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Decorating With Your Own Art

5 Mar

I rent my flat and so have little control over the decor. However I have tried to make it as personal as I can by using my own soft furnishings and furniture etc.

In a previous flat I was allowed to paint my room and chose a strong pink for two of the walls. When I moved I had a little paint left over so I made this painting from a canvas that had been thrown out on the street. I mixed some of it with a bit of white acrylic. It’s loosely my version of a Rothko and was very easy to do with a 1 1/2″ DIY paintbrush.

With my pink curtains, a throw on the bed and other details here and there to pick out the colour I think the painting really brings the room together and makes it feel my own.

If you’re looking for a canvas, which can be expensive, another place I picked up a couple was in the sale at a big DIY store. The paintings on them weren’t to my taste so I painted over them with white emulsion and started again. Of course if you’re handy with a saw, hammer and nails you can buy some 2 x 1″ wood and a piece of calico fabric and make your own frame, stretching the calico over the frame and securing on the underside with a staple gun.


Papered Parlour Open Weekend

3 Nov

The Papered Parlour in Clapham is a workshop space and artist studio that provides workspace for artists to work, and puts on classes for people to learn and practice techniques including wallpaper printing, silversmithing, sewing and more. They held an open weekend a couple of weeks ago and we went along on the Saturday afternoon for  a nosey around. We were inspired by and in awe of the amazing artists who were showing their jewellery, illustrations, paintings, cards, printed tea towels and much more.

Katie paricularly liked the work of Kareena Zerefos who designed the open weekend invitation. She also loved Made with Love‘s printed tea towels and bought this cute robin one from them and this postcard below from Mary Kilvert.

I was really taken with the pretty wooden and hand illustrated bird jewellery by Avarae 17, Pickle and Lily’s bespoke fascinators and the illustration art of Holly Clifton-Brown. Her work is hand drawn fairy tale like figures which remind me of a cross between The Borrowers and the cartoon film of James and the Giant Peach. If that’s your sort of thing I really encourage you to have a look at her website. She also illustrates childrens picture books and has a new one called Elephant White coming out soon.

Well done to the Papered Parlour for an inspiring event.  I am booked in for a silversmithing class in November so will be writing that up and I also have an eye on the photography class to brush up my long lost GCSE photography skills.

Take a look at the Papered Parlour’s website, facebook page and twitter for more information on their classes.

Everyday inspiration

19 Sep

I bought a huge amount of small canvases out six years ago. They cost £2.50 each, but I have seen them for cheaper on the Internet since then. Over the years I have used them for collages and paintings to adorn my walls. For example, there were these three, in my first ever London flat. Quite stylish, I’m sure you’ll agree!

If you are decorating a flat, and don’t have much art, these little 6×6 canvases can be a really easy and cheap way of adding colour to a wall. They are cheap enough to replace easily, or you can paint over an old one if you’re not precious about what you have painted. I haven’t painted any in a long time because over the years I have accumulated (and inherited from moving in with P!) such a large number of paintings and framed photographs that I never need to worry about blank walls again!

Anyway, how, after all this time I still have any left is beyond me, but I found one in a still mostly unpacked box recently and decided to get my watercolours out again. Inspired by a painting I saw in a shop window, I attempted to paint a robin. I love robins. They remind me of my grandmother, who put bird seed out for one in particular every day. I remember it eating out of her hand when I was a child and whenever I went to visit her, I would call out for it and put a little bit of food out. I was also flirting with the idea of having a robin on this year’s Christmas cards, so this seemed like a good idea to test it out.

However, painting/drawing one was remarkably difficult! I must have redrawn this little round redbreast about ten times before finally settling on a shape I liked. The floor was littered with rubber detritus.  Once I had painted him, I added some shading detail using coloured pencils.

And in the end I like the way this little guy turned out.

He looks pretty friendly, don’t you agree?

I then decided to attempt another robin on card, but he turned out slightly less successfully.

He’s cute too, but maybe a little dotish? He looks a little like he’s going to fall off that branch if he gets distracted, so I don’t think he will be adorning any Christmas cards from me this year, I’m afraid.  Back to the drawing board on that one…

As I mentioned, I don’t really have space for the paintings I already have, so I have decided to put the Robin I do like up as my first ever Etsy listing. Scary! I hope someone finds a nice home for him somewhere…

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