With walls all block and plaster, and ceramic tile floors, much of our home is an echo chamber. The acoustics really are terrible, even if the light when the sun pours in is heaven itself. So I am doing whatever I can to break up the hard surfaces with soft, sound-absorbent ANYthings.

When I opened the IKEA table box and found two large cardboard panels, I snagged them for the walls.

Big blank “canvas”

They are in the process of becoming art large and lightweight enough to break up the wall, but cheap enough I can toss them in the trash when we go home. I decided to go all O’Keefe and paint big flowers. But first I had to get the cardboard surface prepped for painting. This turned out to be tougher than you’d think. While the big supermarchés here have art supplies, they are basic. No gesso. And I cannot for my LIFE locate an art supply store in Toulouse. There must be one, but so far it eludes me. But I decided that much gesso for cheap cardboard is probably overkill on the expense anyway. It only has to last a few years, right?

spray paint to the rescue…sort of

The next step was to sketch in my flower. I had a photo reference for a poppy that I used. I also blocked in the highlights, even though in acrylic you would normally work dark to light. The white spray paint had given me a ground to work on and greatly lightened the cardboard, but it still wasn’t white.

The flower takes shape.

I then blocked in the background in a medium yellow wash, and painted myself a poppy. However, I lost sight of how jarring the crimson’s complement, green,  would be right up against it. It became an electric green at the center of the flower, so I washed it with the pale terra cotta I had used to wash the background.

disposable wall art

So my question to you all is, is the poppy’s center still too jarring? I’ll show it on the wall in its intended home, but please let me know if you think I should neutralize the center green still more. Does it grab your eye more than the red poppy, pulling it away from the petals?

The poppy, drawing on the colors in the room.



Filed under Art, Creativity, home & garden

3 responses to “Poppies…poppies…

  1. Robyn

    Yay! Look what you did! I love it on the wall, just as it is.

  2. Adreana Bennett

    I actually like the center of the poppy POPPING out at my eyes. I think it’s lovely 🙂

  3. how wonderful…very creative!

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