How to fake an oil painting

This is possibly the most genius thing ever. Yes, ok, they put a man on the moon but did they create a masterpiece with the push of a button? No? Exactly.

I, on the other hand, did. Purely by accident. Or rather, by my warped sense of curiosity which popped up when I was photocopying a document and about to eat a pear. A little voice told me to photocopy the pear. I obeyed and look what I made! Doesn’t it look just like a little antique oil painting? If you squint?

I can’t even give a tutorial for this because it’s too easy. Seriously, the hardest part was trying to photograph it without a reflection of me in the glass.

Choose fruit. Photocopy it. Frame it. Tell a friend.

Here is a slightly dustier version (ooops!):

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Eye Chart Art

My second project using my bargain frames (as seen in my previous post) is Eye Chart Art. At the moment there is a definite trend for typography as art, as well as medical/zoological/geographical (I don’t know what the kids are calling it) stuff. You know, skeletons, specimen displays, animals, science-y things, maps, pages and images from encyclopaedias and manuals, taxidermy. Stuff. I don’t know what a collection of this stuff is called but I see it everywhere. And I like it. I’ve seen vintage eye charts used as art and last week I stumbled onto this custom eye chart maker and played around with some wording. For us I chose a Jimi Hendrix quote “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens” (that I had to slightly alter because I only could only use a limited number of characters in the eye chart maker).

I also used the idea to make a housewarming present for some dear friends who moved into a little love nest together over the weekend. Posting about it kind of spoils the fun when I give it to them but whether they look genuinely surprised or not will tell me if they really read my blog…and whether I need to rethink their description of ‘dear friends’. Hmmmm.

For them I chose the title of a well know Madness song and the date they moved in. ‘Welcome to the House of Fun’ is a tribute to what is to come as I have no doubt many a fun night will be had in their new digs. In typical maddy style, once I had taken the photo I realised that the date is meant to be 120512 not 120520. I’m eight years too early. Perhaps I’ll just hold on to this and fingers crossed they move house in 2020. Or I might just print out a correct version but for the sake of not having to do it right now, it stays.

Once I generated the eye chart I saved it as a JPEG to my desktop and opened it up in Microsoft Paint (as you can see my use of technology is very sophisticated…) and used the eraser function to remove the URL that appears below the chart. This project took a whopping 10 minutes which consisted of 8 minutes to choose the wording, 1 minute to erase the URL and 1 minute to print it out and stick it in a frame. Such little effort for such a good result. My favourite kind of project!

To save you having to dust off Microsoft Paint, here is a JPEG of the Hendrix quote – enjoy!

Pretty little pins

This little piece of art was made with a $4 corkboard and a $3.95 box of thumbtacks. Yep, all that shininess for $7.95.

I saw this post for push pin art on Metal and Mud. It also links to this wall art by Jessica Hische. And then I found this on Things Bright. I am just amazed that the ordinary little thumbtack could have such a great impact as lettering. I’m not completely in love with my first attempt but the idea definitely has potential.

I chose one of my favourite words, wanderlust, because Dave and I are constantly dreaming about and talking about future travel adventures and getting excited about an October trip to Singapore and Malaysia. Wanderlust is a lovely sounding word that sums all up all that longing for travel. Plus I really liked the look of the ‘W’ in Jessica Hische’s wall art – so pretty!

Here’s how I did it in just a few hours:

  1. I wrote the word in freehand and enlarged it on the photocopier
  2. I sprayed the corkboard with two coats of matte black spray paint
  3. I lined up the word on my corkboard and used a pen to firmly trace over the letters so that the pen nib went through the paper and drew directly on the board underneath. This was quite hard going on my hand so on the second part of the word I used a blade to cut through the paper. The blade cut into the cork a little leaving white lines as opposed to the faint shiny lines left by the pen ink. This would have been fine if I was 100% certain the pins would be going along those exact lines but at some points I moved the pins off the lines so that the spacing would be better and this wouldn’t have looked good if I had white marks left all over the place
  4. Pin away! What I found is that the straight lines looked the best so next time I will chose a font with less curves. The straighter the lines, the more polished the look

It’s not spectacular – I’m not a fan at all of the frame on this one but I love the concept and the idea was too good not to try. I bought some matte black thumbtacks so I am going to try a metallic or neutral background with the black pins and see how that goes.

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