Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Paper Flower Fields Mural at the 2012 Carlsbad Art Splash

After seeing an article in the North County Times showcasing the "Recycled Avocado Tree," Joni Miringoff of the Carlsbad Flower Fields in Northern San Diego County contacted me about this year's Art Slash, and if I could possibly do a project for the children to participate on during the festival.

After a bit of brainstorming the idea for the paper flower mural of the Carlsbad Flower Fields was born!

The Flower Fields are the most breathtaking landscape of multi-colored ranunculus. When in season, the grounds are a rainbow of color that can be seen all the way from the freeway. They take great pride in educating children on conservation and offer a large variety of activities for children during the months they are open.

Staying true to my recycled nature, I wanted to do some sort of mural of the Flower Fields that would last all through the year, but including a recycled activity that could spark children and adult's creativity for reusing everyday household items to make art.

I decided on using recycled paper to create rolled paper flowers that could be attached to the mural that closely resemble the Flower Field's ranunculus. After presenting the idea to the board, everyone loved it and promised to begin saving their newspapers and magazines for the mural.

Here are a few photos of the mural's progress.

Here we are on day 1 with my lovely little helper Brigitte, preparing the paper into color-sorted bins so that the kids could sift through and pick their favorite magazine or card-stock pages. 

As you can see, I constructed the mural out of 4 4'x8' sheets of particle board, attached together with door hinges. The mural is supported by triangular braces and covered in chicken wire so that the wire "stems" of the paper flowers could be easily attached to the mural. 

We all had a great time making flowers together. Both kids and parents participated and took home a fun lesson that can easily be done at home. There's nothing like a bouquet of flowers that will never wilt and don't cost a penny!

Here is the mural after day 2, just before breaking down to be taken to its new home! Though the board was not completely covered, the Flower Fields has decided to keep the mural on display at the flower fields and during the flower season the mural will be used as a fun activity for kids to continue adding flowers to until it is as full as the Flower Fields themselves!

The Tidal Wave of Trash Finds a New Home!

The Huntington Beach Sufrider Foundation chapter has given the Tidal Wave of Trash to the Chula Vista Nature Center! It has joined the traveling exhibiton "Washed Ashore" with Oregon-native artist, Angela Haseltine PozziYou can visit the wave at 1000 Gunpowder Point Drive in Chula Vista, San Diego from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Here are a couple photos of the wave in just the perfect setting for spreading the good word on helping fight pollution as an educational art piece, enjoy!

The Avocado Tree Spreads Roots at the Fallbrook School of the Arts

The "Recycled Avocado Tree" has found its home at the Fallbrook School of the Arts. Here are a couple photos of its new stage area where it is sure to be enjoyed by many onlookers for as long as it lasts in the great outdoors!

Avocado Festival Photos

I wanted to go ahead and throw in a couple more pics of the festival. These kids are just too cute to resist including them! I think these projects have the greatest impact on me when I see the parents and their kids working together to make art, even if its just to decorate a leaf to add to a tree. Giving people a free and fun art activity to work on together not only brings families together, but it brings the community together. This was a truly magical day in my short career as a recycled artist bringing art projects to the community.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tierney's Trash

I wanted to post the "trash portrait" done of fellow refurbished rubbisher, Tierney Moses.
This portrait was done entirely from Tierney's trash she collected for this portrait.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Up-Close Photos of the Tree

I am in need of more trash! I have used up most of what I could find around the house, luckily some emails have been sent out and donations should be coming in soon!

I wanted to post some up-close photos of the tree as I am starting to blend the colors on the "bark" to a neutral grey-tone.

I am in need of small grey, silver, brown, or black trash to use as fillers for empty spaces on the tree and thin materials in the same colors to be sewn to the outside of the tree.

18 days left!!

Looking More Like a Tree

Here are the most recent photos of the "Recycled Avocado Tree." I have the majority of the main branches in place and am continuing to add smaller and smaller attachments. I have begun applying avery wire to the outside of the trunk and continuing to add it to the branches. Items will be sewn onto the avery wire to fill in areas that can been seen through, add texture, and blend the colors of the "bark" so that it resembles the grey tone of real avocado trees. Branches holding the leaves and avocados will be assembled to the avery wire using coat hangers.

Adding Branches

Here are a few more photos of the tree as it is accumulating more trash and branches.

I have been closely observing avocado trees and their structure. The trunks can be very large and are usually stumped to keep the size contained and from getting the tree to grow too large. For the sake of the structure of the tree I have decided to keep the trunk thick and sturdy as the tree grows in height. The trunk can split off in different directs and the branches are much thinner with lots of small arms coming off the main branches. The main and smaller branches reach up to the sky while the branches that hold the fruit drop vertically, weighted down by the avocados. The leaves splay in all directions up the entirety of the branches. The bark is a rather well blended grey tone with hints of white, brown, and black.

Beginnings of the Tree

Here are a few photos of the very beginnings of the "trash tree"

Here I have started with the base and the basic structure of the tree trunk. Materials used so far are a couple wooden pallets, a stool, a space heater, and a 5 gallon water jug. Now time for some branches!

Recycled Avocado Tree

For this year's Avocado Festival in Fallbrook, CA, I have the great pleasure of creating a recycled avocado tree sculpture in which participants in the community and festival will be encouraged to decorate their own leaves and avocado fruits for the sculpture. In the end, the sculpture will stand as the "Fallbrook Family Tree."

Trash donations are needed for the sculpture!

Here is my "trash collecting" method. As you can see it doesn't take up a lot of space in the house. After the collection bags are full I just transfer them to a larger trash bag or bin in the garage.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recycled Metal Christmas Tree

This is a recycled Christmas tree made to display Christmas ornaments in the in the 2011 Winter Show at the Fallbrook Art Center. The base is an old metal spoke for a tractor or trailer found at the Vista blacksmithing studios. The "trunk" is a 3/4" diameter metal conduit pole. The branches are made of metal poles of gradated sizes used for laying concrete sidewalks. With all the pieces welded together, you have yourself a Christmas Tree!

Fallbrook Art Center Winter Window Display

This is the window display done for the Fallbrook Art Center during their 2011 Winter Arts Show. All of the materials are either found, or donated. Butcher paper was used to cover the back wall to increase the "wintery" mood. Fallen tree branches were collected and cemented into paint buckets for display. Shredded paper shavings were used as "snow." The wreaths and lights were donated for use in the window.

OC Arts Center Recycled Arts Project

I was looking back on some projects done in the past and wanted to share them with you. In April of 2011 a group of volunteers for the OC Arts Center set up a booth with a free arts activity for children and parents to work on together at the San Juan Capistrano 50th Anniversary Celebration Festival. In honor of the great  city's anniversary, our project became a small-scale model of old town San Juan Capistrano and the mission made out of recycled and refurbished materials donated by supporters of the OC Arts Center. The volunteer team made an outlined map of the city on a 4' x 8' piece of particle board. We cut cardboard into uniform pieces that could easily be pieced together to make a building. We also used native floral arrangements supported by floral foam donated from a local nursery. Many "trash" items were used including egg cartons, bamboo curtains, beans and birdseed, sponges, plastic cups, and other common household items. This activity educated the children about the importance and usefulness of considering recyclable items and junk as potential materials for art, along with the value of community and togetherness. By working together with all sorts of members of the community a beautiful, unique, and highly creative sculpture was made of historic downtown San Juan Capistrano. The kids loved it, we nearly ran out of space for all the buildings, cars, and trees that were being made. Check out the photos below to see how it evolved.