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.


  1. Jennifer says:

    I love them! I might have to "borrow" (copy) your idea! I have been wanting a large piece of art for the man cave and I think something like this might work. Think I'm going to go for fall colors though.

  2. David says:

    "Yes I look forward to many years of… looking at the triangles. Well, I'll ah, I'll wait for you outside."Looks good in thumbnail size, will get to see them up close before very long!

  3. Tim says:

    Jenn: Steal away. It's pretty easy and looks acceptable.David: Took me a bit to get the reference, but then it clicked. I always keep Junior Mints at home, for just such an occasion…

  4. David says:

    http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/04/look-whos-hanging-out-in-our-bathroom/Just had a deja vu moment. You had a lot of 2011 posts do go through to verify the connection!

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