My drive to create art from found materials led me to a mosaic-like technique I call “recycled brush strokes.” As an art teacher over the past 30 years, I was constantly searching for found or cheap materials to create projects with my students. I discovered an extensive palette of colors to work with in aluminum cans, which are used the world over for all kinds of products. I started collecting cans from everywhere.
My process is simple yet labor intensive. I take a pair of scissors and cut the top and bottom off the cans and rinse them. I paint a piece of wood black as the base for my artwork. Sometimes I draw the image on paper the same size as the wood, and other times I work freestyle. Using 5/8” nails and a tack hammer I begin putting the cut pieces of can in place. Sometimes I incorporate the text, and other times I use only a piece of color, which may only be a part of a can. People often recognize the colors, text or images found on the pieces of cans, which adds another dimension to the artwork. Over the last 18 years, I have covered a wide range of subject matter in my work including landscapes, portraits, cars, horses, flowers, quilt patterns, maps and more.