Since I don't have any new finds to share, I thought I'd back up a little. Lots of people have asked me about the painting above the sofa in my living room. It's a bit of a story. Yes, it was a thrifted find....sort of.
When I was planning the room, I knew I wanted a large, colorful piece of art for the wall over the sofa. I love art and have lots of framed pieces in storage, but I couldn't find exactly what I wanted for that space. I looked and looked, but came up short.
One day, in a local Goodwill, I spotted (from the back) a huge canvas with a big, chunky, patinated brass frame. When I approached it and saw the front, though, I was appalled. The frame and scale were perfect, but it was ugly. U-G-L-Y. I mean really, really bad. It was also $49.99!!! (What's up with the crazy pricing, Goodwill?!)
|(My favorite part is the oversized, doomsday sun.)|
I walked away that first day, but over the next week a plan to started to hatch. What if I primed over the hideous painting and painted something myself? Could I pull it off?
A week later, I went back to the GW. Unbeknownst to me, it was 50% off day! On the bright side, that made my painting a much more affordable $25; on the dark side, the store was packed to the gills, with checkout lines snaking down the aisles.
After a moment of hesitation, I snatched up the painting and got in line. There were at least 30 people ahead of me (sigh), but I was committed at that point. That's when the humiliation began.
First, let me be sure you understand the sheer size of this painting. I actually haven't measured it, but I know (from standing in line with it for over an hour) that it comes up to my armpits. And I'm tall! Here it is next to a door, for a scale reference:
You can probably guess that I was a bit "obtrusive" as I stood in line for 60 minutes with this thing. Countless people asked to see the painting. Many of them complimented it (???) and a few gave me inquisitive looks. One lady asked the price. When I told her, she scoffed and said, "Chiiiiild, get OUT!"
I finally made it to the register, only to have the cashier ooh and ahhh over this hideous painting, HOLD IT UP IN THE AIR to get a better look, and call one of her colleagues over to admire it. Yep.
Finally, I was free. I rushed the door as fast as humanly possible with an armpit-height painting in tow, when suddenly a woman yelled, "WAIT, painting lady, WAIT!" This customer ran over, exclamed that she was in love with my painting because she is "from Chicago" and misses it, and asked me if she could make me an offer. (Her offer: $10. Also? That is totally not Chicago.) Honestly, by the time I extracted myself from the store, wrestled this huge thing into my car and drove away, I was questioning my judgment.
Once home, I pretty quickly primed the canvas so I didn't have to look at the creepy cityscape any longer, then set it aside. It wasn't until two nights before my living room reveal photo session that I decided to tackle it any further.
Feeling inspired, I grabbed every last tube of acrylic craft paint I could find (I have quite a collection from previous DIY projects and such) and taped off the frame with a little frog tape. Lacking an easel, I set the monster frame on a kitchen chair, and basically went to town. I knew the general look I was going for, and had two key concepts in mind: abstract and colorful. Here's an in-process glimpse:
When I was finally done, I added a clear glaze, which gave it a nice sheen and texture.
I'm no de Kooning - I have no artistic technique whatsoever - but I think it turned out well, just in terms of decorative impact. And the great part is that the whole thing cost $25!
So there you have it: The story of my all-time most embarrassing thrift store purchase, now front and center in my living room!!!
How about you? Any embarrassing purchases you'd care to share? What do you think of my little painting makeover project?
Wishing everyone a wonderful week!
A Living Space
The Dedicated House