Be Creative - Trash Nothing!
I feel passionate about preserving the beauty of the world I paint, so I try to recycle as much as possible. When I set up my garden studio I aimed to buy as few new things as possible, keeping an eye on Trash Nothing and local charity shops. Here's how donated items have a whole new creative life! Picture one: The dresser wasn't free but was an amazing charity shop bargain at £150. Those grey things at the side are unused trays from a Free-cycler's kitchen refurbishment which I use to organise myself when working with a lot of tubes, tools and mediums. Paint tubes and other supplies are in various donated boxes, organised by colour and type, pens, pencils and crayons are in old mugs and plastic soup containers. Re-cycled white plates tucked inside one of the boxes make useful palettes for small quantities of paint. The black oil paint box was a wall display unit. (I now use the tiny ornamental pots for earrings.) Picture two: Discarded paint sample cards from someone's re-decorating project can help still help with colour choices! Third photo: You can just see an old school art room paper storage unit from TN. On that and the metal grid shelf are re-purposed glass shelves used as paint palettes - glass is the best type. (The metal shelf ends are in the garden holding up climbers!) I have vinyl wall paper offcuts under the glass so I can see to mix colours. Can you spot the little moisturiser pot? I use those to decant mediums and paint so as to avoid the inevitable waste that happens if I try and use it straight from the big economical containers they come in. I've found that miniature hotel jam jars will store leftover mixed paint that would otherwise be wasted. The small brown organiser s an old plastic cutlery tray and you can just see various plastic containers for mediums, paint brushes and other tools. There's a TN chair for contemplation - I stand to work. Behind that you can see some metal trouser hangers - I clip up my reference sketches - and there's a towel rail for my wiping cloths - recycled sheets past their best. Final photo: Last photo - mounts from old frames used for cropped views of my paintings to help with composition. Unseen, I have a TN easel and mirror - not because I'm vain, but looking at a painting in a mirror helps resolve composition issues. Every now and then I'm lucky to be given various art supplies. Thanks to all the donors - do contact me if you'd like to visit my studio and see finished work - the photo just shows work in progress! Oh, and a reference sketch I liked enough to frame in one of a set of donated frames from Trash Nothing! Jacqueline Mitton, Artist.

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