Thursday, October 15, 2015

Upcycled Canvas

A friend of mine recently painted her downstairs area. It includes her kitchen, dining room, living room and office area. The only room that did not get the paint brush was the bathroom but I think she has plans for that. She asked my opinion on a color scheme. I 'm always surprised and humbled when others ask for my opinion. This is their home! What if they hate my ideas? What if I choose the wrong thing? My friend is what I would call more of a free spirit. You know, the one who can wear pink and orange or polka dots and stripes together and it always works. She can rock a pair of Little Miss Matched socks like a star!  If I tried it I would look like a clown or an elderly lady clearly off her medications.

What we ended up with was something calm and subdued. We worked together to come up with a color scheme that would work well with her existing kitchen cabinetry, painted in a sage green, and existing furniture. Her downstairs is all open space, no doors except for the bathroom, so colors had to work together and you know me...one color is not enough. We chose a warm cream for the longest wall, a dusty blue for the staircase walls and a few shades darker for the small wall the cabinets abut. Very restful, airy and beachy!

Love the rug but it is not fitting in with the design plan so she is hunting for a replacement.





My friend loves the beach (any wonder we're friends?) and she loves the Lord which makes her more than friend; she is my sister. These two things worked in tandem to bring about today's post.

She had a large, 4'x4', stretched canvas with a picture of a big vase of red poppies. You know the ones at Home Goods, ect, just printed on canvas. The piece was dark and was not going to work in the new space. I think she got it for free or at a yard sale. It had a burn mark in it but the overall darkness of the art work allowed the mark to be kind of hidden. As I said, it was a large piece and to find something equally big to take up the space could be an expensive challenge but neither of us is about expensive and so I said, "Paint it!" (Anybody who knows me has heard that phrase come out of my mouth more than once.)


She is a hoot and always a great sport. "YOU can paint it", she said. Really! Excitement and fear intermingled instantaneously. I had no clue what I was getting myself into but my friend was trusting me. I have never painted anything like that before but I was excited for the challenge. How bad could it be?! She wasn't worried because she was just going to get rid of it anyway. No pressure. Right!

We decided on an ocean scene with Scripture.  I used some of the left over wall colors to try to make sure that it fit into the new decor. I also added some darker blue and some green.

I watched a couple youtube videos and took paintbrush in hand. I painted on a primer/base coat to cover the old image. Mentally, I divided my canvas into thirds; sky, water, and sand. I sprayed the canvas area I would work on first with water. It helps your paint to move easier over a dry canvas.

First, I painted the sky. I used the warm white, and two blues that my friend had used on her walls. I loaded my brush with white on one edge and the light blue on the other. I went to the canvas and painted it on in sweeping motions and overlapping my strokes. More white, light blue and a touch of the darker and back to the canvas, making sure to paint around the edges as it is a wrapped canvas that will not be framed.


You can see the damaged spot well in the photo. How am I going to disguise that?!

The bottom three colors are taken from her rooms. They look gray but are shades of blue.

Second, the ocean. I needed a strong horizon line and used some darker blue paint from my stash. I sprayed the canvas again (only below the skyline as your paint will run). Drawing more from Mister's and my vacation to Bermuda than a New England coastal scene, I added turquoises and an acidic green. I added the colors to the canvas in the same fashion as the sky.

It was getting there but I was not happy with the sky/water line. 
I knew I did not want a straight shore line so I pretended the water was coming up to shore and just tried to give it a more organic feel.

Third, I turned the canvas upside down and painted the sand. I used white from the walls, brown, tan, yellow and a little burnt umber. I sprayed the area with a little water. Again, in sweeping, overlapping strokes I made the sand appear on the canvas. I painted with a light hand over the water where it met with the shore as I had read that was how to achieve a sandy bottom look. It worked!


Now the hard part was painting the waves. That took several tries. I used the white again and some floating medium. What I ended up doing was using a technique I had learned watching Donna Dewberry (remember her?). I loaded half of my artist brush with floating medium and half with the white paint. I worked in well to the brush; back and forth on my pallet and the reloaded and went the the canvas. This time I put the brush down and just ever-so-slightly wiggled the bristles in a fashion to make it look like a wave breaking or foam...or something close to it....

Not perfect but what do you want from a wannabe?
Okay, I did tweak the water line and some of the waves. Then I did it again.....and again.....and again. I was making myself nuts and then God thumped me. (Does he do that to anyone else?) We want this to have Scripture on it! I am not the star of the show. My abilities/inabilities are not what this piece is really about. It is about God! A load of pressure went flying off my shoulders and I felt like Christian from Pilgrim's Progress when his pack fell off.

I printed the verse she had settled on in a font I thought pretty. I cut it into strips and I laid them out in a pattern that I had measured and thought was appealing. I rubbed chalk over the back of a strip and carefully laid it onto the canvas. I traced over each letter on the strip, removed it and moved onto the next strip. When I had finished I used my Sharpie to fill in the chalk outlined letters.



And there they were, the words of God became the center of what this was all about and a good reminder to me to not think more of myself than I ought. After all, where was I when He formed the earth? Suddenly, I had a new understanding of and sympathy for Job. Who set the boundries of the sea? Who owns store houses laden with snow? Can I change one hair on my head? Of course, all of these are rhetorical questions. Why do I worry?





Is it perfect? No. Do I see things I could do differently? Yes.

My friend was thrilled. If she sees the imperfections she is far too gracious to say. I wanted to be a blessing to my friend and yet in all this it was I that received the blessing and God was exalted. And once again the Lord has shown me, through something that was bound for destruction and the garbage heap, that only He can give beauty for ashes.

May your day be filled with many blessings and much joy.

Linking up to these parties!

French Country Cottage,The Shabby Nest,Chic On A Shoestring,Craft Dictator,WhipperberryRemodelaholic,Just Us Four,The Cottage Market,The DIY VillageDIY Vintage Chic,Blooming Homestead,The Girl Creative,Craft-O-Maniac,Satisfaction Through Christ,Missional Women, Shabby Art Boutique, Shoestring Elegance, A Tray of Bliss, The Dedicated HousePieced Pastimes , Funky Junk Interiors, One More Time EventsNifty Thrifty ThingsDIY ShowoffDwellings-The Heart of Your HomeFinding Silver PenniesThoughts From AliceInside The Fox Den (My Pinterventures), Cedar Hill FarmhouseCoastal CharmSew Can DoFlamingo ToesI Should Be Mopping The FloorsSkip to My LouCupcakes and CrinolineHome Stories A to ZHuckleberry LoveMy Uncommon Slice of Surburbia, Domestically SpeakingSand and SisalVMG206Creatively LivingPlucky's Second ThoughtThe Dedicated HouseKaren's Up On The HillCreate With JoyMad In CraftsCarrie This HomeThe Crafty Blog StalkerBetween Naps On The PorchStrangers and Pilgrims On EarthYes They Are All OursA Stroll Thru Life,  Our Home Away From HomeElizabeth & Co., DIY Dreamer,  Bowl Full of LemonsCozy Little HouseJust A Girl And Her Blog, Time Warp Wife, A Spirit of Simplicity, 11 Magnolia Lane, Pink When, Little Miss Celebration, Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons, Reasons To Skip The HouseworkImparting GraceLambert's LatelyGrace and Good EatsToo Much Time On My HandsAKA DesignThe Charm Of HomeLife With LorelaiCommon GroundFrom My Front Porch To Yours,My Flagstaff HomeJoyful HomemakingHave A Daily Cup Of Mrs. OlsonCrafts ala ModeBlesser HouseMust Love HomePin JunkieA Delightsome LifeCraftberry BushSnazzy Little ThingsMy Repurposed Life, Up To Date Interiors, A Vision To Remember, Katherine's Corner

34 comments:

  1. It looks great!! A momentous improvement from the stamp art that it was before. The colors are beautiful, it is a beach scene, it has scripture on it, it brightens up the whole room and it is a personal gift from you. Of course it touches her heart, it would touch anyone's heart. Bravo to you for having the nerve to go ahead and do this for your friend. Love it!!!

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    1. Mary, I am so glad for your visit with me. Your words are so very kind. Thank you for your graciousness towards me. It is a blessing-to be sure!

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  2. Love it! What a great way to repurpose! Thanks for inspiring!

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  3. Thank you for visiting with me, Lauree!

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  4. What a great eyecatcher :) Thanks for linking up to the Home Matters Party with you! #HomeMattersParty Hope to see you next week. http://lauraslittlehousetips.com/home-matters-linky-party-59/

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  5. These are such great ideas! How fun!

    Thanks for joining Cooking and Crafting with J & J!

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    1. Thanks for hosting the party, Jessica! So glad you stopped by!

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  6. Jolena, how very very special. How could your friend fail to be thrilled. That is memorable indeed. I'm so glad you shared this at Five Star Frou-Frou this week. Love Mimi xxx

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    1. Hi Mimi! I am delighted that you dropped by! Thank you for the kind words and encouragement.

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  7. Wow Jolena,
    I am amazed at how beautiful the painting came out! You did a great job.
    Thanks for sharing this at Cooking and Crafting with J&J.
    We can't wait to see what you share with us next time!

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    1. Hi Julie, I am glad you visited with me today. I am working on projects around the house so there is plenty to write about lately. Hope you can drop by again soon!

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  8. Wow! I think it came out wonderful and it is perfect for that spot

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  9. Wonderful that you just decided to jump in and paint. It's beautiful and I like the text you included. It looks great in that spot where you put it.

    Here's wishing you many more joyrides in a paintbox!
    Brenda


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    1. Hi Brenda! I am so glad you stopped over. Thanks for the kind words.

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    1. Thanks for spending time with me, Denise!

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  11. Oh my goodness. This is wonderful! You are talented and what a lovely piece of art and such a beautiful post. I am so glad you shared it at the Pretty Preppy Party! XO, Amy

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    1. Hi Amy! So glad you could spend some time with me. God has been abundantly gracious to me in affording me time to pursue things like this. Your kind words are a blessing. Thanks for hosting the party!

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  12. What a neat idea! Thank you for sharing this on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

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    1. Thanks for the visit and hosting the party!

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  13. Awesome! Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for being a part of our party! I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. We love partying with you! Lou Lou Girls

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    1. Yay! Thank you, Kimberly. So glad for you visit and for hosting th

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    2. ...oops. Thanks for hosting the party.

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  14. Wow, it really is a big canvas. I think you did an amazing job! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. Thanks, Jann and thanks for spending time with me today.

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  15. I always enjoy your posts so much. You're so creative. Thanks for sharing at My Flagstaff Home!

    Jennifer

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    1. Aww, thank you for your kindness, Jennifer. I am always glad for your visits.

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  16. That is brilliant! Just beautiful! Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

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    1. Thank you and thanks for visiting with me!

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  17. Love recycling canvas. You did a great job and love the typography you added. So sweet this was for a friend. Thanks for sharing at The Creative Circle.

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    1. Hi Kathy,
      Thanks for dropping in and for your lovely words. I love seeing your link-up each week! Thank you for hosting the party.

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