Monday, November 15, 2010

Incredible Collage - All Created From Junk Mail! Plus, Love For Robert Schimmel

Like many of us, I pitched all the junk mail from this month's election into the recycle bin, but Sandhi used hers to create the above portrait. I was impressed and blown away by this fact. That she's a green artist and uses nothing but junk mail just slays me! I recycle a large bag of paper every week, never thinking it could be used to glean future art projects.

John Lennon

 Her website shows a wide variety of portraits, some custom made from personal photographs. Her collection of portraits are also peppered with pop icons like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe,  Paul McCartney, Twiggy  and Jackie Kennedy Onassis, shown below.

I was curious as to how Sandhi catalogs and stores all of her junk mail to be able to make sense of it and to be able to find what she wants when she begins a new piece. Here's what she told me.
  1. I sort the mail as it comes in, put all the junk - postcards, catalog covers, etc. in a pile. 
  2. Just as normal "recycle" / garbage sorting, all old greeting cards, menus, business cards, etc. go into the studio instead of the recycle bin.
  3. All that goes into drawers.
  4. Every time I start a new piece, I make myself spend time going through the drawers for a "rough sort" - and chop up everything into color chunks.
  5. Those go into drawers - very basic color group
  6. When I am looking for a color, I find a piece that is a "key" - then I look through the color drawer for pieces that sort of match it - and cut those pieces into strips, and as I work, cut the strips into squares. This is all done by hand, by the way.
  7. So, yes there is sort of a system and it is organized. There are drawers, boxes, etc. 
  8. Remember, I have been saving stuff for years. So there is a LOT of it! Every time I finish a piece, I clean up - I make a mess while I'm working, but won't start something new until the studio is tidy.

Marilyn Monroe

 I had no idea her brother was the very talented, comedian, Robert Schimmel, until I saw the announcement of his death on her Facebook page in early September 2010. He's been a favorite of mine for many years and he's appeared in person on The DSC Show numerous times over the last 10 years. I've always enjoyed his raunchy, bold, brand of humor and he's given me many laughs over the years. He will be sorely missed. Sandhi made a portrait of him, shown below.

Robert Schimmel

Robert survived cancer, (and other nightmares), but died in a horrible car accident in Arizona. Sandhi told me his daughter, who was also in the car, is doing better physically; but having a tough time emotionally. She and her Dad were very close. Our prayers go out to the whole Schimmel family.

Sandhi said, "One thing I could say about Bob is that he did live his life the way he wanted. It kicked him in the ass MANY times, but that's what happens when you live on the edge."

She goes on to say, "Bob was actually a very talented musician and songwriter, but funny - always. He was fired from every job he ever had because of it. Once, after he started to headline, he was playing at a club here in AZ. He sent tickets to all of his bosses [anonymously] and parents of girls he dated. They all came to the show, and during the act, he thanked all of them for firing him - so [or kicking them out of their daughter's lives] he could pursue comedy." 

Sandhi said her family has always been very close. I asked if Robert teased her much when they were kids. She told me, "He did tease me, but he was not cruel. He was actually very sweet and protective - if you knew him "off the air" you knew him to be gracious and generous to a fault - especially with his time."

Sandhi's collage art deals with a wide variety of subjects including flowers, landscapes, angels, religious icons and more. Please visit her website here to see her gallery collections and make a purchase if you're so inclined.

Please view Sandhi's blog here. Her website shows how you can stay in touch with her on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and subscribe to her newsletter.

All art on this page created by Sandhi Schimmel Gold and not for reproduction without her permission.


  1. Thank you, what wonderful art and background of the artist. Makes me so sad that I dropped out of art college 4 semesters early. Poop.

  2. Dear Anonymous, You don't need to go to school in order to make art! Please do yourself a huge favor and make something. Just have fun with it and see what happens. You have nothing to lose, so why not go for it! ~Nina/Ruthie~

  3. amazing mosaics!! thanks for sharing--and encouraging Anonymous--I agree wholeheartedly!