Thursday, August 8, 2013


This project all started out with a tortoise shell...Nate's tortoise shell.  It was one of my favorite things from his first line for Target, but I didn't snatch it up right away.  I knew it would go on clearance eventually and was fine with waiting for the savings.  In the mean time, my sister found one at a thrift store, new in the box!  Although it wasn't the color I would have chosen, I fixed that up with a few coats of glossy white spray paint.  I can't paint everything a bright color...  :)

So, back to the abstract painting.  I had this little corner next to my powder bath that needed some help.  When we moved in 6 years ago I hung some iron pieces and hadn't touched it since.  

They were so heavy and dark, and the time had come to switch them out.  So, I knew exactly where I wanted the tortoise shell to go.  However, he was a bit lonely there and I thought it would be a great spot to try a little DIY painting.  Not in a spot where it would be front and center-I was well aware of my painting abilities-but where I could experiment.

The painting didn't turn out anything like what I had in mind.  I guess I didn't start with much of a plan, I just painted.  I don't LOVE it, but I don't hate it.  I might repaint it someday, but it's ok for now.  I didn't use anything special, just acrylic paint and regular craft brushes.

I had a partner in crime for this daughter.  We had a great time just experimenting with our art together.  

Emily was inspired by Jesse's new art, so she chose her favorite colors and tried it herself.  She worked on another canvas where she just totally went for it...very abstract indeed, and the cross was from an activity at a friend's birthday party.  I grouped them all together and added them to a corner of her room.

My son Caleb decided he wanted in on the action...although I think it will take him quite a while to finish.  I should have given him an 8x10 canvas, but it's probably around 16x20 and he chose to do a digital camo design.  He's crazy about all things military right now.

First attempt at painting...check.  We're ready for more painting fun in the future!


  1. I love how it turned out. My youngest has been busy painting away this summer creating things for a gallery wall in her new room at the university. Cheap fun.

  2. I think it turned out great and updates that spot nicely! I've been thinking about giving the old abstract art a try lately. It's funny, years ago, I was not a huge fan of abstract, but I'm suddenly obsessed with it. Thinking about doing one of those black and white ones, but I'm loving the color on yours! Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. I like it!! I love that the kids got in on the fun - what a good idea :)

  4. love the art and love that awesome turtle shell! so cool!

  5. Love it! You snagged a tortoise shell! Awesome! xo Kristin

  6. I LOVE to paint! I'm not an artist at all but it's relaxing to me. I think you did a great job and the wall looks great with the tortoise shell.


  7. Ikat, my favorite! :) Isn't it so much harder than it looks? Great find, too!

  8. How fun and colorful! The shell and your art look great on that wall! The beauty of painting on canvas is that you can always paint over it at a later date like the masters all did when their art didn't sell. I have a very artistic family and every once in a while I try my hand at watercolors or oil, but I think I need to stick to walls and furniture :)

  9. It looks amazing and is perfect for that corner. I also love your daughter's artwork in her room.

  10. It looks great, I love your kids artwork too! Such a fun thing to do together!

  11. Hi Jennifer,
    You know I'm your biggest fan. I don't know why, maybe seeing those beautiful green and gold lamps in the same photo makes me want to see some more gold around the tortoise shell and art piece?

    1. Good idea! I'll have to think about that...and there's something in the works that you can't see in these photos. Stay tuned!

  12. Love it! Here's hoping I come across a tortoise shell at the thrift store!


  13. Love your ideas....especially the abstract art!


Thanks so much for leaving a comment, they make my day! If you have a specific question, please make sure to check back here as I will respond in the thread, or leave your e-mail so that I can respond personally. Otherwise, I'd love to hear what you think, or feel free to hop over to my Facebook page and comment there.