(Not) Reinventing the Canvas


As I mentioned last week, I did some new abstract paintings. I was heavily influence by two sources—Dana over at HouseTweaking (which has been my new favorite blog for the past year or so) and Krissy Diggs at Society6. I am pretty shameless about my copycat habits. I mean, is there really anything new out there? If it's been done successfully already, what's the point in reinventing the wheel?  I do, however, firmly believe in giving credit where it is due, so please check out the links.

Anyway, here are my inspirations:

As a side note, I've been obsessed with Dana's painting since I first saw the post last year, and I've already done a horizontal version in my friend, Naomi's, room makeover... 

Back on track. After replacing our black dressers with vintage ones, I lived with the wall as it was for a couple months. The fact is that I put a lot of time and thought into the way it was before, and I didn't want to be too hasty to change it unless I really loved the new something. I did buy a new lamp from Target, but changed my mind after awhile. Gotta love Target's three-month return policy...

Before the new dressers...

Before the new dressers...

After the new dressers...

After the new dressers...

After thinking for a good long time and staring every morning and night from my bed—considering that this is my waking view, I did a lot of this—I decided to act. Inspiration hit me when I remembered that I had two large canvases from my pre-rennovation dining room. They definitely hold a special place in my heart, because they were one of my first projects after we bought the house. Sniffle.


I had stowed them away in my basement bathroom, which has become like my personal HomeGoods. If there is any home accessory that I'm not currently using, I just stick it down there until I need it again. It's like free shopping. Thankfully we hardly ever use that bathroom. I guess it is sorta redneck, though... I am from Arkansas, ya'll. (Did you know I never, ever, ever, ever say ya'll?)

Since I had already done one knock-off of the HouseTweaking painting, I didn't want to replicate it again. So, this time, I kept the geometric gold as inspiration and swapped out Dana's chevron for some triangles, as in the society6 print. The idea was to make one the "busy" canvas, and the other a more subdued close-up of the first painting's details.

I had previously stapled fabric over one canvas, and painted a design on the other, so I had to do a little prep work to get them ready for the new paint. Removing the fabric and staples was simple, but I had to do several thick coats of primer over the motif on the other one, as it was a really intense green. Even though the design was heavily inspired by the society6 print, it still took me a good hour or two to sketch out all the triangles. I haven't done geometry in forever, so I kept getting confused about the consistency of my angles. My little straight-edge triangle ruler helped me out, though. Even so, the lines aren't perfectly straight. 


For the gold, I figured the shade wouldn't matter too much, so I just picked up some cheap craft paint at Walmart. I may or may not have let R hold a bottle of fluorescent green paint while I shopped distractedly. And he may or may not have poured it all over the cart, his jeans, tennis shoes and my shoes. You guys, I can be a little absent minded sometimes. At least now, every time I see the green jeans in the wash, I remember to never let a toddler hold a bottle of paint. Even if it's sealed. And he's strapped in the cart. Never. 

Anyway, toddler tangent aside, I was also wrong about the gold paint. The shade absolutely matters. You really can't see from the photos, but the color I picked was all wrong. It was too orangey-tan and not metallic enough.


I figured I could just do the base coat with the bad color, and top it with a more sophisticated shade. Dana at HouseTweaking suggested a mix of two different Martha Stewart metallic paints. I looked for them at Michael's, but they didn't have the exact colors she recommended. Instead, I mixed Martha Stewart's Metallic Gold with her Metallic Light Gold, and the result was a perfectly metallic, shimmery neutral gold. I think it was a 2:1 ratio, gold to light gold. I highly recommend the combo.


I used the new gold mix as a topcoat, and I love the result.  I used a small (1/4") watercolor brush for the edges and lines, and a 1" foam brush for the filling in areas. As you can see, the lines aren't perfect, but I'll just pretend that it adds to the character. Now that the paintings are up, I've noticed a few spots that need some touching up, so I'll have to get on that.

Anyway, here's what's happening on the wall...



All in all, it's a definite improvement to my wake-up view, and it makes me smile. If only I could keep my dresser this clean every day. Oh, and true confession of a wannabe stylist: my aloe plant died. I just tossed it's last leaf yesterday. Pretty sure it was dead in the photos, too. I just propped it up with some rocks to make it look perky. Don't be deceived by photos, people. All is not as it seems.

Happy Wednesday!

Joy Lewis5 Comments