My name is Maureen Bachmann and I'm an artist based in Regina, SK, Canada.
After an 18-year career at Globe Theatre where I helped others to realize their creative dreams, I decided it was time to pursue my own. So I left Globe in 2017 to explore the world of visual art.
That year I took an online course that featured various mixed media classes.
One of these classes was decorating a book cover using different 3D elements, spraying with colour, and dry-brushing to create depth.
I watched the video and decided I hated everything about the project - I wanted to work on a traditional background like canvas or paper, I didn't want to be forced into a composition by the nature of the 3D elements I had, and I wanted to load my brush up with gobs and gobs of acrylic paint - none of this dry-brushing nonsense.
But my muse had other ideas and for the next few months while I created more traditional art she whispered in my ear "Don't you want to give that book cover thing a try" until I could no longer ignore her.
But it was going to be on my terms.
I had enough craft supplies from previous projects that I didn't need to go out and buy the gears and keys and other metallic charms that everybody else seemed to be using in this type of mixed-media art.
I couldn't source the same colour sprays used in the videos so I concocted my own, and once I realized how much dimension dry-brushing added I was an enthusiastic convert.
Eventually, my private stash of goodies became somewhat depleted.
At the same time, someone introduced me to the virtual garage sale site called VarageSale. Here was a glorious cornucopia of musty ribbon roses and cookie containers full of Grandma's buttons.
I also started to scour the local thrift stores for interesting tidbits.
And of course, once people discover that you make art using items from the recycling bin or the junk drawer they're more than happy to donate to your ever-growing pile of art fodder.
So with a seemingly never-ending supply of materials, I set out to hone my craft.
At first, it was simply fun to make a pretty piece of art, choosing the best of the materials I had and ignoring what didn't easily work into a composition.
But then I started to enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to incorporate items like shower curtain rings into a cohesive design.
Eventually, it became more and more gratifying to transform a disparate pile of odds and ends into something that delighted and surprised people.
One truly memorable moment came at an art show when someone walked up to my booth and proclaimed, "Oh my god I love this whatever it is!"
The more I create and the more I replenish my hand-me-down supplies, the more apparent it becomes that there is an infinite reservoir of perfectly good stuff that's one garbage pickup cycle away from ending up in the landfill.
I hope that having seen my work, people will reconsider an object before they dispose of it and imagine how it could be transformed into unexpected art.