Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Our kitchen wall needed some art work. Without it, our recent renovation wasn’t quite complete. How that renovation could have led to a divorce, is another story. Two people painting tiles together, especially grout, isn’t a happy scene. Especially if one is low in patience and the other is clinically panic-prone.  I am in a good mind to sue all the paint brands whose advertisements show a happy-looking couple painting walls with smiles on their faces….music in the background…wine and take-away pizza on the messy floor, casually splashing paint on each other just for fun. We tried all of that (except the deliberate splashing of paint; ours was totally accidental and the worst part of the project)…and trust me, it was a hundred miles from fun land.

Anyway, the tiles and the marriage were somehow intact at the end of the two-weekend long battle of paint, sweat and tears. But one of the walls looked naked without something on it.

It had to be a single piece (not a set of canvases) as I was reluctant to drill more than one hole on a newly-painted wall. It had to be somehow related to the kitchen theme.  And it had to be red, to match the rest of the d├ęcor. Needless to say, with such criteria, I was very restricted. Because I wanted it to be unique too, Ikea and the other popular homeware stores were out. What I was left with was expensive boutique stuff, way beyond our budget.

If I couldn’t buy one…surely, I could make one. So many of my friends paint, sew, knit, draw, and do all sorts of creative things. How hard can it be? With new-found confidence in my creativity, I walked into an art-and-craft store. I would need some paper, paint, brushes…easy. But nobody told me there were 342 varieties of brushes and 216 types of paint! Feeling like a complete idiot, I made my way through the different aisles. Yes, there were shop assistants around…but what would I ask them? “Hello, I want to paint something for my kitchen wall. I don’t know what and how. Can you help?” So I avoided that route altogether.

After a good couple of hours of browsing, I had practically read the instructions on all the different varieties of paint and brushes. Finally, I picked up some acrylic paint and some “normal" looking brushes (the kind I remember from my art classes back in kindergarten). Teeming with pride and the hope of creating something marvellous, I headed home. "A" was away on work that weekend; so I could have a quiet afternoon of creativity.

I had decided to paint a fork and a knife (see image above). Red ones, of course. Best to start with something simple, I thought. If I could find a decent frame for it, it would look nice on the wall.

I drew on the canvas with a pencil first, not trusting my shaky hands with the paint yet. Thank the Lord for erasers! I rubbed off my scribbles a dozen times until there was a hole in the paper. For god’s sake…it was just a fork and a knife! How hard can it be?

Pretty hard, it turns out. So I took a break….made myself a cup of coffee…and listened to some relaxing music. Back to the table…this time, I would nail it, I knew!

After four hours, I had something on the paper. It did look like a fork and knife. And it was red. I had nailed my brief. Now, all I had to do was to wait for A. I imagined the look of awe on his face when he saw this…and I was pretty damn happy with myself!

When he got home, there was a look on his face. But not quite of awe. More like a mix of horror and amusement. And all he said was “Let’s hang it on our wardrobe wall.”

Just so you know…that’s the only wall in our house that’s totally hidden from the public eye. In fact, even we don’t have a full view because of the way the clothes hang.

The rest of the evening was sombre.
Edited to add:
This is what finally hangs on that wall. When everything else fails....one turns to Ikea.