2 Sep 2017

Upcycling


This painting of a boat on a lake was in a charity shop last week. There was a tiny splash of light blue emulsion on the right edge just by the bow, which probably triggered the decision to donate it. (You can also see the start of the brown base coat on the left as I only thought of documenting before and after shots after I started). The photo doesn't show it, but round the corner of the canvas some of the picture was rubbed off, like someone tried to work out if the emulsion could be removed and quickly realised yes it can - but only by removing the picture as well.

I pictured the scene in the donor's house: Satisfaction with a newly decorated blue room, irritation at the damaged picture, the ethical dilemma of chucking it in landfill vs donating damaged goods to charity. Arghhhh what to do...?!

Anyway - it ends up in a charity shop near us for £3 as I'm looking for a canvas with ANYthing on it as Jackson wants the Song of Time on his wall and I have spray paint to cover what's already there.
Hurray!! THREE quid - for a fairly decent sized canvas. And the paint splodge doesn't matter as the boat is going as soon as we get home. Here's how (cue How it's Made music...):

Spray paint whole thing dark brown. Let it dry. Position 4 strips of masking tape across canvas (or electical tape if masking tape is currently inaccessible, buried in the garage behind £2K worth of IKEA furniture which we're storing for an event next week).



Spray paint patchy bits of white on next. Hold can almost upside down and press as lightly as you can to get the spatter effect. Stop when you start to get high on paint fumes. 



Peel off electrical/masking tape. Spray paint treble clef from a stencil. Mark out and paint 6 circles in yellow and blue emulsion. Add more spatter by flicking paint off a toothbrush. Find tiny spots of dried blue paint almost 2 meters away several hours later and marvel and the power of a toothbrush.



Cut up 4 triangles and 2 'A's from foam board and spray brown. NB- Stick them down to something first or they'll just fly away with the force of the aerosol.



Print off text in Menlo font.



Stick text, triangles and A's in place and... Da Daaaaaaaah! It's finished. Place on son's wall with command strips. Go and make cup of tea. Drink tea and feel happy that canvas did not go to the tip.



The more I think about it, the more the process has God stuff woven right the way through it: take something that is used and unwanted and transform it into something new and intended. It's totally redemptive.

The Song of Time is different from the boat - the person who donated the canvas would never recognise it now. It's changed beyond what they knew it to be.

But some bits are constant - the canvas is still a canvas. It's still made of the same stuff. The dimensions are still the same. If you look closely, you can still see the drip of emulsion on the side. But it's no longer a flaw. It's part of the design. No one focusses on it anymore.



This is a huge endorsement for recycling - in all senses of the word. We're screwing up the planet and there's always space on the wall. And no matter what a person's life looks like, God is capable of taking it and using it because he upcycles broken things all the time.

Reduce
Reuse
Recycle
Repurpose
Redeem
Ready for the next canvas because making stuff is fun
Really should go to bed though because it's 3am
Ready for school starting again because body clock broken