I always feel stumped on what art to hang in the bathroom. Portraits are out. That’s just awkward. And lots of people seem to go for seascapes or water-themed art, but that feels too obvious for me. A while ago I posted about painting agate-inspired art, so for my bathroom I stuck with that geological idea and painted some malachite-inspired art. (Geologists, look away. Because these are not very technical. Because, you know, I have all those geologists who follow my blog.)
I told you I was obsessing over emerald green, and I’ve been adding it to my bathroom in accents. This was another way to repeat the colour.
I tend to hang my pictures differently all the time, but I thought I’d share with you one way to do it that requires no math (this is for a picture frame with two hooks on the back). This is what you’ll need (plus, nails and pictures. duh.):
Isn’t my level cute? (I got it in a Christmas gift exchange, which makes it extra special, since I never get anything good in those! Once I got a little black toad paperweight with red jewel eyes. Creepiest ever.) And painters tape is a marvellous thing for hanging picture frames. I use it all the time. And it’s especially great for spacing out groupings of art. But I don’t show you that today. So. Um… where was I?
Take your painters tape and stretch it over the little hooky-hanger-thingie and press down. (Sorry, is this getting to technical? I’ll slow down.)
Then poke your nail through the tape into the top of the hooky-hanger-thingy to make a hole.
Here’s a picture of a hole in some painters tape on the back of a picture frame. This is thrilling stuff, people.
Then transfer that tape strip to the wall and use a level to make sure it’s straight.
Hammer your nails into the wall through your pre-marked holes.
Hang your picture on the nails and use your level again to be sure it’s straight.
Then, because I was hanging an identical frame below the first one, I removed the top frame and created a guide with painters tape from the top nail downward, again using the level to make sure it’s straight.
After that I repeated the first steps with the second frame
I matched up the nail hole for the second frame with the side of the tape guide from the top. I hammered the nails and I hung the second picture. And then I went savage and ripped off all the tape like a mad woman. Not really. But you could.
Ta da! Some colourful, interesting, abstract art for the bathroom!
Some work from the immaculate portfolio of Kerrisdale Design - a great west coast Canadian firm! Enjoy…
I’ve been playing around. I know this is a bit different from the previous look, but I’m feeling springy… Let me know what you think… is it too distracting/busy? I’d really like to customize/clean-up/reorganize my right side bar, but that requires knowing html. :P
A big trend for 2012 is semi-precious stones and gems. The concentric, marbleized patterns, and the deep vibrant colours of stones like agate or malachite are popping up all over.
Feature on malachite as a trend in January 2012 Style at Home Magazine
Malachite patterned roman shades. Photograph by Simon Upton for Elle Decor
Agate sconces. Lauren Stern Design.
But for me, it’s not the easiest trend to incorporate - it’s pretty in-your-face, hard to find, and potentially pretty expensive. But the other day I was painting with watercolours with Little M (watercolours, by the way, are another big trend right now), and figured they’d be the perfect combination for some pretty and trendy art.
- heavy-weight watercolour paper
- watercolour paints
- water in a dish
- paint brush
- paper towel
- painter’s tape
TIP: In my opinion you need to splurge on the paper with watercolours. Go to an art supply store and get some pretty heavy stuff, or your paper will warp, tear, peel, and be a general mess of gross-ness. As far as paints go it depends on how saturated you want your colours. A cheaper paint set will generally give you paler colours, and a more expensive set will give deeper colours because it will have more concentrated pigment. That being said, mine was a middle-of-the-road set from DeSerres.
Tape your paper down to your table, or to a large, smooth board. This not only gives you a nice clean border, but keep the paper taped down until the painting is dry and it will prevent some warping.
I did a few versions of this to try some different techniques…
I’ll share what I thought worked best:
TIP: Pick a colour scheme of harmonious colours - greens and yellows, or reds and oranges, etc. This is typical of the stones, and it will look better if your colours overlap or bleed into one another. If you specifically want the malachite look use shades of green.
I found it worked best to put water on the paper first, then get the brush filled with paint and trace along the edge of the water. The colour bleeds into the water and creates the wavy patterns you want.
While still wet I added some other colours at times. Other times I waited until the rings dried then did another puddle.
If the paper is ever too wet and creates more pooling than you want, just use the edge of a piece of paper towel to soak some of it up.
Sometimes if my lines looked too much like a brush stroke I would go over them again with just water to blur the edges.
It’s a pretty random process, so have fun with it and experiment. It may not look exactly like a chunk of agate, but that’s OK - it can still look interesting and pretty.
And there you go! A relaxing morning of painting, and a pretty and easy way to incorporate a trend. And cheap art for your walls!
***UPDATE: See my malachite-inspired art here.
Sometimes in icy cold mornings, when we stay in our p.j.’s and Baby L naps nicely, Little M and I pull out the pencil crayons. (Side note: it makes me proud when I ask what he wants to draw with and he says he wants white paper and pencil crayons…)
I usually end up taking requests as to what to draw (and usually end up sketching basketballs, triangles, and Buzz Lightyear). But one morning he was content to work on his own, and I was free to create whatever I liked.
I’ve been working on a gallery wall in the master bedroom and there was one larger area to fill. I needed a gap filler for the spot. I wanted to make something colourful and a bit more fun to juxtapose against some of the other art nearby.
I decided to do a geometric, deconstructed zig-zag look (inspired by this AMAZING Etsy artist, whose art I still want to purchase). I felt like I was in grade 3 art class again. It’s very relaxing to have no rules sometimes when you draw.
And I love the way its modern, playful vibe plays against the vintage portrait of the Royals I bought on UsdRegina a while back. Pretty good for a gap-filler.