Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Creating my own wall art.

I am still working on my living and dining room, but I am almost finished with the painting.   I want those rooms to look finished (unlike most of my rooms in this house), so I need some art on the walls.

As I am a photographer, you would suppose I would have images all over my house, right? Well, you would be wrong. I always plan on making some, but life gets in the way and other than a few printouts on my fridge you wouldn't know I even had a camera. 

We went to Hobby Lobby over the weekend, coupon in hand, to pick out some wall art. Unfortunately it did not work out. I have this thing about hanging mass-produced art on my walls, but I can't afford original art.  Thus most of my walls are blank.

My husband put it best while looking at everything Hobby Lobby had to offer; "I see a lot of things that look nice, but they really don't mean anything to me". Well said. 

What to do? Get out my camera and take some photos and make my own original art.  Something that will make me happy to see hanging on my freshly painted walls.  And here is my first try.
Every photo in this frame means something to me.  The top coffeecup
was purchased in a street fair in Bremen, Germany.  My husband and I went there in the early 90's to visit my family, the only time we have been there together.  This trip was a huge deal to me.  We backpacked around Germany, visited with my family, and learned to love both wine AND coffee.

The middle image is the silver baby spoon that my sisters and I used, and was also used by my two boys.

The bottom image is a photo of a piece of china, part of a set given to me by my German grandmother.  This china made it through a few wars and means so much to me.

I was able to create this in about 45 minutes.  I put a large white foam board on the floor facing a window.  I photographed each item from slightly above to make sure the background was white and the shadows fell behind them.  I used my beloved lens, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens (it is under $100 right now) and processed the image in Photoshop.

I added a texture for the scratches and also a levels adjustment layer (I moved the middle gamma slider up until the image was lightened). Then I printed them out on Canon glossy paper on my Canon printer and taped them in the frame.

I hope I can encourage all of you to go out and make your own art.  You don't always need gallery wraps or huge images, just start with something simple.  And photos of beloved items, such as toys, books, china, etc. are just as nice to hang on your wall as family photos.  Your art might not impress the neighbors, but it will make you happy.

34 comments:

  1. Rita, that is a beautiful work of art! So special and I'm sure it will be the conversation starter. You did a great job and as always an inspiration :)

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  2. Oh boy, I am like you! I take tons and tons of photos, but barely have a thing hanging in my 2-story traditional home! Sd, I know...plus I can't buy "art" since I know I can make it at home myself and it will be an opriginal! Good for you for taking a few minutes and doing something for YOU!

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  3. EXACTLY what I've been thinking of doing. We just moved into a house (the newest I've ever lived in - only 20 years old) and I want some character and art that means something to me. It's one thing to have photos of family (we WILL have that) but artistic photos can mean so much too. Because I've learned so much from your blog, I'm working on taking photos from a family vacation to Quebec; tweaking them artistically and framing them for a room in our house.

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  4. I'm the same way! my walls are very empty 'cause I really don't care for any art pieces - especially Thomas Kinkade *gag* (His stuff is so popular in my community)

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  5. What a perfect idea!! Totally going to do this.

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  6. I've been working on creating my own art too... love what you did and very inspiring!

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  7. Beautiful job! Just love it! You are so right we never hang our own work!

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  8. Love it! What a great idea! Oh and ordered the lens you always talk about last night.. can't wait to try it out!! Thanks for all that you put on the blog!

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  9. Thanks everyone! I am so excited about making some art for my walls and I just had to share. I have a few other empty frames (I buy them on sale and stick them in the closet) so I plan on making some more.

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  10. Wonderful photo art--meaningful and creative.

    I, too, am figuring out how to display my photos. I plan to make a home-made hanging system for the dinning/kitchen to hang framed pieces. This will allow me to switch art-work without putting holes in the wall. For my study/studio, which I just painted white, I want to put unframed photos all over one large wall. Haven't figured out how to do it yet.

    What is the point of being a photographer if we don't showcase our own work?

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  11. This is so wonderful-- very very professional looking-- looks like you could purchase it in a shop-- but even better because the pieces have meaning for you.

    Thanks for the gentle "kick in the pants" to use our skills to make some home art.

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  12. I'm always so weird about hanging stuff on the walls, but I don't know why. We have a lot of pictures of the kids on the wall (almost all taken by me), but as far as artistic shots, not so much. Your piece here is a lovely example though. So inspiring! Thanks for sharing this. :)

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  13. Wonderful idea, Rita! I love the idea of making your own art...for the process and the fact that it means something special

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  14. You did a lovely job. I can't bring myself to hang mass produced art. I like that these pieces have meaning and add to you home. Thanks for sharing :)

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  15. This is absolutely stunning and the fact that you photographed objects that invested with such meaning is even more stunning. Perfect.

    I had already ordered that lens and will be snapping shots of heirlooms, etc. Such a wonderful idea!

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  16. Well done Rita! I agree that I like my "art" on the walls to mean something to me. I think your are beautiful and it's even better that each item is special to you in some way!!

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  17. I swear we are the same person sometimes Rita. I have been waiting to photograph something that means something to me to hang in my bathroom. I want to redo the whole thing and I'm waiting for the picture to pick out colors and everything else. I agree it has to mean something. You are so wonderful and inspirational and always say exactly what I'm thinking! You are the best!

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  18. You did a great job. I am replacing many of my wall pictures, that really don't mean anything to me, with pictures I have taken. It just seems so much more personal. I love your work and you are an inspiration to me.

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  19. That is just beautiful and how fantastic that it all means something to you. That is the best kind of art in my book. And I totally understand what you mean about hanging some mass produced art that you don't love or doesn't have significance.

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  20. I'm so very guilty of saying I'll create art for my walls and then never getting around to it. We recently moved into a different apartment and the walls are barren.. much like the old apartment. Last week we went shopping for things to hang on the wall and all my husband kept saying to me was "I like your pictures better. Just hang your pictures." My goal for 2011 is to stop talking about it and do it. Your post was the extra kick in the pants I needed.

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  21. Beautiful, Rita! I wish I had your creative thinking... you are truly inspirational.

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  22. I have always said that I wouldn't hang any pictures on the wall that I didn't take/create! Makes it a little difficult when someone gives you pictures of themselves to put up. lol I've stuck to it though! (Sorry to those that have given me pictures, lol And my best friend that bought me an expensive barn painting)
    I love having original things on the walls! They are conversation pieces too! I love taking pictures of old barns. :o)
    Thanks for the inspiration to do more! My pictures seem to stay on the ocmputer or on my card nowadays. :(
    Kristy

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  23. "I have this thing about hanging mass-produced art on my walls, but I can't afford original art. Thus most of my walls are blank."

    I feel the exact same way. I am a photographer too and yet have a hard time using my own work to decorate my home. I need to sit down this weekend and try again. Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  24. I just linked over to your blog from DigiShopTalk and am soooo glad I did! I could have written the beginning of your post. We moved in April, but our walls are empty! I love photography and Photoshop and can not wait to dive further into your blog. Thank you!

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  25. Absolutely GORGEOUS . . . worlds better than anything you could buy (or even have custom made). Thanks for sharing and for inspiring us!

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  26. Rita your artwork turned out exquisite. Now you will smile everytime you look at your art. Can't wait to see more.

    I've been wanting to do something similar with my children's lovies. I once found a woman online that will paint an original piece of your child's favorite stuffed animal/toy. I thought why can't I take a picture and do something artistic with it myself. I really need to get on this!

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  27. I'm like you...one wouldn't know I owned a camera and love to take pictures. For my wall art I have my kids paint on canvas and watercolor paper. For example, In the spring I gave them a large canvas, different sizes/types of paint brushes and their choice of 5 colors that represent "Spring" and paint a picture....then I frame their work and put it up around the house~original art work by my children that I will have forever! Then I get the kids to name their painting and I put a card beside the frame with the title of the piece, their name, age and date it was created. They love it as much as I do :)

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  28. OH! Beautiful! I was looking at some mass produced art today and loved the frames it was in, but not the artwork. I'm going back for them and replace the artwork with my own! Thanks so much!

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  29. You sound just like me....nothing on my walls....you would not even suspect that I own a camera. I have been thinking about creating my own wall art, but have not moved past the "thinking" stage. Thanks for the inspiration. Hopefully I can move into the "just do it" stage!

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  30. Very beautiful, Rita. I don't have any photography on my walls at this point either. I have an idea for some, but need to work out arranging it.

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  31. This looks amazing! Terrific photos, and how special that the items are special to you!

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  32. I've been racking my brain for YEARS trying to figure out what to put on my walls. I've gone through pictures I've already taken but nothing has ever stood out me and I really wanted whatever I put on my walls to reflect something about me. I never thought about taking pictures of things I already care about and putting them on my wall. Thanks for the wonderful suggestion. I think I might even try to go to all of my relative's houses and photograph something they have the reminds me of them. In a way, it'll be like I'm surrounding myself with my family even though I live on my own.

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