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Finding Your Inner Picasso (or how several mishaps can lead to something awesome)

July 20, 2010

I have already professed my love for all things Pottery Barn previously on this blog.  I LOVE their products; my wallet hates them.  The only thing worse about Pottery Barn than the outrageous prices is when they feature awesome things that aren’t even for sale.  Ugh!  Here is an example:   


Notice that awesome clock in the background…not for sale.  Well, I was convinced I could make something similar.  I was wrong.  It was a complete fail.  Afterwards, I was left with a 36″ by 36″ plywood disappointment.  **Please ignore the incredibly messy kitchen in the background.   


Around the same time, I had the bright idea that I could reupholster a piece of furniture using drop cloths.  Remember how I teased you about an upcoming drop cloth project in this post.  I found someone giving away an old chair on craigslist, so I forced convinced hubby to go with me to pick it up one day.  Eventually I found my lovely leather chair instead, and my grand plans disappeared.   

That left me with an extra piece of wood and a canvas drop cloth.   

The next step in the never-ending saga of missteps was happening upon this picture one day while reading Centsational Girl.   

Image courtesy of Coastal Living


The first thing I noticed about this room was the painting in the background.  I knew in an instant that I could totally make that.  Better yet, I already had all of the materials on hand for the project.  So, one afternoon I sat down with my 36″ by 36″ board, my canvas drop cloth, some leftover paint, paint brushes and a staple gun.  I wrapped the plywood with the canvas and secured it with some staples.  Then I set about painting.  That’s when I learned a valuable lesson.  Canvas drop cloths are for catching paint spills, not for painting on.  In fact, they absorb paint.  It was absolutely impossible to paint on the canvas in any sort of uniform way like shown in the painting above.  For those keeping score at home, this is fail number two in this story.   

I was frustrated, to say the least.  Edward was napping, Eric was mowing and I was cursing under my breath.  In the great tradition of my father, I blew off some of my steam by losing my temper and chucking the paint brush across the canvas.  And I realized something…I sort of liked the messy look that resulted.  So I played, and played, and played some more until at last I had a look I loved.    

Here it is:   



I loved the painting when it was laying on my kitchen floor.  But, I loved it even more once we got it hung.  It is amazing how hanging something on the wall instantly elevates it to art, even if it isn’t actually.   

So, I am going to jump on my high horse and give you the moral of this story.  We all make decorating mistakes, but sometimes that series of mistakes can add up to a win.  And, anyone can make art people!  Believe me, I have NO artistic ability.  But playing with 3 paint colors for half an hour resulted in something pretty awesome IMHO.  Best of all, I feel really proud every time I walk into our living room and see something I made.  So come one and take the Picasso plunge.   

Okay, preaching is over.  I promise to go back to ideas without morals tomorrow.   

~  Anne

4 Comments leave one →
  1. steven permalink
    July 20, 2010 10:11 am

    Honestly, that looks pretty darn good.

  2. Keryl permalink
    July 20, 2010 11:09 am

    You do so have artistic ability! What you don’t have is as much confidence about your talents as you should. 😛

  3. Lily permalink
    July 20, 2010 9:07 pm

    I really like it. I think you just found yourself a side job.

  4. kiki permalink
    March 16, 2012 10:37 pm

    I just found this a few years later than when you posted. You really need to reevaluate your artistic expectation. While you are striving for one thing and you think you aren’t getting it, but instead you are creating things that are amazingly artistic and beautiful. I love the free flowing creative and nonlinear look to your work. I love the clock!!! You could finish it and sell it. It might not be what you were expecting, but it’s one of those happy accidents. 🙂

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