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Waste not...

During painting sessions, I often find I have left-over paint. I have either gotten bored with the color or used as much as I need or just have a smidge left on the palette. I could wipe off the tools and throw the stuff out, or I could try to find some use for it. I admit to throwing out more than I should, but I have found a use for the smidge, at least.

As I often have left-over scraps of Arches paper as well, I have begun cutting that scrap into small standard size pieces—2 x 3, 2.5 x 3.5, and 4 x 4. I tape these little bits together on a board and use them as a kind of paper towel, you know, to wipe off squeegees, spatulas and palette knives. Layer by layer builds up, shapes begin to emerge, and it doesn't take too long before a landscape appears, a tiny glimpse of a scene.

There might be a mountain in the background or a stream through a valley. There might be a field of flowers or a prairie in the distance. And I love them all, I find. I hold these gems in my hands and wish I could step foot in their scenery.

Sometimes I tape a couple on an easel to use as reference for a larger piece. Sometimes I attach a twine to them as to suggest an ornament or gift tag and slip one in the package of an Etsy order. But more often than not, I frame them because the frames for these things are so damn cute.

Jerry's Artarama sells a variety of tiny frames that are perfect for small treasures. So far, after purchasing dozens in different sizes and colors in sets of eight, I have found only one that is a bit off, so I think the quality is very good (OK, that one might just need a little clean up).

So, to the point—waste not. Even a dab of paint and a scrap of paper can become something lovely and inspiring.

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