Gone Postal: Sandy Schimmel Gold

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30-by-30-inch “Cherry Blossom” features metallic gold paper collected from embossed holiday cards. $3,250.

Paper Mosaics: Inspired by glass art she saw in Venice, Italy, Arizona artist Sandy Schimmel Gold created a new art form that mimics a mosaic–and recycles waste. Schimmel Gold first paints a portrait in acrylic, then glues colorful paper bits from junk mail and greeting cards directly on top. The paint shows between the squares of paper, creating the effect of grout and mosaic.

Calling All Colors: Schimmel Gold is particular about the paper she uses; magazine pages are too thin, for example. Postcards and junk mail, she says, are perfect. “I get mail from the cruise line Holland America, and if I need a deep turquoise blue, I use a lot of their stuff. Macy’s has great red, and Jamba Juice has great orange and lime green.”

That ’60s Ethic: “I’m a crazy recycler,” Schimmel Gold says. “I am compelled to utilize unusual resources to create my art. It serves two purposes–to reuse the junk that arrives in the mail and to give images and words a new life or meaning.” Schimmel Gold scours garage sales in search of recyclable material. “A lot of the canvases I use are recycled too,” she says. “I’ll take a painting of someone else’s and paint over it.”

Start Saving: Schimmel Gold is hosting workshops to help others create. When participants sign up, she tells them to start saving their mail. “People don’t believe how much junk they get.” But the benefit, Schimmel Gold says, is there are plenty of resources to work with.

Online Gallery: www.SchimmelArt.com