Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

October 14, 2015

DIY Abstract Art for the Bedroom

DIY Abstract Art
DIY Abstract

Recently I chatted about wanting to take more time to craft and create, to help work through my grief.  Working in the only room I could possibly call a "studio" (a.k.a. "the fish room" on the lakehouse tour) was a bit counterproductive because it's so dreary and dirty in its current state, so I pushed the dining room furniture out of the way and dragged my easel inside.

It was a good move!  For my first painting, I faced the lake and it was just so calming to dab on paint and watch the water.  It was so peaceful - almost meditative - that I ended up painting two paintings, which I hung on either side of our headboard.

I've always wanted art flanking the headboard - in fact, I originally bought two of my vintage posters (the gal with the tweed and the fellas with hats) to hang above each bedside table but because the lamps block whatever art we hang above the nightstands, it just didn't look right.  I like them so much better as a trio above the dresser.

1960s Fashion Posters Framed as Art

But I don't mind covering up my own art - I like the layered look.  I didn't want anything that would compete with the posters, and I was also trying to tie in some of the blues from the living/dining room, so I ended up creating two soft, airy paintings that pull together the greens and blues from the poster art and the rest of the home.  I added a soft layer of pale yellow, just for fun.

Art on either side of headboard

It was so enjoyable to spend an afternoon painting, but moving the furniture was a bit of a hassle.  Now I'm hatching some plans to renovate that random little room at the end of our house to create a functional, beautiful space to work on crafts or do more painting.  It has a window that faces the lake and it boasts a sink too, so it's a perfect studio space (although it's a bit on the small side).  I'll share my plans soon!

In the meantime, if you want to get the scoop on how I made this easy, DIY art, I'm sharing some step by step photos on Hello Yellow - see here.

How to paint with acrylic paint

I think that I might want to build float frames - like I did for my photo that was turned into an oil painting - but for now I'll see if I like them unframed.  Another option is to paint the edges a contrasting colour (black would be perfect) to create the illusion of a frame.
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17 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks!! I'm so predictable at this point: "now here's an abstract I made, with greens, blues, and teals" lol.

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  2. They came out great, Tanya. My favorite color combo!

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    1. Thanks! Mine too :) I was pleasantly surprised by how they turned out. They photograph a little flatter but in real life the layering turned out nicely.

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  3. So beautiful! They have a watery feel- how apropos! Sounds like a great plan to create a permanent creative space.
    Off to read your step-by-step- I really want to try my hand at painting but I'm afraid to try.

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    1. I think the watery feel is a result of me staring at the water while I painted. I had an idea of what I wanted to paint that was wildly different but I couldn't make it happen so I just let it go and painted what I was feeling - how smarmy is that? But it worked and the result was much for pleasing than when I was trying to force something! Definitely go for it! It's so much fun and you really can't go wrong. I've re-painted pieces I didn't love.

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  4. So interesting! My first glance at the picture of your bedroom, I thought the plant foliage on the left side of the bed was actually part of the painting. So I'd say the layering really works, because I love that feature! So glad that you're finding ways to make your grief into something beautiful. Like an oyster making a pearl, you are transforming a painful experience.

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    1. I'm hoping that plant can make it there, although I do have two air plants on order from a local nursery. I know they won't mind living without bright light!

      In the end, I'm not sure how much of my grief went into these paintings, because they look a lot like what I normally paint...but I do know it was a very relaxing process and it made me really appreciate things. While I dabbed on paint, I thought about how grateful I am to live here and to have such a supportive spouse. I started to really think about how lucky I am to have my health - just standing and painting is something some people can't do. So it was healing, in that sense, because I didn't focus on what I had lost, but on what I still have. When I was done, I felt at peace and very relaxed. I've been tackling some other creative projects and while they are distracting and enjoyable, when I'm done I feel accomplished, but not as relaxed as when I paint.

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    2. I think regaining equilibrium is an important part of grieving. For me, re-establishing connections with the things that bring me the most in touch with my best self is a way of saying, Yes, there are permanent changes in my life, and I go on being myself while I carry these changes. I'm excited to hear about your plans for a painting studio in the house. Giving that gift a place of honor is a good move!

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    3. You're so right about re-establishing connections. It was very difficult to come back to the "real world," especially after being physically gone for two months. Coming back felt weird and so many things no longer seemed important. I felt guilty for caring. But then something interesting happened and I started to feel really grateful for every small thing. Nice weather, sleeping well, time to work on a project, going for a walk. Every little thing I used to take for granted now makes me feel immensely grateful. It's been a nice transformation of my mindset. I'm finding so much joy in so many little things. And now, so few things stress me out! I've experienced the worst (I really wish I could just lay it all out for people because I hate being so vague, but my family has asked that no one speak of it) and come back from it so I know now how many things that stressed me out before just aren't important. It has been interesting experiencing my brain work through this...

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  5. I love the subtle pop of color these provide behind your lamps. It looks really pretty!

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    1. Thanks! I was hoping they'd turn out cheery, but subtle enough so they don't compete with the other art.

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  6. I love these, but the color? Ick!

    Hahaha just kidding, you know that's my fave part!! They kinda look like turquoise marble.

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    1. I'm convinced I'll push you to the saturation point with aqua, lol. One day, you'll be like, "no. no more aqua".

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    2. lol nope, never gonna happen. Turquoise just make me happy when I look at it, it's so cheery.

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  7. gorgeous! love the colors and the texture in the paintings. and they are perfect with the layers in front.

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