Wednesday, August 3, 2011

DIY: textured, spiced, painted poetry wall art

Recently, I posted this photo of the new art piece in our living room.  I actually decided to take some photos of the process, which is strange for me, because I don’t normally think that way. So, here’s my little contribution to the creative world today.  This is very precise and scientific method.
The story goes, I had been dreaming of a large canvas for ages, but never desire to shell out the money for one, I blame diapers.  But, one day my sister brings this one from my mom’s house. My mom is always getting rid of things, and she thinks that I want everything she is purging. I do not.  Canvases are the exception.  VHS tapes are not. 
1. Gather old book pages from a book you no longer want, or one you bought for art purposes OR if you just happen to have one that some guy bought you years ago as gift, because he liked you but not enough to really, actually be in a relationship. HA.  Use that.
2. In a dish mix water and a spice that you think would make a cool color.  I used turmeric, because I have it and I don’t really know what to use it for, except for art projects. So add a few tablespoons to the water and stir, stir, stir. 
3. Soak pages in the water for about 30 seconds each and then spread them out to dry.  You’ll have to take them all back up again, so don’t spend much time thinking about placement.  I don’t know how long they take to dry, because it was like an oven in my house this day thanks to the burning fire in the sky.
4. You could totally skip this step, but I think it adds a fun texture and it’s interesting.
5. NOT PICTURED- Cover the canvas with a layer of modge podge.
6.Arrange pages as you desire, then enlist an artist apprentice for the next step.
7. Mix some brown/yellow water color paint with some water, so it’s really runny and let small child have the best time ever.
8. Take paper towel/ news paper and dab the wet paint in various spots to create an aged/texture look.
9. Let it dry.
10. NOT Pictured-  When dry, apply another layer of modge podge to seal the pages. It’s boring, but the right thing to do.
11. More drying. more boring.
(At this point, I stopped taking pictures.)

13. Take white paint (or whatever color you desire) and casually paint the canvas, we’re going for the messy look here, which might be hard for some of you, but you really want the words to show through in various parts.
14. Ugh. let. it. dry.
15. Lastly, you can do whatever you want next, paint, chalk, pastels, fabric, strawberries- like Jude in across the universe… ANYTHING.  I chose to write a poem with a sharpie, because this much writing would be hard to do with paint.  I used this poem by e.e. cummings.  It’s always been one of my favorites.  I wrote it very quickly and haphazardly, because I wanted it to look that way.  Imperfection is perfection.
Voila. Textured. Spiced. Painted. Art.

If you ever decide to have so much fun doing anything like this, please let me know. I’d love to see it.


  1. Liv, I love it! Thanks for sharing the process behind the finished project.

  2. I love all the texture! Very cool.

  3. Just made my own version of this- decoupaged book pages onto a canvas, painted over with white paint, and stenciled a poem on top of it. thanks for the inspiration!


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