"Art is still the only place in the world where you can do exactly what you want if you pay the price which is having no one else want it"            - Grace Hartigan

One of my obsessions is recycling, this is closely related to my passion for collecting.  For example, it used to be painful for me to discard usefull looking bottles and cans, and so I collected them.. Of course there was a potential use: storing paint, beads, nuts & bolts, mixing paints, cleaning brushes, heating encaustic.  When recycling came to New York City however, I found I was able to part with all but the widest mouth jars and most useful cans (what a relief). This obsession with reusing extends to my kitchen as well, where I have had for 10 years a compost box with worms for disposing of organic scraps.

When cleaning brushes in the studio, one uses a lot of solvent.  For both economical and ecological reasons, one allows the dirty solvent to sit, the paint falls to the bottom and you pour off the clear solvent to reuse.  Of course, given my nature, I needed to obtain every last drop of clean solvent and soon I had many jars in different stages of drying out.  I noticed, that over time the discarded paint that had collected, which at one point had basically filled the jar, was shrinking as the solvent was poured off (drop by drop at this point).  When no more solvent seemed to be collecting at the bottom, I let a jar or two stand uncovered and the paint mass got smaller and smaller, pulling away from the walls of the jar completely and eventually I was able to remove it from the jar.

I find a beauty in this discarded material, the paint settles in layers depending on its weight and forms what reminds me of core samples that a geologist might take to analyze the earth.  There is a history here and I am enchanted by the individual character each one seems to possess.