I was inspired to paint trash when a nurse at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit liked one of my paintings of a crushed beer can. I gave her the painting. I painted another can and that led me to start more paintings of trash. 

     My family started to bring me pieces of trash found on their walks in Detroit, Grosse Pointe, and along the river. They were excited to find other things and bring them to me. I don't go outside so they drop off the trash in my garage where I leave them for a few days before bringing them inside. I lay them out on the floor and choose which ones to paint. I've made about 20 of these paintings so far.

     The trash has very interesting abstract shapes. It's a challenge to paint them. At 90, I have a hard time with a shaky hand. I love the beautiful colors, the creased and wrinkled, dirty parts. The cans are luminous and shimmery.

     I think it's nice that my paintings involve other people- kind of a collaborate effort. Friends and family contribute and are excited to find these objects and it gives them some satisfaction in helping to create the art. It may help people to understand that beauty can be found anywhere.

all text and images on this site copyright Mary Aro