I’ve always liked a more eclectic style, a mix of styles and varieties rather than being wedded to one specific style – be it country, contemporary, or “early rummage sale.” Eclectic is what you call your style when it’s distinctly possible you don’t have one. Living in an old home with a decidedly “victorian” style of high ceilings, carved crannies, and heavy wood, it’s always a challenge to meld staying true to the home’s “bones” (read: Mid-century Modern need not apply) and resist looking like we live in a museum (“please stand behind the velvet ropes and the Docent will begin the next tour in fifteen minutes. Tickets please. Tickets!”)
In this vein I decided that what my very “traditional” rooms needed was a bright punch of modernity. Not too bright, however, this isn’t preschool. I wanted something abstract and undefined. Just enough to break out of the expected “oh what a lovely landscape” mold. So I started looking for art online. I was willing to take a print, I don’t need an original after all. Then I looked at the prices and ouch. I am a person who still has a sofa from 1999 because I’m cheap. There is no way I’m spending the equivalent on a framed anything to hang on the wall. Unless that frame is full of hundred dollar bills – I’ll pass.
This led to where most things do when you’re cheap like me – do-it-yourself. In this case, myself. Some may remember my $4 picture frame (the one so ugly even the dog hid his face in shame). They did not see my vision. This is because they did not see any activity – for 3 months. People scoffed, then mocked, then learned to ignore the elephant in the living room that was that hideous landscape leaning SIDEWAYS behind the sofa for months on end.
As a back-up I had a c. 1987 poster of the desert (why?) that I had hauled out of Goodwill for $4 because I wanted the copper finished frame. (Apparently $4 is my maximum art price-point. Big spender).
So I hauled out some old paint I had stashed in the basement. What better way to insure your artwork matches your décor than to use the leftover paint you already used in your house. I am brilliant am I not? Here we have (clockwise from top) Doors. porch floor, kitchen, and GirlWonder’s bedroom. It all comes together, I promise.
Then you haul out the ugly “canvas” upon which you will base your masterpiece
It’s lovely no? I almost hate to cover it up – lie.
Even in a basement I think it important to respect the workspace. Plastic tarp protects the floor and the dog. Art be damned. Jagger moves for no one.
Now, this is a very precise process so listen closely:
Roll on your base color paint. Just get it all on there. No tray necessary, just pour some paint on the old painting’s surface and smoosh it around with your roller (“smoosh” is an artisty term for “smooth,” I’m pretty sure). Wander away to let it dry (about an hour or whenever you remember it’s down there).
Return to find dog still under tarp. Told you, Jagger moves for NO ONE.
Jagger no think you are funny. At all. Jagger think you are annoying. Very. Do you haz snacks? he could maybe forgive you – for snacks.
Return to add more swoops and layers of other colors in a random pattern dictated by nothing more than pure happenstance. Swish, wipe, plop – done!
After about $4 (Canvas and frame) and 4 hours of time (random wandering, splotching, and drying time) you end up with something like this*
*Please ignore the glare. The $4 frame from Goodwill does not feature gallery glass. This is also the painting created, quite accidently, with the ugly desert poster. This was a “what do I have to lose?” practice canvas that came out far better than the one where I actually tried. Photos of that one coming soon. Once I quit repainting and cursing at it.