Tess's Final Artwork

Tess Felix, Project 0 promotion, photo courtesy of The Image Flow

I love it when my friends do something fantastic! Project 0 is the brainchild of my long time friend, Michele Clarke. The non-profit organization she helped to establish is dedicated to saving our oceans, a noble cause I support. It will be a vehicle to raise public awareness and also raise funding for further scientific research, projects, and organizations committed to ocean health. I’m excited to offer my support and pleased to be included in my small way.

Following are my notes from the project journal about the final execution.

Right now I am planning an original piece made with plastic debris collected on the coast close to home. It will be used in social media and for advertising. I wanted to share this process with you since it is such a compressed timeline. But first I must collect, sort, and wash and dry ocean plastic debris.

My plan is to make a sign reading ” PROJECT 0′” and include a social note to use in any post the world over, #getintoit. The final image of this piece will be used for marketing purposes to direct traffic to Project 0.

Process for creating #getintoit – mouse-over the slide for info
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Day 1
It’s raining outside, pouring rain, and it’s a perfect day to wash plastic marine garbage. There is a handful of individuals around the world that do this and as I wash and scrub, I know I’m not alone. The process of washing garbage is very time-consuming, but necessary when using this awful waste as a pallet for creativity.

As a first step, I ‘ve had KINKO’s print the words in a large format. I hope, when I pick up the print I will have printed it large enough for the project. Tomorrow, I’ve arranged for studio space at The Image Flow and plan to spend the day creating this piece in place. Assembling it on the floor of the studio, I will create my mini-wasteland.

I will fill in the letters and background with black, white, pink and turquoise. These are the brands colors for Project 0. There will be some challenges when covering the lettering with plastics because the letters are round in shape and plastic is generally angular. I imagine I’ll have to do a lot of cutting to make bits and pieces fit. Trying to do this in one day is, in truth, rather ambitious. Even though I am not gluing they still need to fit like a puzzle in order for this to work properly.

But for now, I am washing–black widows have begun to crawl out of the floating plastic island in my bathtub; big and shiny, they look for refuge.

Day 2
Picking up at Kinko’s I was happy to see that the size of the print was just right. This will be used as a reference to size the letters properly. After arriving at the studio, I will paint the background black and then begin to lay in all of the pieces. Blue and pink will highlight the social messaging.

Annie Greene joined me at the studio and helped lay out the plastic pieces. I was thankful to have such a great assistant. Her help made the entire process much quicker than I had thought it would be. She’s also my daughter so it’s always an extra treat to be able to spend the day with her.

When it was complete, Stuart Schwartz, the owner of The Image Flow in Mill Valley, caught the light beautifully with his camera. The result came out just as I had imagined. It’s so satisfying when a project goes from an idea to completion.

I’ll be doing more work with Project 0 in the future, so stay tuned and don’t forget to share Project 0 and add #getintoit to all of your social media so the Project0 team can see all of the wonderful comments coming to them from the world over.

Learn more: Project 0
I also want to thank Stuart Schwartz, founder of The Image Flow for your support throughout the year.

Kara Karajev

Kara Karajev

I’m about to embark on another artistic adventure, this time to Baku, Azerbaijan where I have been invited to participate in the IV International Exhibition From Waste to Art to be held June 14th through 18th.

Tamiz Shahar, the organizer, is a state organization providing waste disposal services to Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. The objective of the company is to establish up to date and sustainable waste management system in Baku and bring the latest novelties in the waste management sphere to the country through sharing experience with foreign countries and international companies. This includes a number of activities to increase public awareness on waste problems and stimulate people to protect the environment through proper waste treatment. The art exhibition is one of the ways in which they are achieving this goal. Last year 59 artist form 27 countries came and created original art on sight from the waste.

I’ll be creating a portrait of a famous composer, Kara Karajev from Azerbaijan. This will be challenging to create a portrait in such a short amount of time. I haven’t any idea about the work space provided, or how jet lagged I’ll be. It will be an unfolding mystery.

I’m packing my art supplies now and wondering what to wear. Baku is a big modern city. I leave on Saturday. The journey alone is heroic: flying first to LA then to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt to Baku. I’ll have 10 days of art making and then I return home. Wish me luck.


Listen to a small example of his works. This piece, performed by Konstantin Scherbakov, piano – Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Dmitry Yablonsky conductor, is from the music he created for a ballet called The Seven Beauties.



Wayne, 2014 commision

Wayne, 2014 commision beach debris and oil by Tess Felix

I am one of three artists who’s work will be shown at the conference for Plastic in The Mediterranean. This event is organized by the Prince Albert ll of Monaco Foundation, Surfrider Foundation Europe, Tara Expeditions and the Mava Foundation. The conference will be focused on exploring solutions that can reduce or end the plastic waste that is in the Mediterranean and impacting marine life.

The show will also feature artist and photographer Gregg Segal’s images from his powerful series 7 days of Garbage as well as selected pieces from artist and photographer Alain Delorme’s poetic series of plastic clouds that mimic the dance of wild starlings,  Murmurations. It is so exciting to show along side them!

The conference will be held in Monaco on March 10 and March 11.  The show will be on display for two months, starting March 10th. at the Gallerie des Pecheurs, Monaco


2014 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards Dinner

Captain Charles Moore at the 2014 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

Captain Charles Moore at the 2014 Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

Captain Charles Moore invited me to share his table at the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards where he was honored as the Hero of the Sea for 2014. It was fantastic to see him recognized by his peers for his tireless work and campaigning on behalf of ocean health. Captain Moore is credited with discovering “The Great Pacific Garbage Patch” in 1997 and since that time has dedicated himself to educating the public and establishing protocols to monitor marine and beach micro-plastics, thereby helping to give scientists the world over a way to record and share the data they gather. Apart from the sheer delight to share a table with the Captain I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Ocean Plastics artist, Angela Hazleton Pozzi, of Washed ashore.org.

The entire night I felt like I was in a dream. The event took place at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco amongst the pools of fish and the old white alligator grotto. A delicious vegetarian menu insured that there was no eating of friends. The attendees and award recipients were the glitteratti of ocean preservation. I was impressed with the evening and so excited to be there. Just four years ago I began my exploration in ocean plastic pollution and last night I was rubbing shoulders with the movers and shakers of the planet’s preservation.

Captain Charles, thank you for the wonderful evening and for introducing me to so many wonderful people.

Here is a list of all the honorees of 2014 and links to learn more about their contributions.

Excellence in National Ocean Stewardship EU Commissioner Maria Damanaki
Excellence in Science
Dr. Steve Gaines
Excellence in Policy Secretary, Leon Panetta
Excellence in Media Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Excellence in Exploration HRH Khaled bin Sultan and The Living Oceans Foundation
Christopher Benchley Youth Award Casey Sokolovic
Hero of the Seas Captain Charles Moore


He also commissioned a portrait and it was just delivered yesterday. You can also view a larger version in my portfolio for Eco Heros.

The Captain

The awards were hosted by the Blue Frontier Campaign and Wendy Benchley
A CBS News video about the gyre and featuring Captain Moore
Watch Chris Jordan’s film preview about the gyre and it’s impact on ocean birds