Yesterday Dave and I started looking at rental houses. We went to one particular open house where the house had tons of wall space, including a great room with 20′ ceilings. The following conversation ensued with the real estate agent:
Me (to Dave): There is TONS of wall space. I could paint something really big for the living room!
Agent: Oh, are you an artist??
Me: Uh, not a “real” artist. But I like painting sometimes for fun.
I just can’t get behind thinking abstract art requires a “real” artist. I consider an artist someone with talent, and I just can’t understand calling someone who splatters paint on a canvas “talented.” (Sorry Jackson Pollock and Mikey Teutul). Does it really take talent to splatter paint on a canvas, or paint a couple boxes a la this piece on display at a New York art museum?
I don’t think so. Obviously this is just one girl’s opinion. Plenty of people think that splatter paint and simple lines are brilliant. That is why these things end up in museums and sell for kajillions of dollars. Don’t get me wrong, I think abstract paintings are interesting, and I love looking at them, I just don’t think they require a ton of talent. I think to myself, “Self, why should you pay a kajillion dollars for one of these fancy paintings, when you can paint one yourself for the cost of a $15 canvas?” It also helps that I am not the kind of person who would get jollies out of having expensive art pieces created by well known artists on my walls. I’m a simple girl.
So that’s what I do… I paint simple paintings myself when I have a piece of wall that says, “Hey, I could use a little sprucing up here.” It’s really simple. All you need is a canvas, some paint brushes, and perhaps a little inspiration. For one of my recent paintings, I used a picture Dave had taken of San Diego city lights at night. Dave had just bought an easel for me to encourage my painting, so I broke it in by painting something for him. First, I painted the top half of the canvas a super dark blue like the night sky. Then I painted the bottom a dark reddish tone that matched the bottom of the inspiration picture and let it dry. Then I came back with a bunch of different colors and just wooshed them around in the middle to look like a very loose interpretation of the city lights.
Below is a picture of the painting, and you can see a framed photo of the inspiration picture on the end table below. I love how it looks in the room. It replaced a print of a Picasso, and I think it looks so much nicer having a real painting there rather than a framed print.
I guess the only amount of skill involved here is remembering how to mix colors to get the colors and shades I want. I only own the primary colors + white and black. I am not a skilled painter. You should see the ornament I “painted” several years ago at a ladies event at my mom’s church. Awful. But I’ve got the hang of mixing colors and wooshing lines of paint around a canvas. I might even say I am really good at doing so 😉