I found this Rebecca Atwood DIY on Emily Henderson's site over a year ago. I think Rebecca's work is phenomenal and was blown away with how Emily styled it just so magnificently. The more I thought about it, the more enamored I became with the way that you could tailor this kind of art to however you like - it's really so simple! Potato printing has been around a long time, and there are infinite ways that you can express yourself using potatoes as your stamp!
- a canvas (I grabbed a massive one on sale at Michael's!)
- 3 kinds of paint (or more!) I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White and Old Ochre, along with a simple black acrylic paint simply for mixing and adding depth
* I used the chalk paint because I wanted the crackled texture/effect when the paint dried, but if you are look for more of a smooth texture, definitely stick to an acrylic ;)
- 1 potato (I used a sweet potato!), to be used as the stamp, cut into half-moon shapes (I made about 6-7 stamps)
- a few paper plates for mixing the paint
It's really a matter of touch with a piece like this. I used the 3 paint colors and mixed them in 6-7 different ways, then I assigned a different potato "half moon" stamp to each of the paints I mixed up. I am kind of a touch artist, so I don't do a lot of measuring when it comes to something like this, I just feel out the dimensions (this drives my husband crazy but its MY ART). So I eyed the width and length of the canvas and knew that I wanted to keep a thick white border around the paint, and started pressing the stamps (dipped in the paint) a few inches in. I just began pressing the stamps into the canvas, mixing up with paint and shapes with every few presses. I didn't dip each stamp into the paint every single time, because I wanted the effect of some being more bold and some being lighter for contrast.
I continued this process, standing up a lot to make sure my lines were straight (I actually like the bit of wiggle!), and making sure I was mixing up the shape of the half moons consistently.
I also decided to add a pure white "border" on the bottom of the piece, gently working my way up until fading it out at about half way. It's extremely subtle and hard to see in the photos, but I love the effect and it made it feel like "mine" this way.
This piece was extremely therapeutic for me to make. It was something that was in my heart for a long time, so actually doing it was kind of emotional. Don't laugh, but I actually cried through some of the process. I love how art (and using your hands to create it) can be so helpful in processing what is happening in your life. I personally have had a lot of up and down emotional experiences this summer, and this painting really helped me with some of my coping. And I didn't expect that! So this piece is extra special to me.
I planned for the piece to look more black and white, but the black ended up adding a blueish effect to the white paint. The ochre shade added a sandy tone, and along with the slight movement in the piece, the end work reminds me of the ocean. I love it! And this ended up looking more like the example then I expected! But I absolutely love the result and I am super proud with the uniqueness of this. I've been inspired to do it again, perhaps on a smaller canvas with a yellow/orange vertical style. And maybe using a different medium for the stamp!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this DIY! Is this something you would be up for trying? What kind of DIYs are you interested in learning more about? Let me know in the comments below!