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Paint Optional

At times, we artists feel the urge to make something cool. If there’s no paint around, or if perhaps I feel inspired by some other material, I may find myself creating a new thing from re-purposed stuff. In fact, it’s sort of a tradition around the Freeman house.

My grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and my parents raised me (and my brother) to be resourceful, not wasteful. I think we’ve slipped pretty far from this kind of ethic as a culture. However, I still find plenty of folks who value what I’d call “good stewardship.” So, in that spirit, here’s a sampling of re-purposed stuff from my family.

Scott's "Fishclock" with Lee's poem

Scott’s “Fishclock” with Lee’s poem

This clock is a “found-object” sculpture made by my husband, Scott. It was made almost entirely of old pieces of junk that we found in our basement in Kansas City. The chunks of wood contain a poem, written by my son, Lee, when he was just 3 years old. (He was a precocious son-of-a-gun!)

Hours are big

Minutes are small

Seconds are hardly anything at all

Here is a purse I fashioned from fabric scraps, some of which were cut from previously worn clothing. I made quite a few of these one year. I sold them in boutiques and by commission; but it took too long to make them to make it worth my time. I would have had to charge about $150 each if I was to make a profit, which did not seem realistic in an economic downturn.

Mollie's purse

Mollie’s purse

The picture frame was one of a series I received as gifts from my children. This one was made by my son, Caleb. The photo is a bit blurry, because I am not a DSCN5122photographer, I am a painter. Still, maybe you can make out the many nature references, such as the bird’s nest in the corner. Caleb is now about to graduate college with a degree in Natural Resources, Recreation, and Tourism.

On one occasion, this was a gift from my son, Joel. It normally hangs on my dresser mirror, making me smile when I see it.

Cat mask

Cat mask, a gift from Joel

A couple of years ago, I made a few of these skirts out of old t-shirts. This one belongs to my daughter, Sierra. Hers came out so cute that I may have to make one for myself this summer.


Now we come to the mermaid. She hangs in our bathroom. She is made

Scott's Mermaid

Scott’s Mermaid

primarily of hammered pennies. This was a very tedious project for Scott, and he says he will never do it again, so don’t get any ideas.

There are many more such re-purposed items in and around our home. If you want to see more, let me know. I can do another post in the future on this topic. Soon, I hope to interview a dear friend who makes art from re-purposed stuff. Her pieces are fantastic! I can’t wait…

About Mollie Walker Freeman

I am a fine art painter, & I am studying to be a health coach at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

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