Bloggers like me frequently run into a problem. It’s called space. Or, lack of space. There are only so many times you can make over bedspreads when you only have one bed. This is when I start asking friends, “Didn’t you say you needed a new bedspread?” and they are like, “I never said anything of the sort. What are you saying, my bedspread is ugly!?” and then it goes silent for a minute. So awkward.
My friend Kiki has given me permission to gradually make over her place so long as it doesn’t look like, “that scene from A Beautiful Mind when she walks in the garage and all the walls are covered with crazy person paper.” Which is actually kind of weird because Kiki is a math whizz and it occurred to me that wall-to-wall math art would be the way to go. Sadly, she does not share this opinion. So I’m starting with a new take on an old project: Big Pinky. But now she’s called Big Blue.
For me, the easiest way to make a room look finished is to add a piece of over-sized anchor art work. The bigger the better. It doesn’t matter if the furniture and the curtains and lighting and all that are great, if the room is lacking in art I will sit in your living room and silently visualize what I want to hang on the wall (SEE WHAT A GREAT FRIEND I AM?). But I totally get that anchor artwork is hard. And expensive. Luckily there is this place called the thrift store, or for me, I don’t have to go to the thrift store because my sun porch looks like the set from Sanford and Son.
If you have been following the blog a couple of years you probably recognize this former thrift store painting turned ticket art from a previous life above my sink. I liked it there but the pink ticket stubs faded to a sad and stale shade of mauve-beige. It came down when I hung up the pudding molds and has been sitting on my sun porch ever since. Time for a remix to ignition.
Hot and fresh out the kitchen…
Bounce bounce bounce bounce…
Sorry. That’s a song. Back to the painting!
Simple method: I painted the whole thing gray then used a 1″ brush (same width as the ticket stub) to paint each stub a different color. This could have been really slow, or really fast. I went the fast route. Sloppy painting, no long-term vision. I made lots of repeating dashes in downward lines, on-off-on-off. Then moved on to another color. Then another. Then another. The color scheme is blue or green or gray with lots of blue undertones. At one point I added red, then decided I didn’t like it and painted over the red with blue — now there are just peeps of the red here and there and it’s all the more interesting. I’d say 50% of the paints came straight out of the bottle (just inexpensive craft paint, btw), and the other 50% came from a mixture of the last paint I used but mixed with a squirt of white. Or royal blue. Or navy. Just whatever was in easy reach. That’s the nice thing about doing this sort of ‘common core color’ painting, you really can’t go wrong. Eventually it will all blend and dance, so long as there is a common thread color, which is in this case, blue. Some years back I did a quasi-similar piece with 1,200 shades of yellow.
I’m not sharing this today as a DIY, so much as an example of how easy it is to make really interesting ‘nonsense’ art for your home. It will elevate the whole space and it’s seriously cathartic, or, it would be awesome as a group activity as well. You could knock one out in an afternoon, or leave it an less-frequented area of the house and add a few new dashes every day. Like one of those puzzles you leave out on the coffee table for a month. Let it grow with time. You certainly don’t need ticket stubs or even dashes. What about a painting made of nothing but dots, or squares, or stripes, or fingerprints?
There is one exposed red patch in the upper right corner. I could tell you that is holds great symbolism, but mostly it’s because I’m lazy and didn’t see it. Now it’s what makes the whole thing special. I love that!
Have you ever made art for your home? I highly recommend it!