Re-Conserved Paintings

studio paletteBehold the dilemma of the painter who is both a shameless user of large quantities of paint, and a concerned environmentalist. Trying to be responsible, I have asked EPA and state agencies what I should do with scraps of paint, whose pigments often contain, let’s just say, substances “known to the state of California”. Their response is always that I should put it in the trash.

That solution seemed wanting, and so while waiting for a better solution over the last few years,  I made piles of the paint that I couldn’t use or reuse. That explains the mountains erupting on my palette in this picture.

Accumulating these mountains is satisfying, but it wasn’t enough “reuse” for my tastes. At some point the paint was diverted in a new direction. When I found particularly scrumptious colors in sufficient quantities that were otherwise destined for these mountains of waste, I started repurposing them into abstract paintings. (The truly unusable paint still went to the mountain ranges to retire.) And so, after a few years, the result are these works below. Most are between 10 to 16 inches in length or width, and several are extremely thick with paint, which does not exactly translate into 2-D photos.