Yeah, it has been a minute since I painted big. For the record, I do have my BFA from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (that is a real place, I swear) so did my requisite large-scale drawings and oil paintings, but time flies and I’ve turned to more convenient, portable, and economical mediums. But then… we got big walls.
Our new apartment isn’t grandly spacious, but it does have comfortable-sized rooms and that includes comfortable-sized walls. The layout of our last home meant the sofa was oriented in the middle of the broad living room, making it a space-divider. This home puts the sofa against the wall, and that big old blank beige area was glaring me down.
So, I did something about it.
FYI, that watermark is a watermark and not there in real life. There is also a bit of a glare in the photography I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of, so just went with it. Yes, I spent this weekend covered in glorious paint! I may be a little rusty, so it may not be perfect, but I enjoyed myself and the living room is a little brighter and bolder now.
Would you like to see that in situ?
To start, I gathered by trusty stash of supplies. Let’s pretend it isn’t a hot mess, alright? I once worked with someone who said “hot mess” about fifty times a day, and it sounds like it would be annoying but I actually really enjoyed it, and every once in a while I like to find a way to work it into conversation. Like now.
You will notice a can of latex house-paint in that pile of stuff. Yes, the darker areas of the final painting are from this nice muted navy blue paint I already had on hand (more on that project coming someday soonish) and it was an affordable way to cover some of the canvas and create a nice dark base, so I began the painting by shading in some areas with it in a way that felt composed, to me.
Of course, I needed a big #%$ canvas. To the other
art school brats professionals out there, I do understand that the proper way to go is purchasing the canvas and quality stretcher bars separately, stretching it, and applying the layers of gesso myself. However, I was just looking to get my feet wet and warm up a bit. I wanted a gallery-wrap canvas (it is deeper so looks better without a frame and sits a little more nicely against the way, in my opinion) so I headed to my local Micheal’s armed with a 40% off coupon and left with this canvas for about 50 bones. Yes, that is a lot of cash to me too, but for a large canvas I’d consider it reasonable. The quality felt alright too for a pre-streched canvas, so I was on my way!
Oh Paloma, why do you crave attention this way?
For those of you curious about what the back of a gallery-wrap canvas looks like (as opposed to a traditional back-stapled canvas) here is a quick shot of it:
There are two new supplies I also grabbed at Michaels, and one was a bit of a splurge for me. Spoiler alert, the splurge was the paintbrush. I didn’t have a big enough brush to comfortable work on this size of canvas, and I also didn’t have a nice filbert. It was a perfect storm, and I bought this baby. Isn’t she pretty? Don’t worry, those clean white bristles didn’t stay that way long. The paint was due to my craving for a gold, and my dislike of my current gold acrylics.
Did I say acrylics? Yes, I did. I’ve painted with watercolor, acrylics, oils, egg tempera, milk paints, and probably other mediums I’m forgetting. At this point, I don’t have a studio area and am using my kitchen table. With small children around. It is a challenge, people. So, I choose to use something that dries quickly (so my kitchen table can go back to being a kitchen table), is non-toxic for the kids and pets around, and is easy to clean up. I’m a bit messy. I do hope to get back to other mediums someday, but right now I’m happy to work with what works for me.
Want to see some detail shots?
I didn’t mean for it to be quite so red-white-and-blue but I’m cool with it.
It isn’t perfect, but it was fun and got my feet wet. I’m hoping to do another one soon for the bedroom wall and am thinking of trying a bit more bold of a color statement. Get excited, people!
With our current rental having all-beige walls, I’m hoping to frame out this canvas and some other ones with some natural wood frames at some point, but as framing costs some serious mullah it will either have to wait or I have to DIY it.
Anyone have some awesome DIY-canvas-frame tips? Want to loan me a circular saw in case I ever get around to it? Itching to paint on as big a surface as they can find? Say “hot mess” a lot?
PS: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own, and I have not received compensation for anything written. Keepin’ it real.