San Francisco-based artist Rebecca Szeto uses paintbrushes to create her artwork, but we’re betting you weren’t expecting exactly how she uses them. She carves the ends of her used paintbrushes into refined painted renaissance ladies, and the colorful used brush hairs become the sweeping elegant fibers of their gowns.

These works play with notions of re-forming beauty and value,” writes Szeto in her artist’s statement. “I use humble, end-of-life, mass-produced materials inspired by my experience as a faux finisher.

Rebecca agreed to answer some of Bored Panda’s questions about her work, so read on for more!

More info: (h/t: lustik)

This is a project that began in 1999. At the time, I was fully immersed in my decorative faux finishing business – which essentially entailed making new things look old,” Rebecca Szeto told Bored Panda.

I’d amassed a hefty amount of eco-guilt from the sheer amount of waste, in both material and labor, I witnessed. I began collecting brushes and sandpapers from jobsites for many years with no particular end in mind – Garbage bags full

Eventually I had to decide to use them or toss them for lack of storage. Needless to say, I never saw a material I couldn’t find hidden potential in

I definitely have a deep love for painting and feel like I relate to everyday life in a painterly way, which is to say, visually, emotionally and intellectually tonal, visceral, and compositional in nature

I just enjoy the sensorial quality of “things” and being able to work with my hands, so whittling isn’t so much a new skill I need to learn but a natural desire to explore and play with a material. As a byproduct, it becomes a method/strategy/personal vocabulary in art for getting my message across in the most efficient and appropriate way

We’d like to thank Rebecca Szeto for talking to us about her work. We wish her the best of luck with re-creating her spent materials as new and wonderful works of art!