This is not exactly what I had in mind.

When my husband is away, I like to surprise him by accomplishing household tasks I’ve been avoiding but not mentioning.  Not every time, because that would ruin the element of surprise.  Just sometimes.

Since he was away this week, I listed the dining set on craigslist, but nobody bought it.  So I decided yesterday afternoon to paint the canvases I’d bought a year ago.

I don’t know anything about painting, but acrylic craft paint was on sale 3/$1, so I bought $2 worth of blues and a yellow.  I had the vague idea that I could paint big splotchedy stripes of blues which would somehow look like water.  Or sky.  Or both.

So I spent way too long looking at paint under fluorescent lights, wondering if they’d look at all similar in my basement, getting annoyed with how indecisive I was, and finally just buying the ones that caught my eye.

Once home, I slapped them on the canvas.

Craft Fail:  DIY Ocean Abstracts

I wish they actually looked like this, but they are much more lurid in person.

As I went along, I realized that I should have listened to my artist friend Lillian.  Quality matters.  The paint brushes I was using were shedding, sprinkling the canvas with what looked like eyelashes. Hundreds of eyelashes.

Also, one of the canvases warped like a cookie tray in a hot oven as I was painting.  I thought it would flatten back out when the paint dried, but it didn’t.  This is what you get for $6.

If you think brush lashes can be easily wiped up, you are wrong.  The paint comes up, but the lash stays put.  I used tweezers to remove the larger, more noticeable ones, and decided the rest added texture.  I’m not a perfectionist.

Which is good, because I swear, these blues looked totally different when they were horizontal on a table.  Or maybe they looked different when wet, because they were not this lurid when I was plucking the lashes off them.

I was aiming for peaceful and soothing, and this is not it.

Craft Fail!  Ocean Abstracts

This gives a better idea of how insanely bright the “art” is.

This might be more of a surprise than I intended for my husband.  More surprising than coming home and finding no place to sit down and eat your dinner.

The wall also looks slightly purple behind them in comparison.  What bothers me most is that my theory that all blues look fine together has totally fallen apart.

What should I do?  I’m debating starting over or trying to fix them.  Could they be fixed?  What if I tried to tone them down by painting over them with watered down white?  Or tinting modpodge for a glaze – the reverse of cleaning the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, when we discovered how vivid and bright the colours were under the years of grime?

I think years of grime would improve this Craft Fail.

I did line them up nicely on the wall, though.  I’m not totally inept, even if I wasted $14.

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4 thoughts on “This is not exactly what I had in mind.

  1. They really look like water. I have had the same experience with the brushes. Sometimes I get dog hair in my painting too. It is very maddening! The good thing about acrylics is you can paint right over them (the paint and the lashes/hair), if you want to. I think they look good over your couch. I think the yellow on the sides is a smart move. it makes the blue glow a bit. I have had the warping happen too. Sometimes it helps to paint the back because then is straightens out by warping in the other direction. Although, with more drying they may flatten out again. Anyway, this does not look like a fail to me at all!

    • Well, I already painted over them. They really looked much more lurid in person, and I sit too close to them for that. I’ll share the new versions later, or tomorrow, when they dry. I don’t think they look as ocean-y, but maybe when they are vertical they will.

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