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A different use for White Out

It was all just an accident, but one that has made Kim McGraw look at art in a much different way.

While many of us read the newspaper, McGraw, a resident of Camillus and Solvay art teacher, cuts it into thin strips, then paints over them with White Out and in the end it's all in the name of artistic creativity.

"I didn't have any white paint left, so I had a White-Out pen and I remember using that for fine lines," McGraw said. "It was a mistake. I was out of white paint and that was all I had. Then I just started getting more and more into it. At first it was just a few little lines here and there."

The combination of White-Out and newspaper, mixed with some research on birch trees prompted by her sister, has turned into a series of paintings that show the deep character of the birch bark, but also give each strip of newsprint its own personality.

One piece in particular, "Wall Street," can be viewed as a forest of serene birches or as straight-backed businessmen. No matter how the painting is perceived, one fact rings true when viewed from up close -- the trees or men, whichever they may be, are made from the Wall Street Journal.

McGraw's work is on display at Baltimore Woods Nature Center on Bishop Hill Road in Marcellus, where gallery coordinator Thea Reidy keeps after the paintings with a mother's care and watchful eye. Then again, she has a deep connection to art as she is a mixed media artist herself. She recently showed her worked at Delavan Art Gallery in Syracuse.

"I work abstractly a lot," she said.

Reidy graduated from Vassar College in Massachusetts with a degree in art history. From there she worked for several years in graphic design, corporate communications and teaching. But she found a connection between art and design.

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