good patina, bad patina & the evolution of a painting

 “Untitled” acrylic, 12″ x 12″

Dear Tina & friends~

This painting was one of those paintings that didn’t come as easy as others. Looking back I realize it was an evolution of where I was in my life at the time and all started with this stool that I picked up at Brimfield some time ago.

It was happily sitting in my living room displaying plants by the window until I watched a Nate Berkus episode (I just love that man by the way) where he was talking with a guest about “good patina” vs. “bad patina” on old furniture.  As I looked around my house I realized there were many things I would like to paint and this was definitely one thing that had BAD patina. Funny, but I had never thought to paint it. For some reason I thought I would loose the red, chippy paint popping through the old wood which initially drew me to it. In truth, I had never really liked the dingy, aged water marks on the wood.

I decided to paint the whole thing red and distress it. It would give me the perfect pop of color in my newly moved guest room/home office that I was looking for. The room had been given a fresh coat of warm white at the end of the summer and I had painted the ceiling a pretty sky blue reminiscent of a summer day. My goal was to keep the tiny room (and I do mean tiny) feeling spacious but not be just a big white box. I really like how it came out (thank you Brigitte for your help~can I get an AMEN for margaritas, patience and friendship!). I still have some work to do in the decorating department but it is all coming together and feeds into my grand plan of living an organized life. I am slowly taking a critical look around my home and changing or getting rid of anything I don’t love, choosing to live more simply and surrounded by things that inspire me.

You might be wondering how this relates to this painting, right? Well, while working with the spray paint on my stool I wondered how it would translate into my own work. I had always loved how my friends Marlene and Michelle used spray paint in their work and decided to give it a whirl. I layered flowers and patterns and loved the  effect but still wasn’t feeling like it was coming together. It could have been that my limited palette of spray paint colors was forcing me to stretch a bit.

laura's working table: experiments with spray paint

I cannot tell you how long it took me to arrive here.

layering on the color
“Untitled” acrylic, 12″ x 12″

It wasn’t until I let go of some of the texture and color that it finally came together. That is all except for the title which I have been struggling with as well. I asked for suggestions on my Facebook page and was delighted with the feedback and creativity people offered. Here are some of the suggestions:


Floral Flow

Bridge over Untroubled Flowers


Below Earths Awning

Bridge over Bubbling Brook of Joy

Little Loved Ones


Spring Breaking Through

Third Eye

Simmering Sunrise

A garden By the Ocean

Bird Bath Floral Float

The Positive, Flowing Energy of Spring


Guiding Eye

I am so grateful for all of these wonderful ideas! It was really fun getting feedback on my work as painting is often such a solitary practice. You never really know how your work will be received and I can feel tender and vulnerable when I do put it out there. Before I “officially” name this painting I wondered if you would had a moment to help me narrow them down? I would love to know which title resonates with you the most. You can leave me your thoughts in the comments below. I will share the “official” title along with pictures of how cute my newly painted stool looks in it’s new home over the weekend! Many thanks and a cheery day to you!

love, laura

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4 thoughts on “good patina, bad patina & the evolution of a painting

  1. Ohhh, I do like birdbath floral float….hee hee it makes you look at the paitng from a side view rather than horizon type of view….FUN!

  2. Laura~ I am really enjoying seeing your process with this one painting. Spray paint? It looks great! You are always so careful with your paint that I give you a lot of credit for letting loose with spray paint. Nice. I also like the title “Birdbath Floral Float”. It is the most intriguing and makes me think a little longer about it. I am looking forward to seeing your stool! Tina

  3. Miss Laura …
    Below Earth’s Awning gets my vote. It seems an apt description of it visually and has a poetic ring to it.

    Creatively yours …. Carol

  4. Hi ladies!
    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me! I really really really appreciate it! Such a hard decision to make and so fun to see what other people see in this painting!

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