I believe that creativity is a powerful skill that can be practiced and developed. I hope my blog inspires you to find your very own "creative lment". ~LM
After buying new furniture for our bedroom, I decided it was time to complete the look by investing in some art work. I wanted a very large piece, something that would create a statement and bring some drama to the space, especially since the existing colour skeam was boring old beige and brown. As an avid DIY’er, the thought of a generic store bought piece didn’t appeal to me, nor did the idea of spending a few hundred dollars on it. I decided that I could create “something”, so in preparation, I purchased a large blank canvas during the Boxing week sales here in Halifax. At the time I was
really into completely obsessed with aqua quatrefoil prints and thought the easiest thing to do would be to stretch fabric over the canvas frame, staple it on the back and be done with it, but despite my best efforts, I could not find any fabric in the colour, design or scale that I wanted (ya, I’m picky). So instead of using fabric, I thought it might be fun to paint a design right onto the canvas; after finding this free printable template online (from our friends at Jones Design Company), I decided to go for it!
At this time I should point out, in all fairness, that my darling, and usually quite agreeable, hubby did not like my idea. He felt the aqua was too much colour for our space and he wasn’t too taken with the design either. And despite my BEST arguements, he could not appreciate that I was a woman with a vision – and that vision included bringing aqua quatrefoil into the bedroom. Surely he would love it once he saw the finished product…right?!?! I proceeded with my plan despite his objections….and well, more on that later :)
I started out by mixing some acrylic paints to create that perfect “aqua” colour, and then covered the entire canvas with it (two coats). Once the paint was dry, I began tracing the template onto the canvas. I made sure to place my first sketch in the middle of the canvas, paying special attention to where the top and bottom sketches would fall (so that the overall pattern was centred). I used a pencil, and tried my best to draw lightly so that any mistakes could be erased (without too much damage). The process of using the template to transfer the design was simple, but oh-so labour intensive! I hoped silently that all the work would be worth it.
I then used white acrylic paint to fill in the lines. It was slow and tedious work, and I ended up having to paint it twice to make the white really stand out from the background. I should also note that I did this all while juggling off 3 over-fed cats, who, were determined to sit on the enivable wet canvas that was stealing all “their” attention. Needless to say, this project was stretched out over several nights, overwhich, I painted my toe nails a lovely shade of aqua to try (unsuccessfully) to endear aformentioned hubby to the colour.
Once complete, I stood back to embrace the finished product- and was SO pleased with my work! I promptly brought it up to the bedroom, leaned it against the headboard…at which point I…concluded, quietly….that hubby was right. Too much colour for the room, too much “pop”, too big a design…too much even if I planned on adding some aqua accents to the space. Hours of work down the drain, money wasted, my worst “DIY” nightmare come true…what’s a girl to do?
After a chat with the hubby, we decided on a compremise. Hubby would select a new colour, and I would (relunctantly) agree to paint over my existing work with it. Neither of us were sure what we would end up with, but at that point, we just wanted to complete the project. I was tired…a little grumpy, and a solid red rectrangle on the wall was fine with both us. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
So, downstairs the cats and I went. I mixed up the new shade of red paint (deferring to hubby for final approval), and then, using a large paint brush, proceeded to paint over all my hard work. I held my breath…scared to see a perfectly good piece of art be wasted…unsure if I would like the effect…but I was quickly DELIGHTED! I loved how I could still see the white quatrefoil design coming through the red paint. I decided to add a second coat since the first wasn’t quite rich enough. The layering of red over the aqua really added some beautiful depth – and I LOVED how I could still see the subtle texture of the white quatrefoil.
As a finishing touch, I added some black trim around the outer edges of the canvas to give it that professional “gallery” look.
I’m not a “painter” per say, and I never would have planned a project using this approach, but hubby and I both love the finished product. I didn’t waste all my time or money afterall – and the fact that both came together to create our custom bedroom art makes it even more special.