She makes it look easy to be ‘green’


Some artists can be described as “green.”

Being “green” today doesn’t parallel Picasso’s practice at one time of making monochromatic paintings, mainly in blue and blue-green, his “blue period.”

Rather, being “green” today describes artists who up-cycle used materials, sometimes trash, into new forms.

A few noteworthy green artists are Spain’s Belen Hermosa who created a flowing lounge chair from used CDs; Sayaka Ganz, Japanese woman now living in Indiana who reclaims and regenerates scrap metal, plastic spoons and other discards; and a Brit, David Mach, sculptor, whose large animals are fashioned from wire coat hangers.

These artists, however, don’t have a creative advantage over a couple of Hood county residents. One I refer to as “green;” the other is “greenish,” both highly accomplished artists.

Very green is Elise Techentine, sculptor of whimsy and, sometimes, deep meaning. Her good friend, Stacy Watkins Martin, is “greenish.” Since these two adventurous women often seek out discarded treasures together, I mention them both.

I will concentrate on Techentine here, and describe Martin more completely in a future article.

Techentine’s studio, the Purplegoat, is actually a warehouse where she creates small and large works and stores her “finds” until they are transformed and incorporated into her art. She describes Purplegoat as “a happy studio with lots of music, piled high with junk and the freedom to create.”

Wondering what kind of junk? You might find light bulbs (some dead, some not), doll parts, rope, newel posts, world globes, metal curtains, ancient ceiling tiles, picture frames, manikins, magnets, tape measures, game parts, rusted metal of various sizes, keys, lamps, artificial flowers, bird cages and numerous other indescribable items.

To this array, Techentine adds a mammoth dose of creativity and insight, utilizing tools and materials to bring into being new creations, unique to her vision.

Techentine customarily locates her “finds” at junk yards in Granbury and beyond. One particularly fruitful gathering happened when she and Martin spied an open field along the highway bursting with discards, free for the taking. Not planning on such a bounty, they filled Martin’s luxury car with what most folks call junk.

Techentine spends at least five days a week at Purplegoat, but volunteers her time and art to raising funds for local endeavors. A recent involvement included overseeing and donating to “Art from the Heart,” a silent art auction in July. All proceeds from that auction were given to Mission Granbury.

Before Christmas, she contributed work to “In the Spirit of Giving Artists’ Tree.” Donated pieces hung on a large Granbury Square Christmas tree and were auctioned off last December. The resulting funds benefited the art departments in the local ninth grade facility and two middle schools to purchase needed supplies.

Kermit the Frog exclaimed many years ago, “It isn’t easy being green.” Techentine, with her easy laugh and creative spirit, certainly makes it look that way.

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