What to Do With Bad Paintings
I was recently going through our art and bumped in to this one. It makes me smile every time. I think we’ll update it soon and give it the same procedure we did the first time—which is what the below is about.
It’s from several years ago, and I almost never write about things like this, but really, it’s a non-craft craft. It’s making art with kids. It takes almost no planning beyond keeping your eye open at thrift stores.
Maybe you need this smidge of inspiration.
I bought this ridiculously ugly painting at Goodwill awhile back:
Hear me out.
I actually passed it by several times, not giving it a second thought. It was priced at $30, which was, to me, overpriced for a painting that looked like it belonged in a 1983 hotel lobby.
But then the voice on the PA system said purple tags were half off that day. The painting had a purple tag. I kept shopping, browsing the kids’ clothes, the furniture, the plates, but the painting was stuck on my brain. I left without it. I mean… it was hideous.
I returned home, unloaded the car, and told Kyle I needed to go back, get one more thing. I paid for the purple beast and finagled it around the carseats, barely closing the trunk.
See, I wanted it for only reason: it’s huge.
I remembered a post from my friend Meredith ages ago, when she bought a Craigslist painting and immediately had buyer’s remorse. But she rectified it by having her daughter paint on top, and it looked amazing. Because it’s huge:
Photo from Like Merchant Ships
So I bought the 1983 hotel painting because of its size—canvases that size are really, really expensive. Definitely more than $15. Plus, this one had a nice frame.
I first painted a layer of basic latex primer.
This is also when I realized the painting was 3D.
Then I painted several coats of acrylic paint, just to give it a blank slate. I chose Robin’s Egg Blue from Craft Smart that I bought at Michael’s. Less than $1.
And then I let Tate go to town. I only gave her colors I’d be okay with hanging on the wall, and would look okay if they smeared and blended together.
The whole family ultimately chipped in and added a bit of artistry, and ended up with this random-yet-not-shabby original piece of art.
Tate calls it “A Windy Spring Day.” I like it.
It’s now hanging in our dining room.
It’s random, but I like the splash of color it adds to our dining room. I also like that it’s original art, created by us. And that it cost about $20 total. And that it’s better than the initial mauve disaster.
I love reusing instead of buying new, and I’ll hang a one-of-a-kind painting over a cookie cutter print any day.
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