Oil Painting Outdoors/Landscape Painting Plein Air

My neighbors’ garbage

Garbage in the Sun, 10x8", oil on panel (click image to enlarge)
Garbage in the Sun, 10x8", oil on panel (click image to enlarge)

When my neighbors saw me painting their trash cans, with my easel set up in the driveway, they didn’t even look surprised. They know I’m a nutty artist and so they just apologized for interrupting my painting to throw some bottles in the recycling bin.

The truth is, I am easily amused and can find almost anything interesting to paint or draw. Seeing these  city-issued garbage cans glowing in the sun, transformed from their usual blah colors, seemed a perfect subject for a quick oil sketch last weekend.

When I showed the painting to my painting teacher Camille, she said I’d done a good job with showing that it was a sunny day, but that I should lose the detail and focus more on the difference in value between top, side and front, to better indicate the direction of light and dimensionality of the cans. And she’s right, of course.

What’s the weirdest, oddest, or nuttiest thing you’ve drawn or painted?

5 replies on “My neighbors’ garbage”

I got desperate for an assignment one night and grabbed a roll of toilet paper and a can of soup I think! I ended up really liking the composition and the use of subtle whites.

I love your blogs, by the way! I would love to have some time to do this. Thanks for the art entertainment:)


I really like this painting! I would agree with your teacher about the values, but really, at first glance I just smiled and could see it hanging proudly in my house!!!


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