I was certain I wanted to make another painting for Cashew's room and I thought making a painting of all the wonderful traits we know she'll have would be awesome :) Chris and I brainstormed one night while watching TV and came up with about 15 words we liked: courageous, smart, open-minded, independent, beautiful, funny, etc.
Of course next up was getting my graph paper :) I tried a couple layouts at first (words floating around, etc.) but ultimately decided that having things orderly made more sense and I liked the way it looked better. I wanted a couple lines of words one beneath each other and the length of each line of words to be the same so it looked like an even rectangle of letters (I know, I'm a strange bird). I picked a couple of words to go together in one line with no rhyme or reason except that they made each line of words even. It took about 30 minutes of switching things around to make each line even, but the plan looked good
You may notice the * after "you are" at the top, and then the * before "we hope" at the bottom. Chris made the point that of course we have no idea what Cashew will be like and we just hope that she will be all of these awesome things. We thought it would be funny to put the * and "we hope" at the bottom. The painting certainly encompasses the traits we hope she'll have, but we also have no idea if she'll have them, so we thought it'd be funny to document that that's what we hoped for. Hehe :)
Once I had the plan I got the canvas I already had and painted over another painting that was already on it that I wasn't a fan of
I wanted this project to be zero dollars so the gray background is the same gray that's on the walls in our front room.
Once that canvas got 3 coats on it (some of the colors in the painting that got painted over were very dark so I wanted to make sure everything got covered), it was time to lay out the painting. Because the painting was very specifically linear I decided the best way to make sure everything got painted on properly would be to tape it off. I drew out the plan on graph paper to scale, so it was easy to transfer the paper measurements onto the canvas (please excuse the terrible lighting, I worked on this at night)
I've got lots of craft paint on hand from various projects so I brought out my bin o' paint
I wanted the "you are" and "we hope" to be white, and I sifted through all my colors to come up with another 11 for the words
And then, it was just a matter of painting all the words on
I went line by line
There was no rhyme or reason to the order of the words in terms of their "importance" (like if we placed beauty over capability) it just came down to making sure all the words for each line contained about the same amount of letters so the lines were justified on the left and the right. In terms of color, I just wanted all the color to be fairly random: no blues all together, no pinks all together, no pastels all together, etc.
As I went along I loved it more and more
To keep things orderly as I went along I traced all the words on first
As I painted sometimes the letters painted on were a little wider or more narrow than my tracing
Once I was done with the first coat of everything I peeled all the tape off. Every word got a second coat and some of them got 3-5 (the yellow went on really thin, so it got 5, but most got 3). After the words were done I went back with the gray and touched up where the pencil was visible and cleaned up some of the lines.
The painting actually took fairly long. I spent about 4 solid evenings (3-4 hours each of those evenings) just working on all the wording, and then it was time for touch ups. But in the end, I absolutely love it
It's thoughtful and funny. And I love that. The best part was that Chris walked out one morning when I had finished all the wording and looked at it and said "Oh, that looks so good." It was really nice to hear that he liked it too. Chris is much more casual and utilitarian than I am, so I know he finds some of the things I want to do for Cashew's room a little frivolous (hello new curtain and recovering the chair), which made it wonderful to hear that he liked it a lot. Cashew will be awesome
And she'll always have a painting to remind her of the wonderful traits we hoped she'd have. I'm sure she'll have all of them, and then 147 others. Because again, she'll be awesome :)
For the time being it can't quite go up in the room yet because, well, the room is a bit of a disaster
I'm patching up some holes from where other art used to be on the walls and when the curtain rod was hung up, so I've got to sand down the patches and then touch up. After that we'll finally move the furniture in the right place and then it's just a matter of filling it with baby belongings. And yes, smack dab in the middle of that photo above is the glorious chair we got recovered. I love it
And I love that it will sit next to the window so we can look outside while holding, playing and nursing Cashew. And right across from it, above her crib will be her awesome painting (whenever we get to hanging it...)
Yup, Cashew will be pretty, pretty, pretty awesome :)