Creating Art Out Of Nothing… a.k.a. Making The Best Out Of A Bad Situation

Finished2 Ink drawing Handtowel series w black background. Drawings in series are all done with a blue ink pen on trifold paper hand-towels, then glued onto textured art paper and colored with Sharpie Highlighter markers! A unique presentation!Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you had ABSOLUTELY NO ART SUPPLIES to work with?

Yes, me too!

Many years ago I was stuck doing a job I hated… a job most people hate! I was forced into becoming a Telemarketer due to a very tight job market and I needed to pay bills to keep a roof over mine and my daughter’s heads. I hated selling a product I felt was bogus, and which no one wanted or required.

To keep my sanity I needed to doodle. Doodling has proven to be very meditative and calming, so incorporating doodling into my daily work was very necessary to reduce the incredible stress I was feeling. (PS: Check out the Adult coloring books I’ve created on Amazon!)

Here’s a link to a great article I just came across relating to this…  Psychologists Say Coloring Is The Best Alternative To Meditation

We weren’t allowed to keep any papers on our desks which weren’t work related, so bringing in any blank paper or art journal was out of the question. If we did, we risked our angry supervisor coming around and confiscating it and publicly throwing it in the trash… yes just like in school, except we were all grown adults.

The only thing available to me which was acceptable to have on my desk were the paper hand towels from the bathroom. I started with a couple which I started to doodle on.

Being an artist, I used the challenge of the long narrow shape to create some dynamic pieces. I kept the paper towel folded and used the bottom layer as a cushion to prevent the thin paper from splitting and shredding. My blue ball point pen was my only possible art medium, and so rather than fighting the constraints of my materials, I embraced them.

My angry boss came around and challenged me. “You’re not allowed to draw during work hours!” he began. I replied I was just doodling to help reduce my stress, and to keep my hands busy while I waited for the customers to answer the phone.

He let me know that I wasn’t allowed to create anything of value, to which I gestured to the paper toweling: it wasn’t being done on art paper… it was trash paper!

I took all my finished pieces home with me each evening… naturally!

Once I amassed a collection of these, and after I had stopped working for that company, I took another look at all the pieces I had created. I decided I was going to do something with all those doodles.

I wanted to take the scraps of a difficult time in my life and turn it into something viable. I didn’t want my efforts from that time to be wasted!

In keeping with the cheap, low cost materials I had used, I decided to use Sharpie Highlighters to color up the ink drawings. I layered and blended the colors to create the rich effects you see in the finished pieces. Then I carefully ripped the paper towels and glued them onto coordinating and contrasting colored art papers.

I just love the effect!

To see the complete collection you can view them all on my Fine Art America website! Tamara’s Paintings and Artwork on Fine Art America

Have you been faced with similar circumstances where you didn’t have any “real” art materials? What did you create? Was it related to a difficult or pivotal time of your life? What are the ways you’ve taken difficult circumstances and allowed the experience to evolve into something positive and productive?


When the elephants poop in the ring… and other unexpected things!

Healing Art… Does it Exist?

My Paintings were in a Solo Art show!

Interview with my Narrator, Nicole Fagerhaug

Some of my Artwork and Photos

Please take a compliment!

Teaching ourselves to like, even to love ourselves

By changing our inner dialogue, we change EVERYTHING!

Challenge: When a negative thought enters your mind, think three positive ones. Train yourself to flip the script!

Brain Rewiring

Red Ocean or Blue Ocean? How do you think?

Making a change… “How do I take that first step?”

An answer to dealing with the Inner Critic!

My top 10 most viewed posts, plus a few bonuses!

Setting “Boundaries with consequences”

A helpful trick to be able to overcome negatively Comparing Ourselves to others…

Do you only accept yourself if you look a certain way?

A new you! Is this possible?

10 Steps to Owning Our Happiness

Please go to my Archived Posts page to find a list of posts to check out!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥


My books: Developing Happiness When You Can’t Find It and How to Heal Your Life on a Deep Heart Level. are available in paperback and Kindle. Audio book coming soon!

Guided Journals help you work on a particular issue by answering questions to help see patterns and to find solutions: Removing Inner Blocks,    Anger Journal,    Guided Anxiety Journal    Joy & Mindfulness Journal     My Boundaries Journal   My Inner Thoughts Journal   My Travel Journal   

Thanks for buying my books on Amazon!

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