Smorgasbord Sundays: What’s on My Walls

Owl PictureI’m a fan of art – it’s amazing how the same piece can be interpreted in so many different ways.

You’re used to seeing my painted nails in swatches and nail-art tutorials, but there are some other things that I like to paint. (You could insert a joke here about me wearing war paint on my face if it makes you happy.)

Many years ago, I got an easel, oil-paint set, and brushes as a gift from my boyfriend. I’ve used it only a few times – yeah, I need to bust it out more often. And I have 2 blank canvases that I still haven’t used yet. Hmm…I’m sensing an upcoming project!

I don’t have any formal training, so my techniques are very simple, but I liked the end results enough to display them in my home.

In this Smorgasbord Sundays post, I’ll show you 2 of the paintings I did and also a few random other things I have hanging on my walls.

P.S. No, the owl picture isn’t one of the paintings I did. I wish!

I found this owl picture in the scrapbooking section of an arts-and-crafts store. It only cost about $0.07 CAD. Yeah! Mere pennies!

Since I really liked this picture, I wanted to display it on my wall, so I waited for Michael’s to have a 50% off sale on their frames. This frame with a glass cover was around $5 CAD after the discount.

Owl Picture

I found the elephant picture in another arts-and-crafts store where they sold lots of different large posters. I’m not sure what they were supposed to be used for, but I really wanted to display this in a frame. (Again, I waited for a huge sale at Michael’s. I bought this frame and cover for around $12 CAD or so with the discount.)

Elephant Picture

Below was my first large-canvas painting attempt ever! It was back in 2006 when I used acrylic paint. I finished it in an hour while watching an episode of Gilmore Girls.

Originally I was planning to paint a scene of a sunset, but I wasn’t happy with how the sun turned out, so I converted it into a crazy-looking flower. From there, I just painted other flowers and vines.

Not sure if it came through, but the theme I was trying to get across was movement.

Some people have told me that the blue clusters remind them of grapes. Haha, I don’t know what they are – I was just having fun with my brush.

My Painting

My second painting attempt was with oil paints. I actually prefer this much more than acrylic because you can blend several colours together better on the canvas. Also, I like how you can add more depth and texture with oil paints as well as dilute colours for that soft, washed effect.

Once again, I originally tried to paint a sunset, but it didn’t work out, so I converted it into ‘ferns’. I say ‘ferns’ because I don’t know what they are. I was covering up the bad sun that I painted, and then I was just flicking my brush and having fun. I kept doing it in all directions. The end result looks like ferns, but it wasn’t my intention. My actual goal for this one was to convey movement again, but in a softer, more elegant way.

My Fern Painting

Below is 3D Umbra dragonfly wall art. I arranged them on my wall so they look like they’re flying up to the ceiling. Once again, I have this whole thing about movement.

Dragonfly Wall Art

What’s on your walls? What kind of artwork do you normally like? Do you paint or do any arts and crafts?


24 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Sundays: What’s on My Walls

  1. Vivian

    I love the two paintings that you did! They’re wonderful. I especially love the ferns. The way you used broad strokes reminds me of Monet’s pond paintings.You should share us some more art in the future. Fill those blank canvases!

    I love art too. I took some fine art sketching classes in my first year of uni, but I’m an illustrator at heart. It’s odd that you brought up art, because I pulled an all nighter to finish one. (yea, thats why I’m posting at 5:18am lol). Here’s what I’ve been working on:

    One day I’d love to experiment with acrylics. It looks like a lot of fun!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Vivian!

      Thanks – oh wow! Comparing my painting to Monet? *Blush* Haha, that makes me feel way too smug now! I’m starting to like that painting even more now that you said that!

      Haha, I opened up your link and totally didn’t expect to see nudity! Haha! Surprised me.

  2. PinkGlitter

    I love the third flowery picture. I’m not very good at painting or drawing but as for crafts, I do sew. My mom taught me most of what I know when I was younger. I even sell handmade makeup brush rolls/makeup bags on Etsy (PinkGlitterBoutique).
    PinkGlitter recently posted: Sephora F&F Haul

    1. collier

      Oh those are so fun! Very nice work. I’m on Etsy as well, but not with sewing things. I *do* really enjoy sewing, but only in fits and starts and then I get impatient and frustrated and AAAAAH, this takes so lonnnnnng. Which is why I’ve got probably a hundred yards of unused fabric and a pile of half-finished projects…

      1. Mary Post author

        It’s great that you even start the projects, though. That’s more than what most people do. Taking on the challenge of a new project is sometimes the hardest part.

  3. Jennifer

    Wow! Your paintings are awesome!!! I love them! I have no skills whatsoever in art… And maybe that’s one of the reason why, even though I LOVE makeup, I can never achieve a good look… I just don’t have that talent of visualizing what the result will look like. 🙁

    Thank you for sharing your paintings with us! It means a lot that you’re able to share something personal with your readers! xoxo.
    Jennifer recently posted: My FAVORITE lip gloss EVER

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Jennifer!

      Oh my gosh – thank you so much! 😀 Aww…don’t say that you have no skills in art. I really do believe that everyone can create art. There’s no right or wrong – you go with how you feel. As for makeup, I think it just takes practice and time to get more comfortable with creating new looks.

      I love sharing personal things with my readers, but I’ll admit that I was pretty nervous about what the reaction might be. (Hehe, I was worried that someone who knows a lot about painting would tear my paintings to shreds.)

  4. Debi

    Love the paintings you did.
    I’m working in acrylics – partly because blending is so much a not-happening-on-the-canvas. Once I’ve figured out the color blend on the palette, I want *that* on the canvas.

    On the walls – mostly maps. We have maps from all over the world and only recently starting taking those down. The living room has a set of his Dad’s jazz album covers in frames and the other wall has red and black squares. I should post that at some point.

    My office is currently an upside-down world map (so east and west are correct for me, a left-hander!) and then a studio portrait of one of my daughters and I, and a portrait of Daddy and me when I was small child.

    His office has retro posters from a Swedish store chain and come Christmas, an oil painting that I did not have to sit for – it’s his favorite photo of me that a local artist is doing up for a present for him.

    But the hallways – maps and more maps! We love maps.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Debi!

      Yes, please do post pictures of the jazz album covers and some maps. I’d love to see those. Although I’m terrible with geography, I do enjoy looking at maps, especially the ones that are styled to look like Old World ones! 🙂

  5. Carmela

    Those art finds are ridiculously amazing! My mom finds these awesome silk scarves that are hand painted but she frames them instead of using it. I’m still on the hunt for more art since I moved in with the hubby and all the art he had were posters of actresses (from his bachelorhood and yes, they were the first to go), cars and Leafs figurines. We just got some amazing art when we were last in Montreal and Quebec City at the Artists’ Alley. Have you been there? It was so cool getting to talk to the artist and discover the motivation behind the paintings!

    I love the first painting, actually! I really like how vibrant the colors are and just how..happy it seems. 🙂 The second one is also pretty in its own right. The diffused, soft look and broad strokes look so dainty. I wish I could draw. I once did a charcoal portrait for an art class but the teacher kept it and I never got it back. Too bad, since I thought I did pretty decent for a first try. I guess the only art I’ll be doing in the future will be mostly nail art! 😉
    Carmela recently posted: China Glaze Cross Iron 360

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Carmela!

      Even though I don’t scrapbook, I always have a lot of fun looking through the scrapbook-paper section. There are always a few designs that I can picture framed on my walls, and at such a lot price (even with the purchase of a frame), it’s always incredibly tempting.

      I’ve been to Montreal, but I didn’t go to the Artists’ Alley. It sounds like a lot of fun and so inspiring to be able to hear from the artists instead of just looking at the results of their labour.

      Haha, yeah, of course the posters of female celebrities were the first to go! 😛 Good move, and he was smart to listen to you. 😉

      That charcoal portrait must’ve been amazing since the teacher didn’t want to give it back! In high school, I took instrumental music instead of art or drama. And back in elementary school, we didn’t really do any crazy art projects. So even to this day, I haven’t really played around with charcoal. It’s pretty funny, but whenever I try to sketch someone realistically (and not cartoonish), for some reason, I naturally make the person look 10-20 years older…not on purpose! I should work for the police when they need to find criminals several years later. 😛

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Kimberly!

      I remember seeing The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse in my high-school English textbook. I really loved that poem back then (partially because Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables movie loved it and I loved and still love her character).

  6. lulu

    Love the acrylic one, I’d love to have something like that up in my room! The colours are interesting and I kind of like the fact that it *isn’t* blended.

    At the moment the room is mostly concept cars since my boyfriend is in transportation design, but there used to be game/animation references for me too before we moved :> This post makes me realize how empty my workspace is at the moment haha
    lulu recently posted: Earthy chevron gradient
    I wish I had better pics of these……

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey lulu!

      Oh, how neat that your boyfriend’s into transportation design! You have to be very creative to come up for interesting yet practical concepts for that.

  7. collier

    FUN! I personally prefer acrylics – easier to work with, WAY easier cleanup. Here’s some NERD ART (still a work in progress) and here’s a snowy egret :

    Both are 40 x 50″ because YES to giant canvases. I’d really like to learn how to stretch and frame my own, but I’ve got enough creative endeavors going on already…

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey collier!

      Wow, you’re a very talented painter! I can just tell from how cohesive your work is and how well you do shading. Great job, and thanks for sharing. I love looking at art!

  8. maddy

    My room is currently filled with pictures of me and my family, some artwork and a few posters and painting allthough most of them are on the floor because they either fell or I haven’t hung them up. I am not that good in art but my brother is great so I got him an art set and he paints and draws alot. He also doodles and sketches on his notebooks and school agenda.

    Do you live in Ontario or somewhere else because I checked my local Shopper’s Drug Mart and the one in downtown Toronto and I still can’t find the Kardashian nail polish line.

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey maddy!

      That was really nice of you to get your brother an art set. The fact that he uses it a lot sounds like he loves it! 🙂 He’s lucky to have a generous sister like you.

      Yes, I live in Ontario. Hmm…I was told by PR that the Kardashian Kolors Collection was already available at Shoppers. I’m going to check mine tomorrow. I’ll reply to this comment again with updated news. (If I can’t find the collection, I’ll e-mail PR and ask about it for you.)

  9. Marta

    Mary! Thank you so much for sharing this post with all of us!
    I don’t know how you come up with all of these Sunday Ideas but I am a HUGE FAN (have I said that already!?)
    I love the dragonflies and those two paintings you did ! Wow!

    The walls in my home are decked out in various abstract/geometric shaped paintings from Winners/Home Sense. Peter and I are just slowly growing into our style and I’m sure with time we will add some more ‘unique’ pieces. We also display a lot of family photos around the house. I think photos displayed in a home make it more “homey” more “lived in”…. its a personal touch that takes us down memory lane to those little moments in time that could be long forgotten and yet are still so special.

    Really enjoyed this post!

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Marta!

      I’m so relieved that this post was well-received. Haha, and I don’t know how I come up Smorgasbord Sundays ideas, either. Sometimes an idea will hit me very early on in the week, but other times (like this time), I was pokin’ the old mushy thing upstairs trying to get it to think of something.

      Whenever I’m bored or need inspiration, I usually find myself staring at the artwork on my wall. So when I did that, I thought, “That could go into a post somehow.”

      I agree with you – photos definitely give a home that lived-in vibe. I would one day love to compile all my favourite photos, arrange them in a graphics program in a fun ‘collage-style’ set-up and then get it professionally printed. Then it’s just a matter of waiting for Michael’s to have another frame sale – seems like they’re always having one!

  10. Ann Fenner

    I just wanted to comment on your paintings. I really like the “fern”. It looked like an impressionist painting. Impressionists are my favorite.
    I have artsy-craftsy moments but no painting skills. When I was little I used to draw alot and I used crayons (I was pre-school). My parents decided I was an art genius and bought me a real artist’s easel and a mahogany box with oil paints & brushes and expected me to paint a Mona Lisa. I freaked and stopped drawing, except at school. My mother kept all that stuff for years. Funny how things work out. I love to look at art of all kinds. But I think if someone put a blank canvass in front of me, I would be at a total loss.
    Ann from Arkansas

    1. Mary Post author

      Hey Ann Fenner!

      Aww…thank you so much! That’s a big compliment that makes me grin from ear to ear, especially because I have no formal training in painting. I just paint things based on what ‘feels right’.

      Wow, aside from getting you the easel and supplies, did your parents also add pressure on you to paint a masterpiece? Art should always be fun and inspired rather than forced. But, it sounds more like your parents just wanted to help you cultivate your passion. It’s too bad their actions had the reverse effect!

      I’ve heard about how some painters plan ahead of time what they’d like to paint. Do you think it would help you if you clearly plan out what you want to paint? Or do you still find a blank canvas intimidating?


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