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Dirt Is Beautiful: Dirty Car Art by Scott Wade

Scott Wade uses a quite unusual surface to express his artistic talents: the back window of cars. He uses dirty cars and turns them into real artworks.

“When I am creating Dirty Car Art at an event, I’m often asked “how do you get the dirt on there?” There are two types of “canvases” I work on, natural and artificial. In the beginning, there were only natural canvases- that is, cars that are driven for days on a dirt road until the rear window is covered in an almost opaque layer of fine dust. In many ways, I really prefer the natural canvas; it has character and often suggests things to draw. But when one flies to an event, one doesn’t always have access to cars with lots of light-colored dust on the rear window, which after all, happens naturally after several dry days and miles of driving over dirt roads. So I had to figure out a way to imitate the real thing, which after a little experimentation, I developed with the aid of a little oil, a blow dryer, and a bag of very fine dirt, or powdered mineral. The process is to get a thin, even coat of oil on the window to give something for the dust to stick to, then blow handfuls of the dust on with a blow dryer. With a little finesse, the result is very similar to the real deal, at least enough to provide a dandy canvas. If you want to try it yourself, just get a little cooking oil, pour a little in your hand and spread as evenly as possible on the rear window of your wagon, hatchback, SUV or van. If you don’t have any fine, powdery dirt, you can use flour (whole wheat will look more like dirt). Grab a handful, aim your blowdryer, and blow the dust onto the window. Viola! You have a canvas for creating your own Dirty Car Art!”

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