my work, what am I saying, what am I showing (?)….decide what to call it…Abstracts and Real Life, Abstracts and other Inventions of the Mind, Abstracts and Other.  Still figuring it out.

If interested in attending, here is all the information below.  You must RSVP by June 24th to Kelly O;Connor at 615-577-4726 or k.o'conner@progress-inc.org

Hope to see lots of people there, it is a great store….think thrift store for art materials, a creative reuse store!  Nashville now has TWO!  The other is Turnip Green Creative Reuse if you need to be in the know.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Art Art Art

Class Study 3

Class Study 1

Class Study 2

Warrior 1

Warrior 2

 I love abstracts and create mine by layering.  My material plays a large roll in the development of a piece.  Since I source everything, sometimes I am working with imagery already there or tears, dirt or stains on the surfaces.  I start with a color or a thought that I am drawn towards, sometimes based off of an emotion or something I have seen.  Letting my subconscious take over, the mark making becomes automatic.  I work between accident and intention to create a balance that works for me and the piece I am creating.  Here are some new abstracts I have been playing around with.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Paper Paper Paper

All reuse, makes a great decorative paper or gift wrap.  I have had a lot of fun painting these.  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Workshops

 (thats my paper as the background, I am loving painting papers right now!)

This weekend I have two fun things going on…Saturday, April 26th Endada Music and Art Festival at Montgomery Bell Academy  (11 to 4 come visit!)  and Small Books Galore on Sunday, April 27th, see below for details.

Small Books Galore is all about the small easy book out of reuse of course; different pamphlet binds and the perfect bind (or as I like to call it the glue bind)!  How to use scraps and find papers to create fun and spontaneous memory keepers or presents.  I love small books and want to share the intimate nature of creating a small piece of work with you.

I have some new workshops coming up in May.  I am teaching at a new location…..Your Heart on Art over on White Bridge Road.  Your Heart on Art is a non-profit providing art therapy for anyone with life changing events to come and get some art on!   I am excited they are hosting REmake Art in May with three different classes.  Please let a friend know and lets get together and make some art.  You can see more about the classes and register here.

One of them is Fabric Painting for all ages!

Monday, February 24, 2014


A positive attitude and the rest will follow.   Mmmm.  Yeah thats what I believe and I am always trying to re-convince myself that when I get in a negative spot. (not that I get in a negative spot often but occasionally)

I have been learning some great new lessons this year and I am growing as a person and artist everyday.  Every project I do, every class I teach, I learn a little more (sometimes a lot) about my practice and especially about reuse.  As an artist it is easy for me to work in reuse, I have it down but as an professional working for others and with others it does become a little more challenging.  I question it more or let it slide some.  I am finding my self continually drawn back to the fact of how important it is to me and finding ways not to compromise that.

One example is a class I recently offered and will offer again in April, Experiment and Explore in Paint.  This was my first ongoing class held on Thursdays from 2-4 for five weeks.  It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience for me and the students.  I went over a new painting technique each class.  Manipulating gesso in different ways, playing with new tools, acrylic transfers and skins to name a few.  I did a few demos and some homework was doled out over the five classes.  We used repurposed substrates and acrylic paint, medium, gesso.

I felt a degree of waste and didn't feel like I talked enough about reuse.   Maybe I didn't feel the class would respond to it or am just getting more comfortable in my teaching skin.  I made notes on the materials we used and things that we threw away, wasted.  Not much, some tape and paint.   The paint was most of the waste (subjective I guess).

I personally source my paint from damaged, bad or used paint but don't always feel that is the best to force that on students.  But as I said I am learning and growing from these experiences and want to add more reuse in the curriculum and stick to my guns more.

Please join me for class starting on April 10th every Thursday till May 8th from 2-4 pm. $135.00 for a five week session at Plaza Artist Material.   Email Courtney at artandrecycling@gmail.com to sign up.  We will cover how to develop themes in a body of work while exploring and experimenting with new techniques.  Plus more reuse!

Artwork below for your viewing pleasure…….

Your my polka dot.  I'm your stripe.  We fit together right.  (He He, to my valentine of course)

Saturday, January 25, 2014


I have always been a big proponent of 'Don't Use It Lose It' in regards to my body but for some reason forgot about my mind.  Ha.  I am not saying I stopped learning okay maybe a little or not absorbing as much knowledge as I could in different aspects of my life.  Example I would say I am not a writer, even a bad writer.  Well I am, only because I have labeled myself that way and didn't try to change that.  So here it is, me changing.  I am going to learn to write better.


I am beginning with snagging text for projects.  I was fortunate enough to receive a grant from TACA called the Master Artist Apprentice Program.  It is so awesome in so many ways but number one way is getting to know my Master (yes I call her Master or Master in Commander)  Nance Cooley.  The text snagging is my homework with Nance.  She keeps and has encouraged me to keep workbooks of images and text, letting the ideas spill out on paper unedited.  Letting the ideas come, showing up everyday doing the work then being able to look back and see themes and ideas develop.

Life is full of surprises and we have to look out for them and appreciate them.  Learn to appreciate the little nuances that make life grand.  I have a few people on the out skits of my life that seem depressed and stuck in old depilating patterns.  I want to help but know that is not possible.  All I can say is change is inevitable.  Learn something new and challenge yourself.

 I am fascinated with learning more about Artist Joseph Beuys.  I love the spirit of his political art activism, his quotes or slogans still ring true today "Unity in Diversity" and "We do not need all that we are meant to buy today to satisfy profit-based private capitalism." Or this one is super awesome "Art that can not shape society and therefore also can not penetrate the heart questions of society, (and) in the end influence the question of capital, in not art."

Reading and studying Goya's War: Loa Desastres De La Guerra.  "One must be horrified by what one sees"  Looking for text and ways to talk about consumerism and excess better.  "…we should be horrified.  We should not just find this horrible we should be horrified.  We should protest, we should deplore.  We should take a moral position." (Susan Sontag- Regarding the Pain of Others)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Fine Artist + REmake

This is a new series highlighting the amazing work of Fine Artists around the world that explore materials in a sustainable and thought provoking way.  Many showing how art can play a role in environmental change.

Ackroyd & Harvey

"Sculpture, photography, architecture, and biology are some of the disciplines that intersect in Ackroyd & Harvey’s work, revealing an intrinsic bias towards process and event and often reflecting urban political ecologies by highlighting the temporal nature of processes of growth and decay in sites of architectural interest as well as contemporary art galleries and museums worldwide." (http://www.ackroydandharvey.com/biography/)

The exploration of new material, space and questioning of society is intriguing in their work.  Chlorophyll grass images to growing crystals on skeletal systems the team pushes the boundaries of art making, using science and new discoveries to confront the viewer.

Go to their website for more artwork and information.