Bam! Boom! New Art!
My office badly needed art. There was this giant 1-inch hole smack dab in the middle of the wall that looked horrible, it did nothing for the paneling from 1977. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what the giant hole was from. A flat screen tv?
No, my mom never had one and before that my grandparents lived here. They certainly wouldn’t be hanging any flat screen tv’s back in 1989. It was probably from some invention my Grandpa tinkered up. He’s got wires and holes all over this place. Christmas lights in the pantry? Check. Indoor/Outdoor thermometer wired up between the two front windows? Check. Handy dandy gadget that ding dongs every time there is mail in the mailbox? Check. My Grandpa was an undiscovered genius.
Anyway, I’ve been desperately wanting to put up something big on this office wall since I moved in. Only one problem: big art usually comes with a BIG price tag. Even just buying a large canvas can set you back a couple of hundred dollars. I did find a giant canvas at a thrift store but it had this horrible peach south-western motif on it in three inch relief. I suppose I could have sanded the crud down but I had another idea.
Why not paint the four canvases I already have on hand! (My mom is the best. Whenever she sees canvasses on sale, she buys them for me.) The end result is not quite as big as I had in mind but it’s certainly better than the old white paneling with it’s ever-mocking 1-inch hole. It was screaming at me. I had to take care of it.
So late one evening after I’d just enjoyed a cup of coffee a little too late and Bug was whining to go to bed two hours too early (Yes, my kid begs to go to bed as soon as it gets dark. She’s insane.) I decided we’d whip up a masterpiece. Nothing too daunting. Just some stripes.
Some really loud and exciting stripes! I do like drab normal colors too but, I don’t know, I just wanted something fun and exciting in my office. Something to offset the miles and miles of sand-gray paneling. Also, this didn’t feel like too big of a commitment. Painting stripes doesn’t take too terribly long and I could always paint over it if I didn’t like it. I love my paintings to have lots of texture and I figured maybe someday I’d paint some funny cartoon characters on top of the stripes and sell them in my shop if I get tired of them.
AND! Stripes are something Bug could help me with. Her stripes are not perfect, of course. She’s only almost five. But I wasn’t going for perfect. Her little touches make it special. Perfect would have taken forever. I would have had to tape each stripe and then waited the hour or two it takes for the paint to dry in between each stripe. I have no patience for that! I wanted this art done now. Besides I love extra texture. Bring on the blobs and drips. That’s what makes it fun.
Wham bam done!
Then as I was washing the paint off our glass plates (that I used as last ditch palettes since I’m fresh out of paper plates) I sort of felt sad for all the perfectly good paint going down the drain. It was so pretty as it swirled in the sink. There must be some way I could save all this beautiful pigment.
I decided to grab the two other canvases that I was going to paint with stripes too and create large dripping swatches of stripes instead. My friend Deb paints with watered down acrylic paint all the time, so why couldn’t I? I have to say I was so pleasantly surprised! A painting this pretty should not be this easy!!! It’s like I cheated. Three or four swooshes and I was done. I mean, I could have hemmed and hawed for a few hours and thought long and hard about what color would drip into what color but why? These crazy sink impromtu pieces look great to me! What do you think?
I could shellac it with a few coats of resin, call it “Desert Sunrise,” hang it in a fancy gallery and charge $5000. OR I could just admit that it took me five minutes and sell it for five bucks. Five cents? Art is so weird. Anyway, it makes me incredibly happy and I’m hanging it on my wall, so that’s all that matters.
Wham bam, thank you ma’am.
I call it: Office Wall DONE.
That is until I get tired of it in about 2.5 weeks. Which is totally fine since I’ll probably be itching to paint again by then anyway.
Love it. And the stripes idea with a child is great too. May you create great things in your lovely space!
You call it a mobile home, but that is unlike any mobile home I’ve ever seen. You’ve made it so warm and cozy and, at least in pictures, it really does look like any 50’s era ranch around here.
I love your paintings. Great job.
You are so creative. I love how you can create such beautiful works of art in no time at all. Love them all!
This is me flying in to comment and have a break from tax returns. My desk is littered in little bits of paper. Bah.
Loving the new art work and I totally agree, perfection is for the birds, serendipity is where its art (genuine typo Freudian slip of the finger just spotted it). In school and art college, when washing paint down the sink I used to grab whatever paper came to hand, swish the paint and water about and make marbled paper and then print on it later. I loved screen printing. Oh the days when I had inky fingers. They will return.
Have a great day in the desert and if you see the sun, tell it to get a move on. We need it in the UK. Spectacular grey day today.
P.s. I love that your grandfather created gadgets! Ding, dong the mail has arrived, genius. Do you have an ironing board that drops down from the wall?
SAJ says: Why aren’t we neighbors! I want to screen print! No, I don’t have a drop down ironing board but I wish I did!
Melissa K. in Nebraska
Masterpieces! I bet Bug will cherish those someday when they become hers.
What a great idea!! You have such a good eye– it looks good with the stripes on the wall/ceiling, too! I had to zoom into the picture to see what Bug was doing down there! :D
SAJ says: Yeah, that’s here little dvd viewing station. :)
kj @ Where my boys at?
Very nice – I love both styles!
And I would love to have a bell ring when my mail’s in the box! :)
Megan (Best of Fates)
Your grandpa made wacky, useful inventions?
I love him already.
And I love the look of all the stripes of color – especially the blobs!
It all looks good and original art really pops a room but I have one suggestion. How about painting the paneling? It makes a helluva difference in a room…I’ve done it before in our old house and it just looked great and completely changed the overall feel of the room.
I haven’t even finished reading. I had to pause to comment on the gadget that lets you know when you have mail! That is GENIOUS!!! I want one.
K, back to the reading….
Love the paitings, my favorite is the bottom right. The colors just pop at me.
Have you tried hanging the green and brown painting with the green side down? I think it would go better with the desert sunrise picture better that way. I’d call it ‘Desert Oasis’. See the brown mountains and little green cactus plants?
Done! It does look like brown mountains and little green cactus plants! I’ll have to put a picture up later. :)
I LOVE the office wall art! I love that you were able to do it in minutes and love it!
I used to live in a mobile home. I did for 11 years. We ended up painting the wood paneling white. Other colors were introduced here and there. But I have a tip for you. You can usually go down to your local landfill, most of them have a hazardous waste area, usually they separate out the paints and put them in a shed. Take a stick for mixing and a paint can opener. I have found so many cans of good paint, stain, sealer etc. If you take multiple cans of white, they don’t have to be the exact same color, mix them all together in a 5 gallon bucket. You will have enough paint to cover that wood paneling if you so desire. They have tons of colors to choose from as well. happy hunting! and thanks for sharing!
SAJ says: I had no idea! Thank you for that tip! I’m thinking about painting but I’m not sure because I hope to move into a better place in six months to a year and I don’t want to invest too much time/money into this place. I don’t know. Everything is still so up in the air.
I love what you done with your place.. i agree it is very cozy… I do have a suggestion about the left over paint..
Get the cheap little spritz bottles from the dollar store and use the left over paint with some water like you did on the paintings and you have water color spritzers..
Another thing I just learned is you can do the same as above but add some mica powder and a little elmers glue and you have your very own glimmer mist that sells for a lot of money at the craft stores.. You can use it to accent all kinds of things..
Hope this give you some idea for all the left over paint..
Your Grandpa sounds awesome, I love funky things like that discovered yet undiscovered.
And your paintings are amazing, the stuff you come up with in seconds is unbelievable, I don’t even go near paint because I am so ‘need a straight line to be straight’.
I see your Ikea desk peeking out in the corner, looking forward to the creations that come from it!
SAJ says: I sketched your banner on it!
I love them! They totally brighten up the trailer walls. And I love that you let Bug do one – makes the wall extra special. :)
I love them, especially the dripping paint ones. Clever idea. What a cozy looking office.
Those paintings are so impressive. Your place looks warm, cozy, inviting, and quite luxurious. I’m so happy for your new beginnings and all you’ve accomplished already. Congrats!
I LOVE the stripes. I am a stripe-y kind of girl.
Everything looks wonderful in your new home office. Can you please share where you purchased the black cubby storage? I’ve been looking for some of those for our homeschool room. Thank you!
SAJ says: It’s the Ikea Expedit. I can’t recommend it enough. I love it and have recommended it to friends, they’ve bought it and loved it too! Also, they’re cheap.
Hi! I just stumbled onto your blog via OMSH. I’ve been sitting here for over an hour catching up & love your blog! I’d write more, but I need to remember that this is public lol.
Anyways, you are not alone & keep up the good work. Love, love, love it!!
What?! A gadget that let’s you know when there’s mail? I actually said, “what?!” so loud I startled Isabelle. I want one.