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Many artists I know use this method, tearing or cutting up a failed painting and re purposing it as a collaged creation. The painting you have spent hours on has textures, colors and patterns that may come alive when re positioned or combined with pieces from other failed paintings. And the paper and paints are not wasted material if recycled. Collages can be beautiful textural creations. L2 L5

“Betwixt” was built from pieces of many discarded artworks. I assembled it much like a jig saw puzzle, then added to the collage with additional watercolor for shading and color.

f-2 tig-fb

My Tiger collage was created in much the same way. The beautiful textures that were not working in one failed painting worked wonderfully for a tiger’s fur.


I am a person who tries to make order in my life by writing down lists of tasks. During a very busy time in my life, planning my daughter’s wedding, my lists took over for a bit and I had no time for painting. The planning and lists became extensive and my frustration grew with the lack of creating time! I saved the lists and vowed to make a person out of them to express my frustration through art when I finally had the time. This painting is titled Listperson, and is made of those lists torn up, collaged and painted on.


I enjoyed this process very much, eventually creating a series.This is Listperson III.


Another process involves collaging torn sheets of crumpled rice paper over a failed painting. The rice paper is semi transparent, and shows the colors through from the underlying painting.  These colors can be used to inspire a new work, hopefully better than the one you covered. The creased paper provides wonderful textures that carry the watercolor paint into folds and lines. This is called “Tree Poem”.


Isle of Avalon was created in much the same way, but I added concentrated color to the rice paper while it was still wet from being collaged. This allowed for some very interesting textures to develop. which I then enhanced with more paint when the paper dried.


Moth Collage


Midnight Falls


Moonlight Sonata

I would encourage anyone to try this fun technique, find your own textures and save your costly materials for another use. Maybe start a bag of torn up discards, pull it out when you have the time to  art-dream and start a puzzle.

Next week, one more way to recycle artwork-

Have a fine week!