How To Paint if You Are Not An Artist


I'm not an artist.  At least, I've never claimed that label.  I'm creative, but I can't draw.  I can slap paint on a canvas but it's not a da Vinci.  I'm slowly learning that art can be created whether you have the talent to draw a perfect figure or not.  It's called mixed media collage!

Take this quote, for example.  Mary Oliver hit it on the head when she wrote these very basic life instructions.  I need to see these words everyday and a post-it note is not going to cut it. 

I need something bigger.  I need a paint project.  In comes the $5 canvas. 

I picked up this canvas at an estate sale about six years ago with the intention of painting over it.  I have no idea who Carlson is, the colors are ugly, and I'm really hoping this isn't a piece of art worth thousands like the woman that bought an original Picasso painting at a garage sale for $2.  However, it is the perfect size for my project.

I started with the frame. Then, I applied a base coat of light gray to cover the yellow, green, and white.  Next, I applied 3" vinyl letters (thanks to this idea) to spell out the poem.  Then I went to town and added pieces of old paper, maps, washi tape, and other odd bits in different shapes.

Then I added more paint.  I chose the color palette because this piece will be hanging in our bedroom and we have several blue maps on the wall as well so I wanted it to balance. I mixed, blended, wiped paint off with a rag, used water, stamps, and stencils.  Before it was dry I pulled off the letters, exposing the paint underneath.  As suspected, there was a little paint that bled under the vinyl in the process so the letters are not as precise as I would have liked them.
















































All in all, it's not bad for someone that isn't an artist.  I can't decide if it's finished or not.  I can always go back and paint over the letters with a brush to clean them up, but there is something about the mess that I like.  As I was hanging it, I noticed the words "tell about it" popped off the canvas.  Though not intentional, the message is clear.  It's as if that is the instruction I need most to hear. 

Anyway, it's above the dresser now and these words are what I read when I first open my eyes in the morning. 

What do you think?  Is it finished or I could I add something?  I'd love to hear your thoughts.