The one thing I miss about Ella being in school away from home is a traditional art class. She is a really talented artist, and she did not get that from her dad nor me, so coming up with material for her to do fun art projects at home has been really hard. Yes, I know there are art classes outside of our home and we have tried those. One of them she really loved ended up going out of business, the other one was too expensive, the other too far away from our house to go regularly, and then COVID hit.
So I’ve tried to make do with little things here and there over the past two years but it hasn’t always been easy. Thankfully, her artistic side hasn’t suffered, but I have learned over the past two years that if you are meant to be an artist, an artist you shall be.
I have also realized that she in fact got her artistic side from me.
That “epiphany” came one day when I was having a conversation with my parents. I shared that on Instagram and instead of retelling the story, I thought it would be easier to just screenshot than to rewrite it.
Ella has become this vibrant almost-teenager (not a fan of the word “tween”) who loves drawing, painting, cosplay, anime, and anything artistic. So this summer, I was looking for things online to keep her engaged art-wise for homeschool this fall, and that meant looking in unusual places, like Coursera for classes.
I stumbled upon a supermodel’s account (whose name I will not mention here because I don’t want to get certain google searches sent to my blog but let’s just say she is famous and her mom was on The Real Housewives series, a guilty pleasure show of mine).
Now, before anyone makes a comment (and someone undoubtedly does) “I don’t have the time to watch….” please stop. We all make time for ourselves in different ways. My self-care might look different from yours, don’t judge.
So I saw an apartment on Instagram belonging to said supermodel and don’t even know how I found it because I don’t follow either of the above accounts but when I saw the sign on the wall below in the house of said supermodel:
I knew immediately I wanted us to make it for our first homeschool art project of the year.
But I think we can make it for a little less.
Now the piece is larger than we intended (36 x 60) to make it, but I knew we could still make a cool statement piece for our home and loved that we had some inspiration from a genuine artist. Thanks, Eamon! Don’t sue us!
But I am crediting Eamon Harrington for the design, so be clear that we in no way came up with this idea.
THIS WAS NOT OUR IDEA. EAMON ALL THE WAY!
If you want to pay $1,500 for an original piece of art, please support him. I am all for artistic interpretation and supporting artists, so please don’t think we aren’t doing so by saying we are doing this for less. Because I absolutely LOVE this piece.
But this is the thing, I had no idea how I was going to approach this because HELLO; I am not an artist nor am I an art teacher. So I had sent my friend Kristen a picture of this one day because I knew she would love this as well (she loved the hell out of it too) and I said to her, essentially.
I don’t know how to proceed.
She told me she would get me the stuff I needed from the craft store and I all needed to do was Venmo her and then one glorious Friday afternoon; we sat on her patio and she social distance taught me how to be an art teacher while we drank Starbucks that SHE treated me to.
Ever have a friend like that?
Soul family, indeed.
I went home that day, belly full of chai latte, head full of artwork, ideas, and soul full of friendship. That day will carry me full to November. A definite day to put in my arsenal. (More about that in November’s tater tot post)
It was our second full week of homeschool when Ella and I took on this art project.
We started with a blank canvas that you can get at any craft store, but Kristen had one in her craft room already. Ours is an 8 x10, but if I had to do this over, I would do it larger because I love this so much and it is such a statement piece.
So you are going to take white acrylic paint and cover the entire surface of your white canvas with white paint (I know, trust me).
Then, while the white paint is still wet, take a bunch of different color acrylic paints and do brush strokes in different cross patterns on the canvas, blotting in a bowl of water in between strokes.
This was so relaxing for the week of tension that was going on in our world, let me tell you. I feel like I want to do an art project weekly from now on.
It will look like this when you are done or during it. The beauty of this project is that it is YOUR project, so do however many brush strokes you would like. We are going for an edgy look. After you are done, let it dry for a couple of hours or overnight.
The next day, we added painter’s tape (or any type of larger tape) in large enough strips to write the words on top of your painting. You are going to need nine pieces of tape.
After you are done laying the tape over the canvas in the middle, you are going to paint over the tape with red paint. The entire canvas is getting painted so lay down a tarp under your canvas or do it in the yard if it is a nice day.
Then let that dry for a good 24 hours.
When you pull the tape? Magic…
I love art.
Now the beautiful part.
We talked about inclusion and how everyone deserves to feel safe.
We talked about being a female and the worries she has about that in the world and on social media.
About feeling insignificant as a 12-year-old in a massive world.
About friends of ours who are from different cultures and how they might feel when they go places where they might not feel welcomed.
About friends of ours who are of different colors and how they might feel when they go places where they might not feel welcomed.
She asked if the world really is a safe place right now, and I tried to answer her question.
We added WELCOME at the top in a salmon color and SAFE HERE at the bottom in the same salmon color, similar to Eamon’s inspiration piece.
It turned out even better than we imagined.
I told Ella that I think it is my favorite thing on our wall beside the pictures of our family.
I figured someone out there would love to make this in their home this year for homeschool or even just a weekend project.
In the most divisive year that we’ve seen in a long time.
It started a conversation, and it opened a lot of questions.
For this reason alone, I am glad we made this.
Like I said on my Instagram account when I first shared it…
“This is our home. It’s not only a safe place to land for our own family, but for those around us as well. You will never be judged here. I will however share this on the blog because so many of you are homeschooling now and I think a lot of you may love to have this inside of your home. Because we all just want to feel safe and loved for who we are.”