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!
I’ve done a few paintings to hang up but I’ve gotten so picky about what to actually hang because starring at your own art you start to see things like, “Blegh, that right eye is too high” or “That background is weird”. That’s why a majority of the art on my walls is from other artists, I just play around with framing it 🙂
There is PLEANTY of space at my house. Wanna come over?
Lock your doors…I might pop over when you least expect it 😉
I know what you mean about hanging your own art. I don’t also like looking at my own art — that’s probably why ABOVE the sofa is usually a safe spot — you can’t see it while sitting on the couch. I had an art swap with a friend a few years back — that was fun too.
Let the fun begin, and when you’re done with Kiki’s place, you can come over and hang up cool and colorful art on my walls–looking forward to what comes next, and I’m sure Kiki is too.
Kiki is wary now that I have threatened to get mix pillow patterns. I may have to look elsewhere!
I love your yellow project so much, and I’m putting this on my list of things to do. Thank you!
Glad to hear it!
First, I feel like every Tuesday could use a good R. Kelly reference – so thank you for that. Secondly, I’m in love with your funky ‘remodeled’ ticket art. Every room needs what my Grandma Honey refers to as a ‘great big ole interesting thing’ – and this particular great big ole interesting thing is quite awesome.
Tuesdays with R. Kelly are the only way to live. Wednesdays too. And thursdays, but I digress. Your Grandma Honey sounds smart!
Grandma Honey is the most epically-badass human I know. At 90 years old, she dies her hair fire engine red, dresses like Beyoncé, and has TWO boyfriends at the assisted living facility (both are also in their 90’s).
????TWO BOYFRIENDS???? She needs to learn to share. 🙂 She sounds like such a badass! Go Grandma Honey!
Yup. One boyfriend likes to play cards, and the other one is ‘a heck of a dancer’, so she figured – why choose?!
Oy vey. She dyes her hair – she doesn’t ‘die’ it. (I should never try to type on a smart phone.)
😉 No worries. You will get no judgements on the typo front here, especially when homonyms are involved. I once sent an email to thousands of people inviting them to attend an Easter themed “dying” party. Let’s just say, it did not sit well with the resurrection crowd.
Seriously brilliant. Pun intended. Love.
Kiki said you could gradually make over her space. Amazing. Does she think it will look like your place?Where did you put the red altar table?This is great looking and a good use of an older piece. In the early seventies I used to buy pieces of Marimekko fabric and stretch them like paintings to hang on the wall. I wonder what happened to them? I also used to collect old prints and fit them into frames with nice mats that had horrible art inside. Like old line drawings of weasels, (the bad art) What kind of pillows are you planning?
The pillows were planned and on display for the photo. She didn’t like them and reverted them back to usual orange and yellow. This could go on a while.
Some Crate and Barrel stores still do the Marimeko over canvas stretchers, but I think Ikea stole the look and now they don’t do it so often. I like it though. Especially in a kitchen or kid’s room.
Ah, wall space. I vaguely remember what that was, although I haven’t seen any since about 1998.
I love this transformation Peaches, I just wish I had a brave friend like your Kiki, who would let me loose on their house
Indeed. Friends with wall space are a gift indeed. 🙂
Big blue is so cool!
Thanks so much!
Oh, I like this. I like it very much! Maybe I’ll make something similiar for our bedroom.
If you do you gotta send me a picture okay?
My fave line– the sun porch looks like the set from Sanford and Son…. Guilty, too.
Though mine currently houses more than a few pieces of driftwood. For art purposes, that had to come home and hang out. On the bench- on my porch.
And oh by golly, yes- do I ever art for others and myself. There is only so much vertical space in one home!
Love the ticket redo- I like Big blue better than big pink….maybe that red dot is like the white iris in Van Gogh’s purple ones? Full of mystical symbolism??
I’m glad you got the Sanford and Son reference. Not everyone knows quality 70s television like I do 🙂
I hadn’t thought about Van Gough’s Irises in years. Thanks for the reminder! *off to google*
I love, love, love this project! Awesome vision, Peaches! Can’t wait to see what you do next!
Thanks so much!
Deb in Oklahoma
::Snaps fingers:: I just realized why I like you so much! You can reference Sanford and Son when describing your sun porch. and I totally get it. The fact that you can source random art supplies from said porch is even better. Do you hum the S&S theme song when you are hunting through your Sun Porch Treasures?
I like the Big Blue art redux. That’s neat.
Hahha! I do not humm the Sanford and Son song, however, I have a friend who comes over and hums REALLY LOUD it just to annoy me. It’s on my list for spring cleaning. We’ll see what happens…