You know the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”??? Well, I was recently given a batch of sad, sad lemons… and I didn’t know what to do about it. I was bummed about those lemons, and I was at a loss at how I wanted to move forward. Let me tall ya the story.
So, I had this 16×20 canvas that I had been slowly adding paint to over the course of 6 months. It was used to experiment on and add leftover paint to up until the point that I wanted to finish it. I had decided that I wanted it to have words… I wanted an inspirational quote because I believe that words are very powerful. I chose a quote by Maya Angelou, and I actually chose it the day that she passed away. I still had to add a few finishing touches to it, but on the whole it was complete. Then I went away for vacation.
When I first opened the store, my intention was to create a space where guests felt comfortable playing. I intentionally left parts of my walls white to serve as a blank canvas. After art classes, or sometimes just for fun, I’d let my guests use their pant to personalize the walls.
Understandably, many people were hesitant to paint on the walls, but with a little encouragement, they enjoyed the process. There’s a story that my dad likes to tell about me repeatedly painting on the walls and getting into trouble… I just didn’t learn my lesson very easily. Now I can paint on the walls whenever I want! Bwaa ha ha!!
Anywho, the walls slowly became more and more full, which made them quite noticeable. People often asked about the walls and wanted to add to them.
This was the case while I was away on vacation. Some tweens wanted to add to the walls, so of course my friend allowed it. It gave them something to do while their mothers shopped the store. It wasn’t until I was back from vacation, hosting a birthday party at the store, when those lemons were delivered.
It was a few of the girls who noticed the canvas. It was hanging on the wall, where I keep my works in progress.
I was so confused. Writing on the walls is one thing, but on a canvas?? And to write something so mean??? I was so upset, disappointed, sad, hurt… such a careless and insensitive act. Rationally I knew that it was just a kid, and we all made stupid mistakes as kids, but that didn’t make me any less sad. Out of all the art forms that I work in, painting is the most personal for me, and to have a piece of mine vandalized made me cry.
So what next? Do I try to salvage the canvas or start over? I kept the canvas under a towel for a few weeks before I confronted the issue. In my gut I felt that I needed to start over, but a friend of mine really liked the work. I decided to try to save it.
The writing was too close to the font and I couldn’t find a way to make it all blend together. I had to start over. I was bummed to start again, but I was confident that I would like the end result even better the 2nd time.
Bye-bye mean message!
This time around I used a bunch of homemade, glue gun stencils to build up my layers. (I’ll be sure to write a blog all about those). I didn’t know where I was going with it, I just went. Using the glue gun stencils was really fun because it made that canvas uniquely mine. I ended up with a lot of flowers and I still wanted to use a quote. I found this quote online and voila! It all came together. I must admit, I love the canvas so much more now. I took those lemons, and made freaking lemonart!!!!
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