Friday, September 14, 2012

Let's Get Crafty!

You didn't think this blog would just be about cooking, did you?  I'll forgive you, if you did, since my blog title is kind of misleading.  But let me tell you, friends, I don't just "cook" in the kitchen!  ;-)

I used to be quite crafty, leaning more toward the "arts" side than "crafts," if truth be told.  I used to make my own cards with original artwork, as well as decorate wrapping paper, etc.  I really enjoy the creative process, whether it's art, or baking, or writing.  And then I had kids...

Don't get me wrong; I really love my boys and wouldn't trade them for the world.  They ARE my world, but I just haven't had the time or inclination to spend hours working on a project, not to mention getting all my stuff out, just to fend off little hands from grabbing at everything.  My kids didn't nap very well, so using that hour (no 3 hour naps in this house, ever) went to cleaning or sleeping.

Aaanywhoooo, it's taken me a while to get back into this crafting thing, but consider me back on the arts and crafts bandwagon!

I am notoriously indecisive when it comes to choosing paint color and will think about it for weeks, trying 5, 6, 7 different colors before I finally settle on one.  Which means I usually have a bunch of those little paint sample bottles lying around.    I also happened to have two canvases I bought a long time ago, intending to do a painting of lavender fields, but that wasn't about to happen at this point, so I got this idea of using the paint samples I had left over from painting the master bath and bedroom, which were all similar in tone and hue (grays, creams, lavenders) to paint those canvases.

Now, I didn't have time to do something really fancy and perfect, but I've always enjoyed the energy of Jackson Pollack's works, not that these come anywhere close to his genius.  The technique, however, is easy enough for anyone to try, so if you've been looking to add some original art to your space, give this a try!

First, you need canvases (or just one canvas, depending on how big the space is that you want to fill) and paint.  Before I started painting, I took eight tacks and put them in the back of the frames. I saw this idea on Pinterest so that the canvases didn't stick to whatever they were lying on.  This worked really well!

I painted the background of both canvases the same color I used for our bedroom wall color, with the intention of the background just fading to the wall so you would focus on the the movement of the other colors on the canvas.

Now comes the easy part.  Once the canvas(es) have dried, just start dribbling and spattering the paint around.  Because I wanted them to look like a diptych, with both halves looking like they went together, I set the canvases close to each other and scattered the paint as if they were one canvas.

If you wanted to get the patterns really dense (more like Pollock's work), you could do this over the course of a few days, adding layer upon layer, but I was impatient, so I stuck with my first try and let it go.  With some of the thicker splotches, it took some time for the paint to dry, but you want to be sure everything is completely dry before you handle the canvases or tilt them up, otherwise they will start dripping (unless you want it to look like that, which is a totally legitimate method, as well).

In order to hang the canvases, I had to add some hardware on the back.  Depending on how big the canvases are, you can do the hooks and wire like I did, or you can nail in the saw-tooth kind of hanger just at the top.

To make sure I had the hooks in evenly, I put the first one in, then measured from the top for the other ones.  The directions say you should put the eyes no more than 1/3 of the way down from the top of the canvas.

And, voila!  Original pieces of art to hang in your home. It's always fun to see something in your house that you can say, "I made that!", with a hint of pride in your voice (or at least inside your head, which is where a lot of my conversations take place).


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