Earlier this month I participated in an artisan event called The Traveling Door with a group of my artsy friends. Each of us has a different style and medium that we bring to the table. When people ask me what kind of art I do I usually tell them re-purposed or functional art. Typically they don't want to admit that they don't have a clue what I am talking about. It's a funny thing, when you say the words art or wine to someone. We often get all uptight about our knowledge or our perceived lack of knowledge on the subject. Why do we do that? Why is art so different from cooking or technology? I digress. Anyway, I can tell when they aren't with me because their faces kind of cloud over and their eyebrows knit and I can almost see them thinking, " Is she for real? Is she making this stuff up? " So then I start going into my schpeel of what it is that I do. Usually their eyes glaze over with boredom so I try and keep it short but occasionally I get someone who seems truly interested.
So not knowing which category you fall into, I will try and keep it short.
Re-purposed or functional art is taking something ordinary or sometimes hideous and giving it a new life by painting, staining or embellishing it to create something that is one-of-a-kind.
For example, this was a finial that I found in the clearance aisle at the Hob Lob.
Understated and classic yes, but also a bit of a yawn. In the Spring I like to work with brighter colors but for the Fall sale
I tend to stay with more neutrals or deeper colors. So this time I went with metallics.
I actually had two of these finials. Things get crazy right before a sale and I don't always get individual pictures of everything I painted. So the only after picture I have is a display picture from our Traveling Door event.
A little paint, a little bling for what could be holiday flair and voila! A noteworthy accessory for an end table, bookshelf or mantel.
Those are some coordinating candlesticks in the background and a lamp base that is a BeColorful take on an Ikea lamp.
But back to the finials.
I forgot to take a before picture but just like the other pieces, this one also started out as solid black.
To do something like this yourself you only need a good primer. I don't have a favorite for small pieces like this. Sworn to fun (whatever is on sale) and loyal to none is my motto here. You will also need an array of craft paint colors and maybe a paint pen or two for the finer details.
I like a piece like this that has lots of ins and outs or definite start and stop points for varying the pattern. Then let your imagination fly. Polka dots, stripes, swirls, hearts, stars, what ever floats your boat. :0
This one also got a few subtle sparkles to dress it up for the holidays but not so much that it couldn't be left out all year.
When you are finished give it a light coat of a clear finish. For a small piece like this I prefer a spray.
The beauty of this kind of project is that you can choose the element and the colors that will work in your home and then add coordinating pieces as you go.
So glad you stopped by.
Have a great Thanksgiving.
I am also asked where I find my pieces. Some of them come right out of our home. Some from discount stores and thrift shops and every now and again someone thinks of me and gives me some of their cast offs. I also do commission work which is always exciting and eliminates the having to coming up with a piece to paint.