One of my favorite new additions to our Christmas and winter decor this season took me about 10 minutes and cost 50 cents. We had a great piece of artwork that I got from Minted above our mantle but I wasn’t loving how it looked with our Christmas decor. For months as I opened up catalogs that came to our house I kept seeing birch artwork pop up and I had a feeling that’s exactly what I needed over the mantle.
I would say that I’m creative and artsy but I’ll never call myself a painter or an artist. Even though I wanted to try my hand at painting this for a while I was sort of panicky about doing it… sort of the way that I’m panicky every time I know I have to sew something. You know that feeling of embarking on something you either feel clueless about or just plain bad at? That was how I felt about this project. The day before my blogging girlfriends were scheduled to come to brunch, most to see our house for the first time, I raced to the Dollar Tree and snagged a big white poster board (and picked two up for the kids because I knew I could get my project done if they were working on their own masterpiece). As they charged head first into their creations I panicked and did nothing while they begged to use my piece of poster board.
Thankfully, the next morning at 5:30a I got up the nerve. It’s my best time of day, I had the fire in my pants from knowing my friends would be arriving that morning and no one else was awake. I googled “birch painting” and attempted figure out how to paint a birch tree. I took paint we already had left over from other projects and I started out with big stripes of white in tree trunk
form. It barely showed up on the white poster. Then I added a little tan flecks. That looked stupid. So then I did a light gray which barely showed up. Needless to say I was feeling like a failure at anything artistic at this point. The game changer was when I brought out a darker gray and just put a little on my brush and ran that haphazardly over the white stripes. It made a great light gray base for each birch tree. Before waiting for it to completely dry I took more gray and painted the branches and the darker parts horizontally on each tree. It seriously took 10 minutes, aside from the drying time. It’s fun to look up on the mantle and see artwork that is mine. I’ll certainly never win awards for it but it was practically free and creates a calming centerpiece to our dining room which I framed with some boxwood clippings from a bush gone a little wild in our back yard.
What do you think, Friends? Have you ever painted your own artwork?