Sunday, August 12, 2012

Amateur Abstract Art

I worked on my first DIY project in the new house a week or so ago and have been back and forth loving and hating it for the last week.  Tell me your honest thoughts.

First - let's start with the big picture - some living room dreaming:

via Pinterest (I think originally Lonny Mag, but now it's not linking?)

We now have a formal living room that is a pretty good size, but I'm still working on a tight allowance which means getting creative and thrifty.  I bought a very sentimental couch from my sweet aunt in December and then moved some other pieces from around Edenton Street into the living room to give the room a few pieces to start.  However, I didn't have much to donate to the living room walls and there is a huge wall behind the couch that needed something pretty massive.

Flipping through design magazines for the last year I kept finding myself drawn to formal living rooms with traditional furniture and a pop of modern art.  Then I started seeing art I loved on blogs and Pinterest and I realized what was drawing me to it was the beautiful colors.
Lindsay Cowles "Southern Moonlight"

Kristy Gammill "All You Need"

So I decided to give it a go.  Well, abstract art is harder than it looks.

Jerry's Artarama has the best and most reasonable supplies (Raleigh peeps-- it is in the shopping center where Trader Joe's is on Wake Forest).  Those huge bottles of paint were $4.99 - $8.99 -- sure beats $20 something for a small tube.  I knew I'd need a lot of acrylic paint for my 48" x 48" canvas.  All supplies for this project cost $125 -- not bad for a HUGE piece of art and I have tons of paint left for future projects.

I wanted to be able to mix the colors so I did a lot of rinsing my brushes in my water cup and quick painting. This whole project didn't take too much longer than an hour or so.

While I was looking at the canvas, deciding what to do next...someone came over and stuck her snout in paint.

About this time Josh came home and informed me he wasn't crazy about modern art -- he prefers landscapes. :) 

Lots of bright colors!

Here it is resting above the couch (which by the way, is greener in person).  I want to have it framed in simple gold frame if I keep it in the living room.

I knew I'd need a few other bright pieces to pull this room together.  Then while at AB this weekend Jean and I found this pillow.  Do you think even with all the colors it is still dressy?

View from kitchen/den

Wish list / inspiration board (some of these are quite pricey, so I'm searching for "look for less") to freshen up the room without adding too much more color:

Links: 1 2 3 4 5

Ok - honest feedback?  Have I totally lost it?



  1. I am totally loving your abstract!!! You did an awesome job! I can promise you it looks a lot better than the one I attempted for our guest room a few months will be getting painted over eventually! :) Yours is such a great pop of color!!

    1. Thanks, Paige. Robert told me he met you and said your new venture is going to be awesome. Can't wait to find out more.

    2. wait...really?? i'm drawing a total mind you know where at?

  2. Honestly, I love it. I love the pillow as well, and don't think it is too formal. The colors are fabulous.

  3. I LOVE it! I need to do this because I can't find a painting/picture I like for our living room!

  4. Less is more in abstract art.

    Start with black and white and then no more than three other colors.

    Know the difference between your cool and warm colors.

    Paint as large as you can afford to.
    Use good paint. You don't have to buy the professional stuff but at least a good quality student paint is good for starters. Galeria and Liquitex basics are my favorites.

    Learn basic formats and paint those, You will have a stronger painting in the end.