When I was in middle school, I liked art class. Art class, however, did not like me. I wanted so badly for Mrs. [Protect Innocent] to acknowledge my creations. It never happened. Truth is, I was quite awful at art-making. I stopped trying to draw still-life flowers and even abandoned my paper mache pig by the time I got to high school. In case you’re wondering, the pig’s name was Herbert and he was painted cobalt blue with no other details. I wish I hadn’t chucked him – his monochromatic pig-self would have been very on trend. Sort-of like these beauties.
Fast forward a whole lot of years.
I recently stumbled upon an absolutely fabulous textile designer Caitlin Wilson and became dizzy with affection. (If I could, I’d buy one of everything she makes.) Not only are her products crisp and beautiful, she possesses some polka dottie artwork that I simply adore! I have always been drawn to polka dots and I was completely inspired. There is NO stopping me when I am inspired.
*image by CaitlinWilson.com (check out the sale items – it’s what any RTC girl/guy would do)
After an unsuccessful internet search for the print, it occurred to me that I could replicate those splendid spots! Here’s what I did to create my own version:
1. I seized an opportunity. My mother had a framed print that never worked with her décor sitting in a closet (waiting for me, clearly). I visited and informed her that I would need to leave with the old art immediately. Naturally, mom was wondering what my intentions were. I told her I was planning to make some artwork for my living room, and dashed off before I could process her bewildered look.
2. I went to Michael’s and purchased five items for the project: paint brushes (2), black, grey and metallic “venetian gold” acrylic paint. I spent approximately $6 and was eager to get home.
3. I got to work! I heated and pulled away the backing from the frame. I used a flathead screw driver to remove staples. Some were little SOB’s! Once the print was free, the matting was immediately placed in a safe spot. Using a sponge brush, I painted black polka dots haphazardly on the reverse side of the print. I was going to add grey dots, but decided against it. Next, I used the metallic gold paint to revitalize the black plastic frame. Using a 1” chip brush, I made even strokes around the frame until I reached desired coverage. The paint went on well and dried fast. I was happy after two coats. This project took me about 2 hours to complete.
Sofa: Restoration Hardware (similar) or (less expensive), Terracotta Pillows: Pottery Barn (similar), Aqua Pillows: Unknown/Custom (splurge), Green Stripe Pillow: TJ Maxx. Toy Poodle: NOT FOR SALE!
For this project, I did something I try not to do very often – I channeled my inner 8th grader. We all have one, you know. To be honest, I think Mrs. [Protect Innocent] would be proud! My artwork is not an exact replica of what’s in the Caitlin Wilson shot – just a couture piece in my home that makes me smile when I walk past the living room.
Have you ever achieved success with an art project as a novice? Is there a specific print or pattern that you have always been drawn to (i.e. ikat, trellis, polka dots)? Do you ever channel your inner teenager to begin or complete a task? We’d love to hear about it in the comments section!