Aug 13, 2010

Four Hours. Four Dollars. Er... Art?

So the other day my colleague and bad-ass friend, Amanda, who also happens to be the president of the Planned Parenthood of Oklahoma City board, asked me to contribute a "work of art," for a dinner auction they're holding in a few weeks. After I cringed at the idea of being perceived as someone who creates "works of art," or even more gag-reflexy, being referred to as "an artist" – I agreed.


My paint inventory. Also known as paint we have in our cabinet that is not dried up. It's a truly sophisticated way to settle on a color palette. However, probably not a good sign that some of the bottles are labeled Folk Art in calligraphic font, when I'm already self-conscious that this "work of art" is going to end up looking like craft fair fodder.

I don't have a thing against art, per say. The word just kind of freaks me out. I mean, I was an art major, after all. It was not a bad experience. I just seem to find more inspiration in things a little less high brow and a little more digestable in general, like... er, Urban Outfitter catalogs.

So I had a few spare hours yesterday afternoon after flying home from a work meeting on a ridiculously early morning flight – meaning I wasn't expected back at the office. However, not being a glutton for punishment, I decided to not pick my kids up early from daycare, either.

That meant I had a single afternoon to create this potential masterpiece before I did have to pick up my kids. Unless, of course, I wanted to make my six-year-old's worst irrational fear a reality, and actually forget to come get him, and he would have to spend the night at the school I tell him that he can fashion himself a dust bunny pillow and make friends with the nice ghosts, but that doesn't seem to comfort him.

So as I drove home from the airport at 10:30 am, completely zonky from my six hours of travel, I decided to get this thing taken care of but set myself some rules. 1.) I wasn't going to go out and buy art supplies (not because I'm cheap, but because I'm lazy). 2.) I was going to finish this sucker in less than four hours (because of the kids' deadline, yes, but also because I'm terribly impatient).

I literally swung into the thrift store near my neighborhood on the way home with my suitcase still in the back of my car (there will be no going back out!) I was specifically looking for an old piece of crappy art but with a cool frame, that I could just paint over, so it would already be mounted and ready to hang. I prefer "turnkey" solutions whenever possible.


What I found instead was even better. This unassuming corkboard fit the bill.


It even had this string mounted on the back to hang it from, which actually looks kind of cool 'cause it sticks up over the top. The board (complete with tarnished thumbtacks stuck all in it) also fit my other requirement, which was something big to start from. That way I could just do something really broad 1.) because I may or may not have any small brushes at home (remember no buying supplies or going back out) and 2.) it can look purposefully big and splashy and generally unrefined.


Then on my way out I saw these wooden spoons, so on a whim decided to get those, too. A plan was forming. Maybe something food themed? Total cost plus the corkboard: $4.06.


The spoons made me think of these wooden discs I had stuffed in the drawer of my hutch. I've used them for random stuff over the years, like pretend coins, or eyeballs and warts for monster drawings for my kids. But, like Pippi Longstocking's endless bag of gold, I've never seemed to completely deplete their numbers.


Disc Oh

Until today. All of these little guys are going to be sacrificed to my project.


Tack Less

They look good with the thumbtacks, too, and have gotten my wheels spinning for other stuff I can scavenge from around my house to add to the mix.




This skull-stamped cork was a stopper for some glass jar party favors I made for a Halloween party a few years ago. Perfect for poison pasta (i.e. twine). Okay, I'm getting dangerously craftsy at this point, but I have to commit. Out comes the paint, and, whatever, I don't break into hives. I can say it, I start... "painting." Eesh.





It wasn't exactly easy peasy. But it was fairly painless. My six-year old liked it when he walked in the door at least. "It looks like all sorts of different good stuff to eat, you know?" was his exact quote. Granted, he was probably just sucking up to me because I remembered to pick him up from school.

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