Author: Colleen Attara

Creating an ethical eco-based business

Masterpiece Maker/Colleen Attara

I am an eco-artist and a treasure hunter.  I see “yes” where others see “no”. * I see possibility where others see trash.

I paint vibrant cities on glass, plant colorful window box gardens in vacant cities and I hand-script affirming words as wall art.  Salvaged plastic is used in all my work.

31 million tons of plastic waste was generated in the U.S in 2010. Only 8 percent was recycled.

Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

I love knowing my artwork will keep plastic out of our landfills and blue oceans. While most of what I reuse is reclaimed plastic signage, some is scrap plastic packing material and I can often be found picking pieces out of huge recycling bins.  I have a fondness for rejected wall paint and old windows, which is the beginning of my story and still a part of what I do.

All of these materials have a past with imperfections.  I find them, have them cut into the shapes I need to work with, then I take them back to my cottage studio where I sand and shine them all up with love. When you reuse, there is an element of unpredictability in the process. You have to find it first.   Sometimes I meet people at shows and they ask me, “How did you come up with all this?”

The answer is I trusted the process. Part of the color and joy that comes out of my work is because the materials are imperfect. I have to work a bit harder to make it all shine.  It takes me places and I follow.

There are more obstacles to jump over so I learned to jump a little bit higher.  And I learned a few other things along the way too.

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