I took several painting and fine art classes in college while working towards my graphic design degree. Right after graduation I was hired into my first graphic design job but after 16 years of working in that field, I realized that working on a computer was no longer creatively fulfilling and I needed to make art with my own hands for the enjoyment of the process. I took up painting and drawing again and eventually discovered the art of pyrography which is something I’ve been experimenting with for the past 3 years.
The theme for this show was my inspiration [for the work I submitted]. I’ve been working on my pyrography shading and combining pyrography with acrylic paint accents lately and as soon as I saw the theme for this show I knew I wanted to burn a moon and challenge myself with the shading it would require.
’ve recently been experimenting painting with alcohol inks and I’m loving the lack of control you have with them because it forces you to let go of expectations of what it should look like and just get into that flow state. For my “Nebula of the Heart” painting I looked at several photos of nebulas to get the feel for the colors and patterns that naturally occur with nebulas and then let the alcohol inks take on a life of their own as they flowed on the paper. I used a straw to blow the inks into some of the shapes that I was looking for and then used a small paintbrush to “dot” on some alcohol to create a halo of light around the stars that I eventually painted on with an acrylic paint marker.
I am a “look at the moon” type of person and seek it out almost every single night because it stirs such a sense of awe and wonder as well as a connection to others, knowing that I can be far away from someone but still taking in the same sight. I hope my “La Luna” piece stirs the same sense of wonder. And I hope that people get lost in the colors, patterns and depths of “Nebula of the Heart”.
“Nebula of the Heart” is my favorite piece that I’ve entered into this show. I love that abstract art is open for interpretation and the colors and depth in this piece really give the eye a lot to get lost in.
In college, my best friend caught me red-handed when she came to my house and saw the India Ink bottles lined up on my desk. Before that, I never told people that I made art or thought I was any good. My friend lovingly, but firmly convinced me to share my work and I have been enjoying the journey so far. I am self-taught. I started very young as a way to relax by attempting to capture the beauty I saw in the everyday.
Making art is amazing. As I said before, it’s my way of bringing peace into my life. I find something in life that is beautiful, my imagination makes it something fantastical, and I try to capture it for myself and others to see.
Space has always been extremely inspirational for me. I admire the artists that work on converting black and white photos of gasses and waves of light into colors that everyone understands. I was also wanting to work more on using gouache and streamlining my painting process.
Firstly, I always look for reference photos that are close to the thought I have in mind. Then I pick details out of all of them to make it a coherent picture. Fantasy and folktales are important to me, so I usually spend time thinking of some kind of story behind the picture. I try to do a small, messy drawing before I do a completed pencil drawing. I’ll finish with the layers of gouache or ink.
As art is something I do to find peace, I hope that people have a positive experience. It’s fascinating that everyone will find different meaning in the same piece, but hopefully the process of understanding is a calming one.
I really enjoy all of them, of course. But if I had to pick a favorite it might be “Moonbound.” I really wanted to draw the trees because they were unlike any I had seen before, and the details were very fun.
My work is currently online on social media. On Facebook you can find me under the handle ‘Renee Creates’. On Instagram and TikTok my handle is ‘@thepurgatoryarts’.
Art has always been a big part of my life. Many of my close family members were artists, so I was always around creation, exploration, and art making. I studied art at UCCS and then started working at the FAC after I graduated. These days art seems like a way for me to let go or maybe distract myself from the current situations that we all face. Although my production and time spent in the studio may sometimes slow art will always be a part of my life.
Making art is a way to reflect, explore, and sometimes just have some fun.
The inspiration for the pieces in this show was a combination of being inspired by a medium as well as, inspiration from the galaxy and planet. The earth and space are overwhelmingly amazing to me. One awesome experience was the solar eclipse in 2017. I am constantly in awe of space I have taken several astronomy classes and even own a telescope. The paint that I used for these pieces was what also gave me my inspiration, it is metallic acrylic and offers some shine and iridescence to the planets and night sky shown in the paintings.
When I create my work it usually always starts with the material I am using. In this case I found some oval shaped pieces of wood in the craft section of a local thrift store. Using recycled materials is a very consistent practice in my work. I wanted to include a circle in the painting to fit in and mimic the shape of the oval wood. The first piece I made was Moon. The moon is exaggerated the night sky and the landscape is reminiscent of Earth. The next piece I made was Saturn. In Saturn I used metallic paint to emphasize the rings. The last piece, Purple Planet, is mixed media and includes the use of paper to add texture to the planet. Purple Planet is almost a fantasy or dream planet that overlooks Earth.
When people see these pieces, I want them to let their imaginations run as they notice the small details that make up each space landscape.
The best place to see my art is my Instagram page @artfrances. I have also shown work at The Cottonwood Center for the Arts, Kreuser Gallery, and the Modbo.
This is my second showing at the Commonwheel Artists Co-op and I am honored to be selected for the “Space” exhibit. My first show here was in the 2018 “Recycled Art” exhibit that had two of my very first sculptures.
My work is hard to categorize, they are 3D sculptures but after that they can be a space ship flying over a distant planet or a metallic bird gracefully taking off from a peak of marble, whatever the viewer might imagine.
My medium of choice for this show are natural rock and minerals including yule marble from Marble, Colorado along with rainbow sandstone from Nevada.
The other element of my sculptures are vintage, usually 1950s automobile hood ornaments. There are an amazing variety of intricate ornaments that take on bird, airplane, jet, flying goddess and space ship motifs. Many of these are works of art in themselves and I have tried to enhance their beauty with the appropriate settings.
Included in the show are two Packards, a De Soto, a Ford and a Pontiac. The newest one is 65 years old and the oldest is over 70! It’s hard to pick my personal favorite, but the 1950 Packard with the white yule marble from Colorado “Across the Universe”, is very expressive and fits right in to the “Space” show.
Hey everyone! My name is Amy Short. I am a Colorado transplant originally from little old Delaware. I got my first DSLR camera when I was eighteen (ten years ago) and have been in love with photography ever since. Landscape and nature photography are what I call my truest loves. I moved to Colorado two years ago to pursue my photography dreams and have been loving every second of it!
Making art means a freedom and peace unparalleled in any other aspect of my life. Especially living here in the mountains, the journey is one of the best parts. I think the mountains are liberating for anyone, but to point my camera wherever I please and to see the world in my own way, to capture the world how I see it without the influence or ideas of anyone else, that is what making art means to me.
The desire to learn new photographic techniques inspired me for this show. Space has always fascinated me but astrophotography definitely has its challenges. Almost all elements of creating a photograph with astrophotography are more difficult but I have learned a lot and will continue to learn a lot more.
Honestly, when I am creating photos of the night sky my first step is to point and shoot. There are ways to help yourself see what you are doing and how to expose your photos in the dark but I tend to take a photo first and adjust the composition from there. It takes a few shots to find the composition that I want, but hey it works for me. When processing my photos I do not “over edit” per se. I like to boost the colors and contrast and adjust the exposure if needed but I like to keep it simple! As far as the frames go, they are upcycled! I am a big fan of using “green” practices and what is more environmentally friendly than reusing and repurposing? I keep my eye out for gently used frames at thrift stores. I work at a paint store so I have easy access to all kinds of products and colors. I just love working with colors and trying out new products. I thought a black metallic paint would be well suited for this subject so that’s what I went with!
I hope my artwork can instill the same sense of wonder I have when I think about space and observe the stars. Colorado has such amazing night skies that can leave you with such a sense of awe.
This image I took at Rocky Mountain National is my favorite piece for sale. The images I entered are very similar and both were taken at RMNP but I love the colors of this one the most. I love the yellow hues of light pollution from the Front Range contrasted against the purple and blue hues of the night sky.
You can find me on Instagram: @amyshortphoto, on Facebook: Amy Short Photo, and at Colorado Creative Co-Op in Old Colorado City.
Meet our "Recycled Art" Artists
We asked the artists selected for our “Recycled Art” Show the following questions:
1)In a short paragraph, tell us about yourself
2)With your recycled materials, tell us about your process. Walk us through the steps to achieve one of your works from sourcing the materials to completing the work for display or use.
3)What is your favorite piece for sale at this event? And why?
4)What has inspired you to apply for this show?
5)Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores.
What follows are responses we received and images of some of the work you’ll see in this show.
As a child I was surrounded by art and music as well as a deep culture and a diverse background, This pushed me to expand my horizons and tap in to the amazing world of painting.
I collect old snowboards that are not rideable. I get the boards from friends, family, the Goodwill and some local snowboard companies. I clean them up and add my inspired Colorado art work into them. I also add a protective clear coating.
All my pieces are unique and one of a kind, I will be adding my Pikes Peak Snowboard. I will also have a few pieces available for inventory in case this piece sells.
What has inspired you to apply for this show?
The distinction and originality that this shows brings.
Where can we find your work: website, social media, local stores. www.jlugoscreation.com
My first recollection, in knowing that I was a creative, was enhanced by my living on an old farm built in 1926. I spent many hours collecting the colorful pieces of broken glass, digging in the dirt for rusty objects, shards, and arrowheads. I relished exploring bones, feathers, and eggshells as well. Consoled by a Jumbo Coloring book, my mother used it in an attempt to keep me inside and quieted down.
Since those childhood days I have gone on to acquire a BFA in studio art with a concentration in fiber/textiles. I am a self-taught painter and quilter. My greatest success came in the 1980’s when painting on clothing was popular. It was an honor to sell my items all over the country including Disney Land, The Gene Autry Western Museum, Toney Lama and art meccas such as Aspen, Vail, Santa Fe, Taos, Los Angeles, and New York to name a few. I am a “jack of all trades and master of none”.
Being a collector over the years I began to have to start facing downsizing. It was time to start ridding myself of “stuff”. I just couldn’t let go of some beautiful objects—so I decided to start recycling those things into art.
The process for creating my pieces is a very long one. But basically, I dig through lots of “stuff” at flea markets, my house, other people’s houses, the dirt, visiting nature, resale stores and on and on. Sometimes the object gives me the idea and other times I have no idea where each individual piece will end up. It is very much like the work of a woodworker. There is a lot cleaning, deconstruction and then reconstruction. This can include sanding, refinishing, distressing, rusting, painting, nailing, drilling, screwing, gluing, tacking, cutting, sawing, soldering, and starting over!
My favorite piece that will be in the show is the one I call the Modern Angel. I think it is because one would not necessary identify the pieces applied to the object. It has a mouth harp on the front and old-fashioned ceiling tile embellishment. The tile is a replica of the original and made of a plastic. It feels inviting and open. I also enjoy that less is often more.
Inspiration for entering this show came from my daughter. I supported her and encouraged her to continue her music from age 8 to the present day. She started sending me the information on the show and “pushed” until I sent in the forms. “This is what you do isn’t it?”, she said.
My work can be found on Facebook and Instagram by searching my name: Shannon McGarraugh
Monica Y. Parker
I am a Colorado native, born and raised in Springs, but I have traveled and lived all over the U.S.
I come from a very large family and all of us are artists. We are motley crew of musicians and visual artists.
I have always been interested in creating art. Even from a young age I liked working with my hands. As an adult I have more access to resources and find that has fed my need to create. I love to use recycled products found objects and even trash a lot of my other artwork includes jewelry, mobiles, coasters made from recycled vinyl albums, up cycled furniture and suitcases. I am also a photographer and I love music.
Well, do i have to pick just one [favorite piece]? There was a time I felt like I was always being followed by a little black cloud, like in the cartoons only you couldn't see mine. Then I heard Ma, my mother-in-law say "sometimes baby girl you just have to learn to laugh at yourself cause there is nothing you can do to change it". So, I did and I made me a little black rain cloud and hung it over my seat, and every time I see it it makes me giggle inside. And I love the whimsy of both the cloud and the mushrooms. As soon as I see an interesting shape of a bowl or a vase I get super excited to get home and make something neat.
Just laugh at yourself. figured it out, keep your childlike imagination and look for the good in everything instead of the bad. They are just small reminders and both the mushrooms and the clouds just make me happy.
I am always creating something, and I love to share my stuff it is a great way to move beyond my circle of friends and family and this is also the first time ever doing something like this so it will be a new experience that I can learn from. And the art itself inspires me, all of the colors, styles, mediums and combined creativity of other artists. And this gallery that celebrates and showcases the variety and unique talents of so many different artists. That inspires me.
If you would like to see more of my stuff you can find me on different social media sites.
Facebook-Monica Parker The Crafty Bartender
Monica Parker - The Photographer
Etsy - Monica Parker The Crafty Bartender
I have always had an interest in making my own art. In my younger years I was an award-winning professional photographer. I then spent 30 years in the corporate world of healthcare. Recently retired, I have more time to return to creating art, this time around as a sculptor. I have just started this new artistic journey, and the two sculptures in the show are among my first efforts.
“Radialhead” is a cylinder head from a 1973 motorcycle that I happened to have in my spare parts. Recently I pulled it out, cleaned it up and realized that it’s a really cool metal art object. I also had a piece of red flagstone and together they looked right. The effect I wanted to create was something metallic flowing out of the earth. The cool part is that the “Radialhead” is also a musical instrument if you run your fingernails against the fins!
The second sculpture “Sun Mountain” is a representation of the spirit of Pikes Peak. The rock was found along the Rampart Range fault line and is millions of years old. The flying goddess is a 1930’s era car hood ornament that symbolizes freedom, flight and victory. This sculpture was the first of mine to use an independent stand so that the rock would be off the ground and three dimensional.
Generally, my favorite piece of work is the last one that I did. But for this show my favorite would have to be the “Radialhead” because it is the first sculpture that I completed, and it motivated me to continue my artistic vision.
I am currently working on a series of sculptures using 1950’s hood ornaments with natural native rock formations to evoke a feeling of other planetary worlds being visited by chrome flying machines and flying goddesses.
All of the material in my sculptures are recycled either from manmade metal or from the earth. This recycled show is a perfect forum for my rock metal art
Since childhood I have had an unquenchable creative spark. Whether I was drawing characters to cut out and play with or sculpting tiny doughnuts and pizzas from modeling clay, I was always making something. At some point, much later in life, I came across various electronic components and was fascinated by the intricate patterns of circuit boards and simple elegance of vacuum tubes. I began tinkering and ended up with some very unique pieces of jewelry.
Many of the materials I use come from discarded motherboards or hard drives. People will just give away these things once they’re obsolete. I also save any materials that look neat to me, like bottle caps. I have everything organized into various plastic bins. When I decide to make a new piece I’ll dig through these, holding up objects next to each other and imagining what they’d look like as a necklace or earrings or something else. I have a variety of tools to work with and can solder, hammer, drill, or saw the materials into whatever I wish.
It’s hard to hard to say what my favorite piece at this show is. I think my earrings made with the red bits of circuit board best represent what I do.
I had heard of the Recycled Art show in years past and this year I am fortunate enough to be a part of it. My jewelry made from recycled electronic components seemed like a natural fit.
I have an Etsy store called “darlatronic”, and a few pieces at Art 111.
Barb St. Clair
I have been painting since I was 10 years old. During the most productive years, I painted on everything from miniature furniture to full size pieces, antique coffee percolators, stools and anything I could find that was interesting. I like very busy detailed designs and I have even painted every scroll on the surface of antique oak chairs with a different pattern. I painted for 60 years but after the financial crash of 2008, things quit selling. Also, about 20 years ago my husband and I started an antique business and when rustic country products were popular we made barn wood bird houses and put antique door hardware, toys, and many kinds of bits on the bird houses. After the interest in that died down, I discovered that I had drawers full of interesting old “things” that were too good to just get rid of. I love working with different patterns and textures and colors, so I got the idea to make collages with the pieces. I also have added foreign coins and paper currencies left over from my husband’s foreign travels. The first collages I made were with personal items from our lives and then I expanded using all sorts of materials. I think the results are pleasing and I enjoy making them. I hope other people like them also.
It took time to figure out how to make the collages, so they would be sturdy and secure. I ended up using foam core board for the background and wire to hold most pieces on. I also used super glue to add extra strength to items. I have made several in shadow boxes that protect the items better and keep them clean, but I love the way the ornate frames help add to the richness of the entire feeling of the pieces.
Of the two that were accepted into this show, this is my favorite because it is large, ornate, and interesting.
I was inspired to apply for the recycled art show because I had not explored finding a venue for these collages yet, and before I put more time and energy into making them, I am curious to see if people liked them. I also find items made in the past to be rich in design and quality and I feel they should be appreciated in some way still.
The only way I can currently be contacted is by phone or email. My phone number is 719-389-1461, and email is firstname.lastname@example.org
I started getting into art at a very early age. My mother was very creative, so it came naturally, and she fed my creativity with finger paints, clay, colored paper and of course, Elmer’s glue! I majored in art in college but have made my living through other jobs. Whenever I tried to support myself with my art my creative juices would freeze up and I would be at a loss. So, I would skip the starving artist bit and do it in my free time. I have sold many, many “Glass from the Past” pieces, mostly in Crested Butte. I have 3 pieces left, one of which is being entered into the show. All the rest are in private collectors’ homes or offices and I am keeping 2 for myself. My old dumps now are where they’ve built condos so my glass supply ran out.
While living in Crested Butte, Colorado for a year and a half, I discovered numerous old dumps rom the 1800’s- 1960’s. Shards of glass, silverware, buttons, bottles and jars. The purple and royal blue glass were my favorite to discover and it was also the rarest to find. Actually, red was almost impossible to find. I never dug up the dirt in the dumpsites. They were large enough I didn’t have to and after every good soaking rain storm or snow, the natural erosion would unearth new pieces. I would take big white pickle buckets out to the sites and fill them about 1/2 full. Otherwise it was too heavy to carry back home. I would rinse the majority of the soil off with a hose in the back yard. Then I’d take the buckets, with clean water, sit in my living room and scrub each piece by piece with an old toothbrush, rinse it and let them dry. Once I had enough clean glass I would methodically arrange the glass into jars (with cork tops). These jars were of all sizes and shaped. I would lay pieces into the jar to emphasize the color of the piece of glass when it would be back lit. Windowsills were/are the best place to show off and get the most enjoyment of the colors and shapes. Old broken bottle necks, the top of the lid, I’d lay those in such a way so you could see through the top of the neck. It’s kind of hard to describe. You’ve gotta see it to appreciate it!
I am grateful I have a show to present my final piece that I am willing to part with. One collector called them “garbage in a jar”! I got a kick out of that.
What inspired me to enter this show? I check out the art entries section of The Independent often. This theme was right up my alley. I have 3 pieces left of this project which I created for years.
Metal Gutz Turner
My name is Chris Turner, I have always been an artist. As a kid I started out drawing and playing with Lego's. Now that I'm an older kid, I play with the Gutz of machinery and a welder. As a Small Engine Mechanic, I can source a lot of parts. I also have a few mechanic friends that throw me parts. Once I got a welder, all the junk I had laying around, became sculptures. Most of those sculptures were given to my friends. Those are the friends that pushed me into selling. It was hard to sell the first few sculptures, because I knew I would never see them again. Yes, there is an attachment to the art.
Because of where I get my parts, I named the company Metal Gutz Turner. I take the larger parts of the machinery and dig out the Gutz. This means most of the parts are saturated in oil or grease. I have to sweat out the oil with heat before I can get a good weld to the part. Most of my sculptures parts have already been made. I lay out the parts and modify it to be what I see. Weld together, wire wheel it, and then clear coat it.
The Duck is my favorite sculpture in the bunch. I found that similar artists follow and challenge each other, on Instagram. The Duck was my 1st entry into the #metal------challenge (#MetalDuckChallenge). I tried to impress, and the parts just made themselves. A lot of detail, with minimal effort.
I wanted to start selling, but what was the first step? I was scrolling through the Independent and saw the ad for the show. I did a little research and decided I would try it out. I know Manitou is one of the hubs for Colorado Artist's. What better place to start? What the Commonwheel Co-op requires to enter their show, is what kicked me into creating Metal Gutz Turner LLC.
MetalGutzTurnerllc@Instagram.com / MetalGutzTurner@Facebook.com / MetalGutzTurner.com(not set up yet).