One Artist’s Earth Day Pledge

#TransformativeAdventures in art!!

For some years now, I have been using mainly art supplies that were going to be thrown away, that I found or were given to me, or was allowed to take as part of my pay for house clean-out gigs. It is surprising how many surplus art supplies there are. Pencils, pens, paint, paper, canvas. Please someone help

In the past 5 years I have made some new purchases: a bottle of ink for my Rapidograph pens; a bottle of fountain-pen ink; a couple of ultrafine paintbrushes; a little set of water-based acylic paints. I still have the same set of 12 bottles of colored india ink that I purchased back in 2012. I still have a stack of five or six mini canvases from a bunch I bought for my first solo show, and did not end up using all of.

In 2018 I purchased a large collection of beads from a woman who used to have a bead shop. They are arranged in little boxes on shelves in my garage, and will last me a lifetime. Ditto my sewing and needlework supplies — four generations of women’s worth!

Art and craft supplies go an amazingly long way. Maybe that’s why a lot of art and craft supplies end up at curbside or in thrift shops: The people who bought them quit doing art; or (saddest of all) never got around to doing art; or (happiest of all) died with a paintbrush or lump of clay in their hands.

This past week, it came to me: As part of my commitment to Mother Earth, I am officially pledging to only use the art supplies I’ve already got, or ones that come my way after being thrown away by other people. (Other than fountain-pen ink and Rapidograph ink, which I only use a tiny bottle of maybe every year or two.)

I’ve got a bunch of cans of water-based latex paint in my garage, left by the previous owner of the house. And for canvas, I’m realizing I prefer to paint my works on discarded junk surfaces like bottle-caps, old t-shirts, old campaign signs, worn-out pocketbooks, random scraps of plywood etc. The world of trash is my canvas!

I’ve heard from lots of fellow artists and artisans who use mostly or all used stuff to make their creations. Particularly a lot of textile artisans do this.

I’m really excited to make this official!

Happy Earth Day everyone! Happy e-ART-h Day too!

And you can check out my art by visiting my “Art & Design by Jenny Nazak” Facebook page @jennynazakart

Go here to see the Facebook version of this post, which includes a picture of one of my artworks; a Facebook memory from 6 years ago. “Flower Power,” part of a series of artworks I did based on kanji characters. Homage to my “adopted second home country,” Japan, where I lived for two years as a young child and five years as an adult.