The day I became a Rebel Artist and didn't mind at all

I don’t think I’ve felt this rebellious since I overtook a caravan on double white lines.

I’m Claire and I’m a 43 year old mother of two with a passion for baking, poetry writing and grafitti-ing old paintings.

So what you going to do about it?

Rascal.jpg

Well you can copy me if you like? It feels all kinds of good.

Appropriation art is a thing in all the right circles, trust me on this. It’s where a piece of art (preferably one that is past it) is updated to be more appropriate for the current market. It may have been embellished, collaged, touched up, or in my case scrawled upon with messages of endearment or empowerment. Here’s another much admired piece I sold as part of my little up-cycled art venture, No Two Walls.

Appropriation art by Yours Truly

Appropriation art by Yours Truly

Clearly, these examples are not exactly masterpieces that you are likely to leave your children in your will. That’s precisely the point. They’re a post modern, tongue in cheek entry into the classification of art - so low brow that they’re high brow, see?

In combining a celebrated art form (the floral still life) with a relatively new obsession (typography) my new obsession for painting on pictures offers a new perspective on art that would otherwise be destined to clutter the shelves of a charity shop. I use only cheap reproduction pictures that are now, sadly, only worth the frames they are mounted in - They make the unoriginal, original. And THAT’s what (in my world anyway) makes them cool.

Making them is absolutely as easy as it looks. You don’t need an art degree and - come to think of it - being good at spelling isn’t all that important either. It may even add to the charade in some instances. Essentially, all you need is the luck to stumble upon a really un-loveable picture that has at some point in it’s chequered past been cared for enough to be deemed worthy of a decent frame. And then you need the balls to paint on it.

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This one isn’t even a painting - it’s a print - and a sun faded one at that, which made it far less gut wrenching to de-face.

There’s not much room for making mistakes on this sort of thing, which can make it slightly unnerving. A washable paint, such as chalk paint is more forgiving, but bear in mind that oil paintings have bumps and lumps on them which the fresh paint can stick to, so I find it’s best to commit to the job and just go for it. The worst that can happen is that you make a crap picture crapper. In which case, re-use the frame for a different project. That’s why I don’t like to pay more than £10 for the picture in the first place, although the more you pay, the better the frame is likely to be and sometimes this can make more of a difference than the background.

If you do find a lovely floral still life in a gorgeous gilt frame, please do consider if vandalising it is creative or criminal. Obviously check out the painter if it’s got a signature on it. Google can provide a quick fire response on a collectible artist.

If the colours are too beautiful, think twice. Ask yourself, could the flowers still be enjoyed without your graffiti on them? If the answer is no, then it’s OK to paint on it. Getting the right amount of twee, with the right amount of modern is where the magic happens.

Take this brown oil on board for example. It aint pretty. The colours are a bit samey but it has a hippy, retro vibe to it that does appeal. The frame is non descript so it’s not going to win fans on its own merit. I made the call that it would benefit from a little style statement and now it brings a smile to my face in the laundry room.

A No Two Walls un-original original.

A No Two Walls un-original original.

This one on the other hand, I can’t bring myself to scrawl on. It’s not by anyone famous, the frame isn’t amazing, but the colours are pretty and it’s somehow still got a charm to it, albeit in an innocent, amateurish kind of way. This one is safe from my rebel paintbrush. For now at least.

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Landscapes are easier to come across than florals, simply because they are less in vogue. They don’t work quite as well but I still think you can have fun with them that’s better than them heading to landfill.

I’d like to think they would make very cool wall fillers in student digs or similar, but am willing for this to go up in the man cave, should it ever come to fruition. It’s quite possibly somebody’s A level copy of the famous Hay Wain by Constable and I had to be in a particularly rebellious #SorryNotSorry mood when I wrote on it. In the end I decided it was better to be uniquely controversial than a blatant fake. … So handcuff me…

Hey, Wayne, you’re mum is gonna kill you.

Hey, Wayne, you’re mum is gonna kill you.

A more popular choice of wording would be some cool music lyrics that mean something to you or your other half. I’ll be doing more of these on No Two Walls so keep a look out if you like the idea, but don’t like the deed.

And what about a marriage proposal via Appropriation Art? Surely that’s got to be the coolest way to say I do next week on Valentines Day, what do you say? Let me know in the comments section.

Or maybe not?

Or maybe not?

Happy Valentines week art rebels.
Claire

Hello... Buy, Buy - My New Year/All year Shopping List Sorted

It's the dregs of the sales. All that's left is stuff no-one loved enough to buy full price, no one really wanted (or fitted in) at half price and whose only hope of a nice home is a weak willed shopaholic hoarder... such as myself.

Me, choosing love over literally every sensible notion

Me, choosing love over literally every sensible notion

I have, in fact, been known to make some of my greatest ever purchases mid January. I can't bear the Boxing Day bun fight, I may have a quick scan through the rails in New Year, but mid Jan, when everything has been returned, bought and returned again, THAT is the time to bag the big win my friends. Last year's All Saints leather jacket being an excellent example. 

Anyway, this year I'm steering clear. Not of shops per se, because that would make me sad, but I am avoiding the usual shopping destinations in a bid to save my soul and quite possibly my marriage.

Instead I've drawn up a shopping list of things I am allowed to buy in January next to the list of things I'm not.  It goes like this:

I won't buy:

Wine

I will buy:

Flowers

They're prettier, they smell better, they are massively less fattening. They don't make you shout at your kids so much in the morning. Invest in a new vase to celebrate this lovelier new you. I like vintage ones. This ceramic patterned 80s number is a cheap imitation of my favourite retro Zambesi pottery design, but I will never hold that against it. Alternatively try Marks and Spencer's new vintage inspired glass vases in fresh Spring Summer 17 colours that can't fail to banish winter blues. 

I won't buy 

Cook Books

I will buy

Reading books

It's tempting to chuck a new healthy eating cook book in the trolley along with ridiculously green groceries, but this year I will not succumb. I already have a full set of Joe Wicks and still not progressed further than smashed avo on toast - it does the job and I see little point in attempting something substantially less rewarding. Meanwhile, this book idea has got me salivating: 

Library goals from Suzyhoodles.com on Pinterest

Library goals from Suzyhoodles.com on Pinterest

I got one book for Christmas. ONE BOOK!!! Of all the people that bought me presents, one person thought I would enjoy reading. This must be addressed. I love reading. I don't have much time to read, but when I do, I love it. I also love to flick. Book flicking is one of my all time favourite things to do, in fact I actually don't think there's a better way to spend a spare five minutes.

So I'm buying myself books this month and next month and every month for the rest of the year. By the end of the year I will have enough books to create a really cool library. Next year, EVERYONE will want to buy me books for Christmas and I will feel both cleansed and clever.

I won't buy:

Shoes

I will buy:

Slippers.

Like all sports, reading requires the right footwear. I like the idea that these Mahabis are billed as slippers for non slipper wearers because *whispers* I'm still trying to be more Parisian thanks to my favourite all time reference book and I'm not sure slippers go at all well with the vibe. This is possibly as close as it comes: 

Dual purpose  Mahabis

Dual purpose Mahabis

I also like the fact that Mahabis come with removable outdoor soles so that when you're pottering about indoors and suddenly have to dash out to the library to reserve that French first edition (see how seriously I'm taking this), well then it's just a case of slipping on some rubber um, sole thingys.

Sexy, no? Well sexier than fluffy pom pom boots anyway and that's progress.

I won't buy

paint

I will buy

Art

So here's where I lay my soul bare and tell you, I'm crap at decorating. I'm messy, I'm impatient, I'm far too indecisive. I find it much more fun to play about with accessories rather than change the actual walls themselves. Art is just the best way to dress a house and I actually cannot stop buying it. My latest purchases are prints by www.evermade.com and whilst I'm saving up to complete the full set of family portraits, for now it's just me and the Fox. 

I won't buy

The hype

I will buy

Time

I did what every successful blogger tells you not to do and switched off a bit at Christmas. I resisted the nagging urge to blog, I paid less attention to social media and I just had a really lovely time with my family and friends. It was the most fun I've had all year. It also helped me get my priorities in order for this year and assess where I'm at in this whole blogging malarkay.

I don't want to be a super blogger. There I've said it. I don't need millions of followers because, well, I'm not exactly sure where I'm going and I'd hate for you to blame me if we took a wrong turn. I'm a life long wanderer and this blog is no more than a collection of my wonderings in the field of homemaking. It allows me to exercise my inherent need to write, to be creative, meet new, inspiring people and share amazing new ideas and fresh designs. And that's cool with me.

So I'm refocusing a bit. I won't be burning the midnight oil to be the first to bring you the latest interior trends from Milan. Are you bothered?... I suspected as much. I won't be seeking out a multi million pound sponsorship collaboration 'cos I could never be trusted with that amount of cash anyway.

Instead I will be having the best time rummaging around market stalls and charity shops, finding furniture to reinvent with dreamy new fabrics and delicious new wallpapers. I will just adore finding quirky home accessories that I may be forced to part with on the all new House Candy Store.  I will be stoked to tell you about some high street scoops that look way more expensive than they are, and, most exciting of all, I will be seeking out new creative talent and telling the stories of people who really do deserve to make mega bucks for the House Candy they bring to the world in a brand new page I'm calling Candy Floss!

So, sorry it's taken me a while to bring you my first post of 2017, but it feels like it was totally the right time to pause, refocus and write myself a mental shopping list.

I am so excited to see what this year brings and what interior gems we will uncover along the way. Please do let me know about what you're up to housey-wise (or other wise) and if you're an actual creator of actual House Candy ... well then we really should talk.

Hope your New Year has got off to a flier but if not, stick your slippers on, look at some art, buy some flowers and read a book. After that you will be SO ready to rock and roll, of this I can promise you.

Come back soon,

Claire xx

 

Treble Rebel - 3 ways to rock the street art trend at home

No longer an outlet for angry teenagers to voice their beef, street art is one of the coolest and instagrammable art forms out there and its influence on the interiors scene is so loud it deserves an ASBO.

Graffiti inspired home furnishings dominated at Decorex International, with luxe home furnishings brands resplendently rebellious in their paint splattered prints and powerful papers. Here's 3 ways I'm looking to work more street into my semi.

1) Make a splash

The new range of artistic abstract prints from Blackpop

The new range of artistic abstract prints from Blackpop

At Blackpop, it wasn't a stinking bad mood, but an obsession with artist Jackson Pollock that inspired designer Maxine Hall's latest range of edgy wallpapers and sumptuous velvets. Pair the two together and your room turns into one big, bad-ass work of art.

For a more colourful take on the trend I fancy the gorgeous Blue Note design for a feature chair and will add playful lighting or some cute neon - 'cos I'm girly like that. 

Blue note velvet £144 per metre  www.blackpop.co.uk

Blue note velvet £144 per metre www.blackpop.co.uk

Blackpop's designs are now available at Curiousa & Curiousa. Visit their store on Amwell Street in Islington for more inspiration on luxuriously eclectic living, including bespoke lighting and furnishings.

Scottish art-meets-homefurnishings brand Timorous Beasties has been crawling all over the street art vibe for some time now and its trademark statement wallpanels have all the hallmarks of a boss boutique hotel.

Graffiti stripe super wide wallpaper panel £300  Timorous Beasties

Graffiti stripe super wide wallpaper panel £300 Timorous Beasties

The luxe home furnishings brand also does paint splattered masterpieces as wall panels, wallpapers and seriously sexy velvets. 

Kaleido Splat wallpaper panel from £120  Timorous Beasties

Kaleido Splat wallpaper panel from £120 Timorous Beasties

2) Get less cushty with the cushions

If you want to start with more of a scribble than a full on wall of art, head to Society 6 for the coolest range of cushions, pillows and framed prints at bargain prices. I'm looking to use some spray painted prints like the one below to brighten up my sons' room.

B is for Bamm cushion £14  Society 6

B is for Bamm cushion £14 Society 6

3) Buy Actual Art 

For me, having a fabulous piece of abstract art in your home, is the equivalent of adding a studded leather jacket to a vintage tea dress. It takes away all the twee.

I can't say enough good things about London artist Rowan Newton, whose work has transformed my home and for whom I have a special savings pot where I'm excitedly collecting all my £2 pieces ready for my next purchase.

Delphic Ambiguity by  Rowan Newton

Delphic Ambiguity by Rowan Newton

For more urban art originals and prints to suit a variety of budgets, visit new online urban art seller www.graffitistreet.com

3F-XO (Red) Print £125  www.graffitistreet.com

3F-XO (Red) Print £125 www.graffitistreet.com

So what's your thoughts on street art? Drop me a line in the comments section, I would love to hear from you.

Also this week, I'll be looking at the new graphic prints that are big news for next season and filling you in on my delve into the design archives at Denby Pottery. 

Happy new week all,

Claire