Upcycling With Visual Arts

As our population grows, we hear more often about the need to recycle and lowering our carbon footprint. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle is one of the popular campaigns within the school systems to encourage families to throw less into the garbage. Reusing, or upcycling has been happening for a long time now, and the artist community is certainly jumping on the bandwagon! If you are an artist, know of one, or aspire to be one, then read on to find out more about how upcycling has become an artists’ dream!

Painting Isn’t Just for Canvas

Canvas painting has been around for a long time, and we most likely think of canvas when we think of painters. However, the Sistine Chapel isn’t made of canvas! Michel Angelo and many before him were on to something when they painted on surfaces other than the canvas. Many painters are embracing the use of old furniture, glass jars, wood fencing, and even broken glass. The paint changes in accordance with the type of material, acrylic would be better suited for furniture or old wood, and assists in beautifying what would otherwise be considered trash. Thus, keeping items out of the landfills!

Upcycling With Visual Arts 1 • Recycled Art

Stunning Hand Painted Japanese Pallet Art

Photographs Get a New Look

Framed pictures, photo albums, or photo books are what we most commonly associate with photography. Photographers are finding some fascinating ways to show off their work. Fine art printing is one way to upgrade the look of photos by having them printed and put in recycled frames.

Other photographers are upcycling old cans, wood, glass bottles, and aluminum.

Upcycling With Visual Arts 3 • Recycled Art

Photography on Old Rusty Cans

Mosaics are Perfect for Upcycling

Mosaics are often considered to be the project to do for using colored glass. But in the upcycling world, there are so many items that can be used to create a beautiful piece of mosaic art. Stones, ceramic tiles, glass, dishes, pottery, bottlecaps, and mirrors can easily be reused in an artistic venture.

Upcycling With Visual Arts 5 • Recycled Art

Paintings Made From Old Toys & Buttons

Sculpting Isn’t Just for Clay

While we often think of clay and even a pottery wheel when it comes to sculpting, that’s not true. Sculptors, such as Michelle Reader, are now looking to used everyday items to create their fantastic works of art. Old magazines, advertisements, umbrellas, old oil cans and anything else that you can find in a thrift store can be turned into beautiful works of art that keep our landfills from growing.

Upcycling With Visual Arts 7 • Recycled Art

Recycling is a big deal in our society, and the fact that we can find ways to beautify items that would be considered trash is just one more step in helping our environment. If you are the artist, don’t be afraid to venture out and try new material.  It is simply amazing at what is available to us and more affordable than some of the art supplies on the market. If you want to venture into the world of visual arts, look at what you have at home that you no longer need. Don’t rush out and buy everything you think you need, simply start small and build on what you create. Most of all, enjoy the process! Creating art is such an empowering craft that you don’t want to get lost in the mechanics but enjoy how it makes you feel as you work it out. Happy creating!

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