Sunday, July 11, 2010

A seashore-themed project

This week I had the inspiration to make something decorative for the downstairs bathroom. Last year, when we finished redoing it, we really needed something with a seashore theme to hang where a calendar had been. Well, that month our friends from Panama City, FL came to visit and they brought us a lovely calendar filled with artwork from their town and area -- the perfect thing for that space. It was one of those 18-month calendars, so has just run out the end of June. I've been racking my brain to decide what to do. There are some gorgeous paintings in that calendar so I thought about framing one, called Tide's Out. It shows children examining their finds on a beach. (I hate the idea of throwing such beautiful artwork away.)

There was an unused frame in the house, but it turned out to be an 11x14 frame and the picture is smaller. Here's what I decided to do. On the calendar page, this painting is superimposed on a background of watercolor paper that's painted a very light blue-gray and then has two vertical bands of two slightly darker blues on the right-hand side. I got out a piece of 11x14 watercolor paper and thought I would try and paint it the same way, then place the carefully cut out painting atop it.

In the end I decided to just stick with one color -- a pale aqua. My watercolor skills are well, shall we say, still developing. Or maybe undeveloped would be a better word. And I was working with a very old watercolor set that used to belong to my kids, and that color was nearly gone. The simpler background was definitely the right choice to make.

I cut out the picture, leaving its shadow in place, and placed it on the background using pop dots to give it some dimension. Down in one corner I glued on a few tiny sand dollars which we collected in Maine many years ago.

Here's the picture before hanging.

The frame (which had been a medium brown) was now painted a beachy pale tan color called Goose Feather and embellished with a few small shells -- beachcombing finds from years gone by.

And here it is hanging on the bathroom wall:

I'm so pleased with how this decorative picture turned out. It cost nothing, but gives us pleasure and brings back wonderful memories every time we look at it.

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