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Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Art is what you can get away with." ~Andy Warhol

I love a lot of things about our master bedroom, but the giant blank wall you see here isn't one of them. It's been in need of something to fill it but I kept vacillating over what that something should be.

Whatever it was it would need to be fairly large and art that big can get quite pricey. I've been going back and forth, trying to decide if I should make something or buy it. Ideally I wanted a painting but since my last attempt at art made it's way to the curb on trash day, I wasn't feeling overly confident that would work.

But this week the big blank wall got the best of me so I decided to take the plunge and hope for the best. I picked up a large canvas, selecting the biggest one they had in a 2" depth (mostly because I didn't want a thinner canvas that would look like it was purchased from a craft store). Then I grabbed a handful of acrylic paints in colors that went with our bedroom scheme. Why acrylic? No idea ... I literally have no clue what I'm doing.

To add to my randomness, I grabbed a bag of sponges and a spray bottle to fill with water in case I wanted to get my David Bromstad on. With the kiddos in bed, I got my canvas out and thought I'd try adding two white stripes by laying down some masking tape. I took the time to grab a ruler and level and made two stripes about 14 inches from the top and bottom. So far so good.

With that, I poured some paint on a plate, dipped my sponge in and started making horizontal stripes. I changed up the colors occasionally, never bothering to clean my sponge so they could mix naturally. Once the whole canvas was colored, I stepped back to admire my work.

To put it nicely, it was horrendous. So I got a new sponge (as if that was the problem), and started adding some white around the edges, trying different techniques that might resemble something I'd seen on TV. I stepped back to see my progress again.

Not good.  At this point I'm thinking of all the possible explanations I can offer my hubby who will not be happy when he sees another painting making its way outside on trash day. Out of desperation, I grabbed the spray bottle, added some water and stood the canvas vertically against the wall. I placed a few towels underneath, closed one eye and gave it a couple squirts.

Oh boy. This is going downhill quickly. Now my painting looks like it has mascara running down it's face, likely upset that it's so darn ugly. Hmmm. Panic is setting in and I'm not sure where I go from here. So I just grab some paper towel and try to clean up the black drip marks ... and something amazing happens. Oddly, it removes most all of the paint where the water dripped and it looks - gasp - a little cool. (Heavy emphasis on the word "little.")

So now I decide I'm all in. I wiped a thicker amount of black paint mixed with a little brown over two places on the canvas, get my spray bottle out and start unloading. I watched the little water lines making their way down the painting and amazingly, it was pretty neat. I gave it a few additional sprays, let it do its thing and then set it aside to dry before removing the tape.

Here's the finished product. I actually grow a bit more fond of it every time I see it. I like it; it works well in my space and the whole project cost me $50. Should you decide to give something like this a try, trust me ... BUY THE SPRAY BOTTLE. :)

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