DIY Abstract Art

My DIY Art

I love art. I love that art can stir emotions and thoughts and also be provocative.  I buy original art whenever I canYou don't have to have a huge budget to have original art.  I've found some great pieces at festivals, small galleries,, and thrift stores. Most of my pieces have been under $300 but I do dream of owning a Robert Dutesco photograph of the Wild Horses of Sable Island.  I'm in love with these collection of photographs and have been for years.  Let's just say that this collection is WAY out of my price range.

In an effort to bring more color into my great room, I decided I wanted to put a very large piece of art above the buffet.  I currently had a C. Jere reproduction there that I loved but decided to move that above the mantel.  So my hunt for abstract art began.  I searched at a few antique and thrift stores and on etsy, but I really didn't see anything that I loved that was under $1000.  Large art is expensive.  I almost purchased a digitally printed canvas of a watercolor from Black Crow Studios that I thought was beautiful, but it wasn't inexpensive.  And I would have had to figure out how to stretch the canvas myself.  

I was discussing decor and design with my hairdresser one day last summer and she suggested I try to make my own art.  (By the way, my hairdresser also lives in a mid-century house and considering how rare it is around here, decorating our homes is usually the topic of conversation.  Whenever I meet someone in Rochester that lives in a mid-century house, I feel like I have an instant connection.  Kind of like a pregnant woman meeting another pregnant woman:-))

So when Bridgette, my hairdresser, suggested that I make my own art, my first thought was, "I can't do that."   And then she said, "Why not--you're creative and there really isn't a lot to lose. Canvases aren't that expensive."  And she was rightWith my 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby, I got a 48" x 60" canvas for about $50.  Even with paint and supplies, I was under $100.  I already owned some acrylic paint from an earlier project, so I just had to buy a few more colors and some better brushes.  I didn't really have a lot to lose.

I spent a lot of time planning the project.  I thought about things that inspired me and how I would bring that feeling to a canvas.  I googled "DIY Abstract Art" and came upon this post that really helped me.  There were also a few YouTube videos that I found that showed some different painting techniques.  

The view from the top of the Empire State Building in NYC has always been special to me.  It is where my husband proposed and it is where I took my daughter when she was 7 on a mother-daughter trip to NYC.  I love looking at the city from there--especially the view of Central Park. That beautiful green space combined with the massive sky-scrapers all around it is a breathtaking sceneWhen you are at the top of the Empire State Building, it's quiet and serene.  It's actually a very peaceful place in the middle of the hustle and bustle.  The view and that feeling were my inspiration--greenery, sky-scrapers, peace, calm, and the winding down of a summer day.

I took a basic 4 colors plus lots of white and black to create this.  I took my time and worked on it for an hour or two each night for about 5 days.  I mixed colors, diluted colors, and put on layer after layer to give it depth. I just kept mixing and laying colors that I liked, making sure to blend them well.  I used a spray bottle to get certain colors to run--giving it movement. The vertical strokes represent the tall buildings.  The dripping colors were also my attempt to show the heat of the city in the summer.  Lastly, I added gold sparingly to give it a little bit of glamour and reflectivity. 

Here it is in its place above the buffet--I think it turned out beautifully and it works really well in our room.  It's special to me because every time I look at it, I think the same thoughts that inspired me to paint it.

In its spot in our great room



  1. i love it. I wish i could do something like that!!!!!


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