Friday, October 31, 2014


A thank you to all my readers who have helped to make my posts a pleasure to write. Big thanks!

Artists are great collectors of "stuff that could be useful someday." We always ask ourselves the question, "Oh, boy, what could I do with that?" when we pick up a piece of cardboard, tree branch, used stamp, corks, egg cartons, greeting cards, cardboard toilet paper tubes, styrofoam, pretty napkins, and blank pieces of paper. I have a stack of my favorite collection: the paper towels that I use as paint rags while I am working on a painting. Here's what the top of my stack looks like:

Pretty ugly? But torn into small bits, combined with paint, stamps, stencils and decorative paper, they become paintings!

First layer
 I've used the paint rags as the basis for a book of 36 small mixed media paintings called Accidental Landscapes. First, I separated the layers of the paper towels so that the towel was as thin as possible (and I had another piece to use!)  I cut 140 lb. watercolor paper into 6" X 6" squares, coated both sides with white gesso, let that dry and began to adhere pieces of scrap paper and the torn bits of my paint rags. I painted over that with fluid acrylics, metallic paint, and then stamped and stenciled where needed.

Finished painting: an accidental landscape

Here is another beginning.

Finished painting

When I was finished with these 36 squares, I made a mosaic of the paintings.

I had to clean my brushes as I was painting, so guess what? I now have a whole new stack of paint rags to play with. 

How do you use all those interesting bits that you find and can't quite throw away?

I used Big Huge Labs to make this mosaic.   Check them out at


  1. I keep stuff but rarely get around to using it. And now I know it is time again, to reduce my clutter. Love your writing and the gorgeous mosaic!

  2. I love this mosaic, Martha!!


  3. Just found this relating to the 'stash' your mosaic and writing. Now, I need to get busy!

  4. Thank you, Scrappy Diva -- What a great name, by the way. I find that I am using my 'stash' in ways that I never dreamed of when I first thought, "I need to keep this!"


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