Container Recyling Joy

OK, I’ll admit to being a container hoarder lover. When the Container Store opened in the Phoenix area, I was thrilled–for two reasons. First, it’s a Container Store! Second, it was 15 miles away from me, making it accessible but not too convenient.

Not all containers have to be new. Every student in my classes know what brand and flavor of yogurt and cream cheese I use, because supplies come packed in them and they are used as water containers in class.

Most of my art pals and I share the same bad habit–we dip our watercolor brushes in our coffee-, tea- or soup mugs. Sometimes we continue painting with the coffee, tea or soup. I’m waiting for that habit to become an established mixed media technique. Someone will soon teach “Layering Soups and Gesso,  Split Pea or Cream of Tomato?” (If you think you hold the copyright to that class, please don’t write me. I don’t want to know.)

Cleverly divided for those who don't want their yogurt and fruit to touch.

I’m not a fan of precious lunch food containers–pre-packaged convenience foods. So when I go out to teach training courses, I pack my lunch with a sandwich and fruit, protected by an ice pack because many places I teach don’t have a fridge in the training area. (Usually it’s behind a door that won’t unlock for a stranger with a paper tag labeled “Visitor”.)

Even I get tired of sandwiches, so I’ve taken to carrying yogurt. I generally eat plain yogurt with chopped mixed nuts or fresh fruit, but it makes a complicated packaging job, so I’ve succumbed to the yogurt packaged with fruit-next-to-it.

Do I do this because it is delicious? Not so much. I prefer plain, unflavored, unsweetened yogurt. I do it because the empty containers are perfect for traveling art journal water containers.

The large portion is for rinsing the brush, the smaller portion for picking up

Stackable, too, for travel.

clean water. Or, the larger portion is for rinsing the brush, the smaller portion for holding ink (which I use instead of watercolor in one-color illustrations).

Or, one side holds medium, gesso, or glue and the other side water for rinsing and consistency-changing for tiny mosaic pieces or other small bits.

I must admit that I bought several of these clever containers because I’m teaching a class at Valley Ridge and want to bring along several for just such purposes. In fact, there are a few places left, so I’d best buy a few more. Just in case.

Quinn McDonald has not yet mistaken yogurt for glue, but she thinks it’s probably just a matter of time. She does place her coffee cup on the non-dominant hand side of her desk to avoid rinsing her brush in the cup.

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16 responses to “Container Recyling Joy

  1. Pingback: Recycling into the Studio | QuinnCreative

  2. Great tip about the non dominant hand! Add me to both lists: container fans and “has cleaned brush in juice” . :)

  3. Carolyn duPont

    Genius! I love repurposing things like this.

  4. I laughed and laughed about the coffee cup – did exactly that yesterday!!!

  5. Wonderful post! I was laughing so hard at the idea of a class on “layering soups and gesso” that I was struck with several visualizations of what this might look like. If my sketches ever become bigger pieces that are wildly popular and launch my career like a rocket, I promise to credit you in my Artist’s Statement.

  6. “Yogurt”, “sour cream”, “white glue”, “cheese”, “spoiled milk” — all essentially the same stuff anyway.

  7. Oh, I have done that too many times to count (using my drink as a rinse cup).

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