What do you do when you need an 8ft by 7ft painting for your foyer? You paint an abstract painting on a DIY giant canvas!
A few years back I decided to give my small foyer a little update. One of the updates I dreamed up was a giant piece of art that would welcome guests from the foyer to the living room. A piece big enough to be seen from upstairs and while sitting in the dining room. Great idea except… the cost. So, creativity stepped in and I decided to paint an abstract painting on a DIY giant canvas.
First, I decided that the painting needed to be 8ft x 7ft. Then the hubs and I built and stretched the canvas. How did we accomplish making a giant canvas to paint on? You can read about the canvas here. Once the canvas was ready, I laid it on a couple of folding tables.
I stared at it.
I stared at it for a long time.
I wasn’t sure what or how I was going to paint something this large. My mind began to wander… it went to the month of August and September when we were dealing with Hurricane Harvey along with everyone else in the Houston area. Horrific flooding and folks who lost so so much. We had a tiny share of loss when compared to those who lost their entire homes and family members.
I thought back to the day that we were allowed to return home to our street and the immediate action to go help others.
My husband and son went to muck out houses and I help run our church’s emergency supply room. Along with some of the most amazing friends, we loaded up our church volunteer crews each day to go out with addresses and supplies to help those in need and we prepped buckets of supplies to help those in need who came to the church.
One lady, in particular, came in and was clearly at her breaking point. She began to share the need then tears started streaming down her face. I did the only thing I knew to do… I just hugged her and told her I was sorry she was going through this. She melted into a puddle of tears and then I just prayed over her. Through her sobs, she shared her story and we filled her car with everything we could to help her and her neighbors.
These thoughts were overwhelming my soul and I knew what I had to paint.
So I began by throwing on a bit of white to represent the clouds.
and no, I didn’t start with a primed canvas. I probably should have but I just decided to go for it.
Then I started to paint the ground and water. I threw a little green up in the skies to represent the tornados that ransacked our neighborhood.
Next, I began blending and layering deeper blues and greens as the emotions ran. To create more depth, I just use a paper towel to drag and pull the color off… I know me and my expensive tools. HA!
I continued layering color. I made an “oops” and with the abstract style painting – it’s ok because I will make it work. Life is kinda that way too, we make a few “oops”, we make them work, and sometimes things that were “oops” lead us to the most beautiful places.
Starting to see the picture a little more now – let’s keep going.
What paints did I use to make the abstract painting?
I used acrylic craft paints. Some I used full strength and some I watered slightly so I could layer the color better.
In every situation, we are told to look for the silver lining. In my case, I changed it to a gold lining by adding a bit of gold leaf to my artwork and a little bit of pearlized paint in the clouds. Because there is always hope and what we learned through this horrendous storm as individuals, as a community, as a city… we are stronger together.
This big reminder graced our foyer until we moved and now it hangs in a new location in our new home. It makes me smile of the good that came through, it makes me pray for the families who lost loved ones, it makes me grateful that I could be a part of a community that pulled together and that can happen anywhere we allow it to. We are all stronger together.
We still need to secure the lower corners so the painting will be flush with the wall. But I love that I can see it anywhere in the house.
So, grab a bunch of craft paints, a roll of paper towels, a couple of brushes, and let it flow.
Keep creating “Home” my friends,
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