Etsy is having a Upcycling Contest right now, and this piece is one of my entries. Here's a bit of info on Upcycling from Etsy...
"The word Upcycling was coined by William McDonaugh and Michael Braugart in their book on ecologically intelligent design, Cradle to Cradle. In the simplest terms, upcycling is the practice of taking something that is disposable and transforming it into something of greater use and value. In this contest we challenge all Etsy users to create an object to sell on Etsy that is comprised of materials that would have otherwise ended up in the trash heap."
I have never heard of "upcycling" until now, but I have been very familiar with both recycled and found object art, and I'm a fan of both. I love the sustainability aspect of recycled art, and often feel a little guity for all of the new painting products I purchase, and the packaging that comes with it all.
In this piece, I started by cutting up pieces of junk mail and layering them on top of each other with acrylic medium as a binding agent, until I got to the thickness of a heavy weight watercolor paper (or even a little thicker than that). Then I did the ink drawing, and came in with acrylic washes of paint. It's fun to reveal certain parts of the paper underneath and obscure others with the paint. I'm excited to keep thinking of ways to revamp used or throw away items and happy to know there is a market for these creations!
There are some really amazing, funky creations people have made on Etsy for this contest. Just search this tag "upcycleBB" to find all of the entries.