Tim Foolery

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Guest Room Art #4

Saturday morning — and I’m done…well, mostly done. I have to paint the edges of the canvases again to hide any drips that may have occurred. I’m even done 3 days ahead of schedule. I must admit, this project did get more enjoyable as time went on. I think one of the reasons I do not like art projects is because I have a hard time executing them. I know what I want in my head, but when I finish the project it doesn’t look like I thought it would — which equals a major failure or total disappointment. I am very critical of myself (as well as everyone else).
This is a picture heavy post — and you can click to enlarge the picture. Here is what I started with. You know from previous posts that I had these canvases since 2003 and I painted them three different shades of brown to tie our first apartment together (our = Tim and Nate). I liked this for my past three homes, but not so much for my current place. So I tried a couple techniques to add color and texture — I hated it, so the canvases have lived in the closet since we moved in.

I started by painting the entire canvas white — well, I started by painting the entire canvas clear, because the less than competent man at the Home Depot, THEN I moved on and painted the canvases white. Some of the red paint still bled through, but I didn’t worry about it because I knew the final paint would cover any red/blue/yellow hints. I then used blue painters tape (delicate tape, not the heavy duty stuff, because I was afraid it would damage the paint on the canvas). I decided to create verticals that were one inch thick — my tape is 2″ thick, so It would take three passes to paint the entire canvas.

The plan was to my add right angles through out the verticals, which is where the color changes would happen. I used a post card to ensure proper right angles and to give me a preview of how the groupings would work together. And yes, that is a 25′ Coast to Coast tape measure. Does Coast to Coast still exist? I remember it was on Bridge Street in Sheridan (I think), but I don’t remember exactly where it was — any help?

I used three paint colors : Embellish Blue, Tropical Waters and Thermal Spring — along with a Pure White Base. These three colors were mixed in various quantities to make many different shades. I tried to mix different shades (stark) and slight blends next to each other.

After the first coat of paint dried, I removed the tape and viola! I didn’t hate it. I like the white space, but that’s not part of the vision (you’ll see my inspiration at the bottom of the post). I then taped over the painted piece and a portion of the unpainted/white stripes. Then repainted using the same colors — the interesting part, since I taped over the part I already painted, I didn’t know what colors were down there — so I went in blind…this meant I could have painted the exact same color in two separate verticals — unlikely since I’m mixing my own colors, but it was a possibility.

I continue this process on both canvases, taping, painting, moving tape and painting again. Here is the final product:

You can see the canvas on the left has more darker colors, which I’m not 100% sure I liked when I was doing it, and I used the dark color much less on the second canvas. The first canvas is definitely much more linear — the second canvas has a section where I opted to break the mold and go a bit more freehand on one side.
Below you can see a close up of how the colors blend and the imperfections of the lines. You’ll notice (below) that the inspiration piece appears to have stark lines between the verticals — no bleed over — it looks too perfect, too computer generated I think. It’s interesting that I say it like that because I’m much more of a “want it perfect” kinda of guy. After looking at the inspiration piece after I’m done, I think it is missing some character (or is that me just trying to rationalize my work??).

As I was working on this project, I was all over the spectrum on how I felt about the art. I started out with high expectations, then felt it looked like shit, then after removing the first batch of tape, I liked it. I then felt that one of the canvases looked sloppy and not too much like the other one — like I rushed one. One think I did keep in mind was that it’s just canvas and paint. If I don’t like it, I can repaint it — Even the Mona Lisa is on a reclaimed/repainted canvas. It just takes a bit of time, right?
The total cost of the projects:
Two 24″x30″ Canvases : Free. Well, I didn’t pay any more for them as I had them for years
Six 8oz sample containers of paint a $2.94 each (one of which is useless, thanks Home Depot)
One roll 2″ Painters Tape: $6.63
One 1″ Paint Brush: $5.97
One Set of 4 children’s paint brushes $2.14
Tax: $3.16
Total: $35.54
Now, that all the details are out of the way — here is my inspiration piece.
What are your thoughts on this project? I want honest opinions, I’ve already spanned the spectrum of love and hate — I trust the people who read this blog to tell me the truth — otherwise I’ll punch them in the neck.

Guestroom Art #4

Last night I started on my second canvas. I am using painters tape to ensure straight veritcle lines, and since the tape is 2", I must do three separate passes to get all of my verticles painted (each verticle is an inch wide).  The fisrt canvas has one more pas and the second has two more. I should be done by Monday, as originally planned.

I am getting quicker with the painting, the mixing of colors and the blending of verticles on the canvas.

More enjoyable, but not fun, yet.

Guest Room Art #3

Well, I’m not going to say that painting (either art or walls) soothes me. It sure as shit doesn’t. I’m about half done with one of these canvases. I don’t have a steady hand, so I opted to use tape to ensure a straight line and the corner of a note pad to make chevrons where the colors change. I’ve done 8 strands of color (three colors plus a white to dilute and make new colors) on a 24″x36″ canvas (vertically oriented). The paint should be fully dried tonight, but I will hold off to remove the tape tomorrow…hopefully the paints didn’t bleed onto the white, outside of the designated areas. Tomorrow I will remove the tape and reapply over the areas I painted today, so I can paint the new lines. It might look good not fully painted too…who knows.

Then once this one canvas is done, I’ll start anew on the second canvas. My idea of getting this done by Monday is a little too aggressive. I hope to have this project completed by NEXT weekend. I hope it doesn’t suck.
Just to reiterate this fact — Painting does not relax me.

Guest Room Art #2

After a very disappointing start yesterday, I had some of the wind knocked out of my sails after that less than qualified help at the Home Depot. I head back to the HD today and find another paint lackey standing about. This was the same girl who loudly told me that Behr never made “Light Olive”, even though I had a good portion of my house painted in this color just a couple years ago. Idiot.

I explained what happened yesterday, how her colleague inadvertently gave me the wrong white paint. Of course this was my fault, she explained. He’s a professional, she continued and if I had been more clear I wouldn’t be in this situation — oh and don’t forget I don’t get my money back. What a bitch.
So I hurry home and begin painting — the white actually works. It’s not just a clear coat. I put two coats on each of the canvases and it’s about 95% covered now. I’ll probably put on another coat of white then start to pencil in the design and if all goes well start to add the color tomorrow. How frustrating that a couple errors from HD would really derail my enthusiasm for this project.
My goal is to have this art piece completed by the end of the holiday weekend.

Guest Room Art

So, thanks to JDE, I’ve been reading this blog called Young House Love. I won’t tell you the details but, it is interesting, even if it does take a while to get into it. As you all know I’m working on updating the decor in my guest room. I have a couple photo projects that I’m working on now, which I’m totally digging — but I’ve wanted to do some sort of painting…a one of a kind Tim original.

I created a couple of simple linear multi-tonal brown canvases years ago. It worked well in my first building and I’ve used them at the next two apartments. I wanted to switch it up a bit for my new house — I wanted to had a bit of color and some three dimensionality as well. I got some new paints and started to dabble with colors and techniques. It couldn’t get it to look like I wanted. I basically wanted a thick slathering of paint in abstract sweeps. Didn’t turn out that way. So I put the canvases in the closet waiting for a future project.
I found a project on YHL that I really liked and that I think would look pretty cool in my guest room. I decided to pop down to Home Depot today to get some sample paints (which would be enough to do the entire art project). The first thing I needed to do was to cover the brown and primary colors with a crisp clean white — need to start fresh. So I picked out my three colors (blue/greens) and asked for a pure bold white to use as my primer, if you will. The home depot guy gave me my four paint testers (3 blue/green and 1 white) and I head home, full of excitement. I figured by the end of the night I could have both canvases painted white, allowing them to try until tomorrow when I could start the second part of the project.
I start painting and it looks like shit. The pure white paint is going on like a bad white wash. I add another coat and it looks slightly better. Well, come to find out, the Home Depot guy gave me a base tint and not pure white paint. The tester only cost $2.94 plus tax, so it’s not about the money, it’s about the time, effort and then doing it all over again. I’m quite frustrated, but am still confident that this project will be a good thing for the guest room.
I’ll try to hit Home Depot again tomorrow and try this again. How frustrating, eh?
Oh, and I will be showing before and after photos for this project, but I don’t think I’ll show them until the final piece is done…
Wish me luck.