Friday, May 15, 2009

Art, Dumpster Diving, and Jane Wyman

I love this picture of Jane Wyman trying to be Anna May Wong. I'm sure there is some Hollywood actress more not Asian-looking than Jane Wyman, but I'm not sure who that would be!
Well, I did the best kind of supply shopping today - dumpster diving! Actually, I took out the garbage this morning to our communal dumpster behind the parking lot, and somebody had thrown away all these canvases! The paintings aren't anything I'm particularly interested in - but a little coat of gesso, and voilà!, bases for new assemblages! There are 20-25 of them ... I have no idea why someone would throw them out ... but I was excited. After my second trip from the dumpster, the ever-so-dear-spouse asked, "was anybody around to see you?"

As if I'd care!

I finished up my Circus Girl with Horse collage yesterday. I'm quite happy with the results. I am especially fond of the rusted stars with just the barest of circus glitter and sheen left on them. I also like the play of the rusted circles against that exquisite beaded and tasseled fringe at the top -and the look of the beautiful sheer shimmery ribbon trim laced through the distressed egg carton at the bottom of the piece. Trying to find those extremes, that are both complimentary and incongruous when placed together, is a tip I picked up at Collage Camp.
As always, if you click on the image, it will grow into something more easily seen.
Here's a little detail. The legend reads " It would have been hard to do something else ... to run away from the circus and become an accountant." Unfortunately, it's not an ascribed quote, but I love it. It brings back memories of my favorite childhood book - Toby Tyler. I always wanted to run away and join the circus - and, as I left home to go to college in NYC and lived in the West Village, I sort of did!

Well, I'm off to make lunch - though I won't look so appealing as Audrey does when whipping up a gourmet treat, nor will I do it as gracefully and well-attired. I'm afraid all my grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup is going to warrant is my teeshirt and boxers.
After lunch, I'm going to try to put on a couple coats of gesso on my dumpster diving treasures, and see if can make something beautiful. We shall see, we shall see!

Why don't you make something beautiful after lunch today, too?!
¸.•´¸.•*´¨) ¸.•*´¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.•´♥ Tristan ♥


mo.stoneskin said...

My wife loves finding and using old canvases, they're perfect for providing a free textured base. Good find my friend.

peggy gatto said...

Good lord, what a find!!!!!!!!!!!
Love your circus girl and words!!!
My dad had a crush on barbara stanwyck (sp) and when I saw jane, the memory popped back! Remember Magnificent Obsession ?
Have a great weekend!!

Anne Huskey-Lockard said...

I'd have been in that dumpster head-first!!! What a treasure!!! Dang, I'm jealous!
And by the way, you changed the photo with your profile......see, I'm not completely blind! ;)

Leslie said...

What a haul, with the price of canvases the way the are.

I love your circus girl.

The picture of Audrey was fun to see. Thanks.

Ingrid Mida said...

You should do some before and after shots of your dumpster treasures to inspire us less creative folk....LOL.
Love that photo of Audrey. I never would have imagined her in a romper suit.

Anonymous said...

I must confess, I'm a trashpicker too...
I can't wait to see what you do with your new finds.
When I was little I wanted to be a circus girl. Maybe someday I'll go to the circus academy in San Fran.

studioJudith said...

So many canvases, so little time!
Great find,indeed.

That little Circus Girl is quite the marvel of layered detail .. .
Bravo, Sir Tristan!


paperbatty said...

Boy, you really are a lucky dog, Tristan.

I just love love love your collage with all its rich detail. It reminds me of an old formerly elegant traveling show I went to many years ago. And the words... just so ironic and beautiful to think of the world turned around that way. I still have my copy of Toby Tyler--do you?

I also just love how you always invite us to go create something beautiful. You're a treasure.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

What a great find, Tristan! I found an antique gold mirror in the trash about 4 months ago! I don't care who sees me! Hope lunch was great and I can't wait to see what you've done with these canvases! Anita

Beverly said...

I can hardly wait to see what you do with the canvases.

And, I'll take a grilled cheese, please.

Tess1960 said...

I love those mirror reflected photos and Jane is always so stunning. The Circus Girl piece is wonderful. I love the colors you chose. That's an egg carton? Wow! And the dumpster diving treasures are amazing. How could anyone possibly throw away such wonderful treasures. Goodness gracious, give them to goodwill, not the dumpster. Well except in this case because you rescued them. :) Yes, do some before and afters for us please.

HiHo said...

Jane and dumpster diving in one blog....I couldn't wait to run over. and you posts never disapoint, nothing like the thrill of the unexpected garbage treat. my daughters "duck" down under the seats of my van when I make a u turns to dive.
It's after lunch so I need to get creative! seeya, Heidi

Jazzy1972 said...

What a fabulous find! I wouldn't care who saw me either. One persons rubbish is anothers treasure. Your Art is stunning and so inspirational, I shall be back for more. You have a wonderful blog. Jay xx

Anonymous said...

When you find a "find" you must act on it right away!! It should be interesting what you do with those canvases. A coat or two of gesso and they are like brand new.


Sue said...

"one man's trash is another man's treasure"...and trash-found treasures are the best! Great find Tristan, and yes, did you look further into the dumpster?

LOVE the pic of Audrey, she is my fave *smiles*

Your circus girl is wonderful. I looked at the enlarged pic and am amazed at how you layer and put everything together. You have a wonderful eye for creating 'the mix' so that it evolves into a perfect piece of art.

Malisa said...

You have so many interesting things in your post today!
1. Jane Wyman looks beautiful in that photo!
2. You scored on your dumpster dive today! Did anybody see you? Ha!
3. I have told you how much I like this piece of art you made in Collage Camp. You took what you learned from K.C. and used your own style. It rocks!
4. If I got down like Audrey to check on something in the oven, I would never get back up!
Have a great weekend!


Anonymous said...

Got to agree with other poster.... If I got down I would need 2 able-bodied men or a crane to get me up. Knees bad... not too many years before necessitating replacement!!
WAIT..... 2 able bodied men?? Ahem... I just finished the book "She Always Knew How". It was a bio about Mae West.... Some VERY able-bodied men in the center pics...
O.K. Squat..... Ahem.... LOL!!
Have a Wonderful Weekend Tristan!!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Hi Tristan! You were a teacher once too, hey? I am exhausted today! I wonder how long I can keep it up myself! I will be thinking of you and all your creative, glittery creations! Bisous, Anita

Baroness Bijoutery said...

What a great find..and I don't understand why anyone would throw those out...I'm sure you will turn them all into something so special and unique as only you can do...Hey the boxer look works for Grilled Cheese...

Susi.a said...

I love your work

KatCollects said...

What a great find! And your collage is wonderful. I hope you have a good weekend.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

That is cool that you taught theatre, Tristan. I have many years of dancing and theatre arts under my belt, so I use theatre in my reading program for my fourth graders. They love it and always say it is the highlight of their time at school! Vive le théâtre! (Dang, you don't look old enough to have taught that long) :) Bisous, Anita

As Seen Thru My Eyes said...

What a gift from the universe!! And so many canvases! Wow! Canvases are so much better when they have texture of an old painting on them.
You scored!! Can't wait to see your magic appear on them.

Bonnie said...

Tristan, are you old enough to remember the old Disney movie Toby Tyler or 10 Weeks With the Circus? It was one of my faves. I wanted to be a bare back rider like the little girl. Love your art.

Georgina said...


Love the Circus Girl...sometimes I wish I could just crawl into your brain and see how it works!!