Saturday, September 25, 2010

Coffee House Paintings

Let's take a break from digital scrapbooking and talk about PAINTING!!!

That's right - I am now a painter! A true artiste! I have impressed even myself :)

Backstory: We were throwing a 'coffee house' themed bridal shower for our coffee loving friend. The location already had a relatively mod feel with pumpkin and eggplant colored walls and black trim. We were throwing around decoration ideas for how to create the coffee house ambiance ... and I very quickly thought of artwork. A local shop has very cheap canvasses and I had enough experience with using paint in various projects that I knew I could pull off some simple pieces. My original plan was to paint the background to match the accent wall and then do a coffee cup and other objects in black silhouette. Very simple. Very graphic. Very nice :)

Execution: As usual, the end result was not the same as the original vision. We couldn't find the left-over wall color paint, so I had to create my own by blending orange, peach, reddish, yellow and white paint (use what you have). Because I was blending, it created these awesome streaks and swirly patterns. I chose to go with it instead of trying to make it one uniform color.

I had a coffee cup image in my mind that was a very graphic black and white. That was one image.
I thought of the tall coffee mug (love those), but I needed three.
So, I did an online search for some inspiration and saw this colorblocked idea. That became my centerpiece.

By using the two colors in that center painting, I opened the door up to use purple and it became an accent for the graphics ... I just kind of winged it. The brushes were out, the paint was wet, and I just did what seemed right - adding color and flourishes here and there.

I really like the way it turned out. Sure, there are several things that I wish were better. I wish I had planned and thought out my highlights and shadow a bit more instead of just winging it. Some of them are completely wrong. The proportions, perspective and symmetry are off in several places. The cheap canvases still need frames. I could go on ... but I'm still happy.

You know what the biggest surprise of all is for me? Everybody loved them. They didn't just like them, they were impressed. I don't know whether to be happy or sad that people seem to be so surprised that I pulled it off. I'll choose to take it in a good way. The shower was a complete success (thanks to a HUGE collaborative effort and a brilliant florist :) ) and the church is very happy to have the new decorations.

I hope you like them too!


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