How to Create Art using the Materials you have around you

painting by pigilaino

A lot of my work is created using materials that I happen to have around me. My philosophy is largely based on sustainability and I try to incorporate that into my work. Because I am largely inspired by my surroundings it is almost second nature for me to try and seek out something in my close vicinity to incorporate into my paintings.

This could be anything from old maps or cd’s to earth, like when in was in Nepal and I gathered earth from the Himalayan foot hills and ended up using this in my art work!

Here are some everyday materials that I have used to create art, items which have literally changed my life! I hope these examples will help inspire you to start using some of the things that are sitting around your house and incorporate them into art!


I have found that sand has an amazing effect when it’s mixed with oil paint. I have a habit of first covering the canvas with sand and do this with almost every painting I create! This gives my paintings a more earthy look and gives the painting a dense texture which really appeals to our sense of touch when looking at a painting.

Old CD’s

I am finding that the best way to use old scratched cd’s is to cut them up and use them as mosaics within my paintings. I often use them when I am painting buildings to put in the windows or to help create a brick life effect. They are also really cool when you put paint on top or dribble ink round the outside.


I just love painting over maps. It gives me great satisfaction to tear up pieces of old maps and put them onto paintings. I sometimes also do the same thing with old pieces of piano music.

Old Jewellery

I love using old pieces of jewellery. Sometimes I glue old beads onto paintings which adds colour and texture.

So there you have it – you hopefully wont look at the junk you have lying around in your house in the same way again and will put it to good use!

If you have any tips for using recycled materials in art work please share them by commenting below! To view some examples of my artwork, including pieces using the materials outlined above click here

Tasha x


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