Tuesday, 29 November 2011

NaNoBlogMo 29 - Painting a Privacy Screen

I mentioned in my recently started "Hobby Bucket List" that I don't really paint much. I do really enjoy it, though. I loved painting in art classes both in high school and in college. Left to my own devices, though, I just don't do it. I guess I don't really have the right kind of patience for it. There is a lot of both setup and cleanup involved, so to me painting is something that you really need to block out a good chunk of time for. My most common craft, knitting, I can just pick up and do a few stitches and toss back down (any where in the house, as my parents sometimes bemoan): no mess, no fuss. That being said, if I have a particular project in mind, that can be the kick in the pants I need to paint outside of a classroom.

A few years ago my mother picked up some cabinet doors and explained to me her idea of making them into a privacy screen at the cabin. The upstairs is one large open loft, so its nice to have the option of a little privacy for getting changed, etc. She asked if I would be willing to paint them to make them a little more interesting, and I agreed. My vision was the four center panels to each have the same tree on it (specifically an apple tree since the cabin is right next to an orchard), painted through the seasons, and then vines along the top and down the sides of the two end panels. All six doors got a plain brown base coat spray painted on. Then I picked up what felt like a million different little bottles of acrylic paint. I started by painting roughly the same tree shape on the four panels, then added the seasonal details to each one. Winter and spring got touches of silver, autumn and summer got touches of gold. In my opinion, winter came out the best.

The vines came last, in shades of green and gold. I gave myself a somewhat difficult subject matter to paint. Natural things, like trees and vines, can be hard to get to look correct. It is all too easy to have an end result that looks childish or cartoony. Then again, being a mediocre-at-best painter, I would probably say that no matter what I had decided to paint.

The last steps were to just drill a few holes for the hinges, top and bottom of the panels (alternating sides to get that folding effect) and then screw on the hinges. All in all, I'm not that disappointed (man, can I heap the compliments on myself or what?). I don't have as much faith in myself as a painter as I do with other things, so my hopes weren't terrible high before I even started. This project came out pretty much as I was expecting, not bad, but no where near as good as it looked in my mind when I was planning it. The privacy screen has been up in the loft since it was completed and though it often just sits there, every once in a while it is used for its intended purpose.


  1. Actually, I like the fall one best.

  2. I like the colors on the fall one, but I worry that it is the most cartoonish looking one. :-\

  3. THESE ARE AWESOME. I actually have a decorative mini-screen with similar seasonal trees on it. Can I commission you to paint my house?

  4. I'll gladly paint whatever you want, Cori-bor. :-)