Adventures in Painting: Abstract Impressionism and the Decorating Domino Effect

So I got my art on this weekend.  And I have to say, I really enjoyed it.  Aside from my little venture into attempting a black and white abstract, this is the closest I’ve come to creating something truly my own with proper acrylics since High School.  And yes, we’re talking a crazy long time ago.

I didn’t want to copy anything outright, but I was inspired by some abstracts I’d seen around blogland and I took from them a couple of things.  The contrast of light/dark areas, the layering (and layering and layering) of various colour and the short brushstrokes to provide depth and interest.

I had 2 large canvases already – a blank one and the black/white abstract  from the living room.  My intention was to just to buy another blank one.  But once I finished one canvas, I was in ‘the zone’ and just decided to paint over the one that was in my living room.  There were certain things I wasn’t happy about with that one and I just figured there was no point in not using what I had to hand.

Because it’s been so cloudy lately, I had to take some shots from the guest bedroom which became my makeshift ‘studio’ (ooh listen to her getting all fancy here) because the light is quite good in there.  So you can see the colours better than in the dining room shots.  We’ll start there!

Here’s Canvas 1…

And here’s Canvas 2…

They are similar but different.  I realised after I was finished the first, it had a definite ‘impressionist’ look to it and so I figured I’d call it ‘Abstract Impressionism’.  Lo and behold, it turns out that this is an actual THING.  So yeah, let’s just pretend that it was all on purpose and not just me pretending to be an artist or something.

Canvas 1
Canvas 2

So, here’s where things got a bit complicated.  Because once I was finished with them, I excitedly hung them side by side on the wall they were meant for.  Except…um, it didn’t work.  Two together were just way way too much for one wall when I had the gallery wall right next to it.  It was as if everything in the room was screaming “LOOK AT ME!! LOOK AT ME!!!”

I call it the Decorating Domino Effect.

You try one thing and like it but then something else feels ‘off’ so you change that thing too and then something else doesn’t work… and this keeps on going until you get something like this… (which isn’t done either but I’ll explain my plans in a second.)

And this…

Now when you look at the whole room, it looks kinda like this (I say ‘kinda’ because it’s difficult to see the whole room at the same time as you could if you were in the room and unfortunately, I don’t have a wide angle lens)…

I really love the way the painting over the barcart picks up the colours in the plates above the mantle.

But speaking of the Decorating Domino effect, I’m thinking the gallery wall doesn’t *quite* work as well.  It needs a couple of shots of more colour to bring the whole thing together better.  So there’s still work to do.

As for the wall that started this whole thing, I am currently waiting to be sent an amazing limited edition print that I won in a giveaway – it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever won in my life.  And as the dimensions are quite long and thin and the over all colour of the print is white and quite neutral, it will be going on the wall with the gold console table to ‘soften’ it a bit.

Plus, I need a different plant there, things need to be added/subtracted and I’m still on the hunt for a different console…  but yeah, all in good time.  Oh and I may actually do another painting for the living room wall which is now sans art above the sofa.

So what do you think of my attempts at abstract painting?  And have you ever experienced the Decorating Domino Effect?

Also, I’m considering selling these at some point, so if you are interested in possibly purchasing a print or an original, please sign up for emails to be the first to be notified when I do so!

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  • MFAMBJanuary 20, 2013 - 5:54 pm

    pretty fucking awesome i say. good job.ReplyCancel

  • micheleJanuary 20, 2013 - 11:12 pm

    i love em! they&#39;re fabulous! swoonworthy fab! keep painting, lovely.<br /><br />micheleReplyCancel

  • Melissa @ Made Her LookJanuary 21, 2013 - 1:29 am

    Kimberly, I am SO impressed!! What beautiful work! I would hang those in my own home in a heartbeat. You mention you haven&#39;t painted since high school, did you paint often when you were younger? Did you start with a solid background and then paint the short brush strokes on top? Or just started with short brushstrokes and kept building and building? It reminds me of this artist Judith Murray.ReplyCancel

  • LJanuary 21, 2013 - 9:18 am

    I love these! Do you do commissions? :)ReplyCancel

  • MarlenJanuary 21, 2013 - 12:47 pm

    Haha oh I know that Decorating Domino Effect well- it&#39;s borderline maddening! And your room is GORGEOUS, i was absolutely stunned when you showed the whole dining room. I&#39;m a huge fan of the organized cluttered look, so my jaw dropped at that wall full of frames. I think your art work added the perfect touches to the room, and I&#39;m conpletely impressed how you painted it. It was theReplyCancel

  • Hollie @ I'm Busy ProcrastinatingJanuary 21, 2013 - 11:10 pm

    I&#39;m impressed with your painting talents! I think the one over the bar cart is my favorite of the two, but they are both awesome. I see what you mean about the pair side-by-side screaming for attention. Every wall but the window wall is asking to be looked at, so I&#39;ll be interested in seeing what you end up with. I totally know what you mean about the domino effect. My entire living roomReplyCancel

  • Hollie @ I'm Busy ProcrastinatingJanuary 21, 2013 - 11:11 pm

    Have you tried the new paintings in your living room, by the way? I wonder what they would look like above the sofa, side-by-side.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth @ The Little Black DoorJanuary 22, 2013 - 1:53 am

    Shut. Up. You are a painter my friend, I don&#39;t care what you say!! I&#39;d pay you to make one of those suckers for me. GORGEOUS.ReplyCancel

  • Elly @ Caribbean LivingJanuary 22, 2013 - 10:49 am

    Oh my GOD!! You are so talented! Seriously, I&#39;m always a bit dismissive of peeps doing their own artwork as it&#39;s so often crappo (certainly including myself in that sweeping comment…) but these pieces are really really good! Wow, really impressed. Loving that one over the barcart too, divine daaarling!ReplyCancel

  • becJanuary 22, 2013 - 10:53 am

    you are one talented chicky… the number of times I&#39;ve attempted a canvas and it&#39;s ended up in the wheelie bin….I will leave art to my sister she has her own exhibitions and is doing her Phd…pfttt… not fair!<br />Bec xReplyCancel

  • BexJanuary 22, 2013 - 12:53 pm

    Amazing! Love them both, think canvas 2 is my favourite, I think it looks like a flower. You&#39;re so talented!!ReplyCancel

  • Meera @ firstsenseJanuary 22, 2013 - 6:22 pm

    Oh my goodness, so so impressed by your mad skillz! The iron-turned-gold console looks fab and the paintings are GORGEOUS! They look like they were bought for megabucks! Certainly don&#39;t look like a care bear massacre! Wowee missy!! :)ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly HughesJanuary 22, 2013 - 9:12 pm

    All you guys are too cool for school!! Big sloppy kisses for all your lovely comments!! MWAH xxxxReplyCancel

  • topchelseagirlJanuary 23, 2013 - 7:58 pm

    They look great and it sounds like you really enjoyed doing them, so I say go ahead and do another for the living room!ReplyCancel

  • Tanja @ Postmodern HostessJanuary 26, 2013 - 2:19 am

    So beautiful! If you decide you don&#39;t need both canvasses in your space, will you please send one to me??? :-)ReplyCancel

  • jlryanompJanuary 26, 2013 - 6:03 pm

    I very much enjoy the bright colors on the neutral gray wall. <br /><br />The only thing I would change is hanging the painting that sits above the bar higher up on the wall. I think it would look nice centered between the ceiling and the tallest bottle.<br /><br />The paintings themselves are beautiful and complete.<br /><br />Keep up the good work!ReplyCancel

  • NancyJanuary 28, 2013 - 4:10 pm

    Looking awesome! I love that you got into your paints and I wish you continued inspiration. Love your gray walls with those art pieces. Great job!<br />xo Nancy<br />Powellbrowerhome.comReplyCancel

  • sueJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:08 pm

    those colours are fantabulous! well done you!!!ReplyCancel

  • JulieJanuary 29, 2013 - 7:49 pm

    This is really gorgeous! Super impressed and wondering if I can maybe do the same thing…ReplyCancel

  • Mocca and MeFebruary 4, 2013 - 11:53 pm

    OMG that is a gorgeous painting! Seriously! Keep painting! :)ReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 16, 2013 - 6:40 am


    • Kimberly HughesFebruary 20, 2013 - 9:38 am

      Oooh I see your point there! If I post step by step, I will normally list it as a tutorial. But I don&#39;t think it&#39;s *not* a DIY if you don&#39;t post instructions, is it? On something like this, it&#39;s a little hard – it&#39;s very organic, you just add paint in short brushstrokes and with lots of different colours to various parts of the canvas, blending colours as you go. That&#39;sReplyCancel

  • andreaMay 31, 2013 - 12:31 pm

    Wow, what an amazing canvas, i don&#39;t have word to say about this attractive canvas, you did an admirable work, nice to see this great abstract impressionism and the decorating domino effect canvas. Many thanks for sharing :)ReplyCancel

  • Momma Bug BrittanyAugust 26, 2013 - 9:31 pm

    I am in LOVE with the canvas over your bar cart! Any chance you&#39;re thinking of offering prints? :)<br />ReplyCancel

    • Kimberly HughesAugust 27, 2013 - 9:27 am

      Thank you so much! I&#39;ve had so much interest that it&#39;s something I&#39;m considering! Will definitely announce something on the blog if so :) xxxReplyCancel

  • AnonymousFebruary 27, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    Dropped by from YHL …seriously, your work is amazing! You should start your own interior design company.ReplyCancel

  • Lauren FrayneMarch 2, 2014 - 7:01 am

    Stunning. I would have had no idea you hadn&#39;t painted in years!ReplyCancel

  • KatieMarch 3, 2014 - 8:53 pm

    Stopping over from Young House Love. So Inspiring! Love both pieces.ReplyCancel

  • Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColorMarch 4, 2014 - 3:46 pm

    So I sorta kinda totally just fell completely in love with your house over on Young House Love. You now have a new stalker, er, FOLLOWER. I absolutely love bold, colorful homes. This is by far one of my favorites… like ever:)ReplyCancel

  • Lisa-Marie FründJune 23, 2014 - 4:28 pm

    Hej Kimberly! I am here because of young house love and their crashing your house. I really loved this art and I had to try it myself. If you want to take a look:

  • Singgat ModernHomeDesignOctober 30, 2014 - 1:54 am

    I really like the art for home decoration, made ​​more beautiful and comfort in the house. I&#39;m in love with the canvas over your bar cart. ^_^ReplyCancel

  • Kumarini IbrahimNovember 10, 2014 - 11:11 am

    These are beautiful!. They go so well against your grey walls. I love itReplyCancel

  • AnonymousDecember 15, 2014 - 3:51 am

    I wish I could find one of these for my 4 month old daughter&#39;s room!! So pretty!ReplyCancel

  • Esther CollinsApril 28, 2016 - 10:41 pm

    This is so cool! I want to try!


  • JamieApril 29, 2016 - 4:51 pm

    I know this is an old post but I just came across it thru Pinterest. Gotta say…..GORGEOUS! Love how the plates and painting work together. Don’t you just love it when creative endeavors turn out so well!ReplyCancel

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