Imitation is the Highest Form of Flattery

Boat. Credit: Cathy Clarke

While trawling through the internet one bored afternoon, I stumbled across one of the most remarkable paintings I have ever seen. It was a beautiful red and orange creation depicting the setting sun behind a lone boat coming through fog. It had a mystical quality. I am not sure if it was a famous piece, or an outstanding piece from a living artist, but when I checked the price, a cool 5k, I decided the closest I would ever come to this picture was a screensaver. So I saved a screenprint of the enlarged picture to my laptop (giving it its own made-up name) imported it to Photoshop and cleaned it up a bit and set it as my screensaver. (I later learned that this is actually copyright fraud and amounts to theft, but these were much more innocent times.)

A few years later, when it came to decorating the kitchen, I announced to my husband that rather than buying a picture for the wall (knowing that the one I wanted had probably increased in price with inflation), I was going to paint it. He (knowing my artistic skills were limited at best) decided to give in without a fight, probably figuring we could paint over it in a week’s time if it was truly crap.

Owning no paint or paintbrushes of the artistic kind, I bought a few 20c children’s paint brushes in Tesco’s during our weekly shop and decided to use the end of the testers we had bought while trying to select which colour blue to paint the kitchen.

I sketched the rough outline of the keel of a boat and painted it dark blue. Then I opened all the testers and one after the other did ‘swishes’ along the underside to represent the sea. Then I retrieved some white paint we had and used it and some of the lighter colours to do the waterfall. As I got towards the end, my husband stood at the other end of the room to get some perspective, saying more white on the top, more navy on the bottom, until we got to a place we both thought it looked good.

I stepped back, kind of proud of what I had done, closed all the paint pots and said – we will live with it for a week.

It’s now been on our wall for 4 years, and to be honest, I think it’s one of the best things I have ever painted, especially as I feel it was something that we did together, and it didn’t cost +5k.

Difficulty   of Project: Easy
Overall Cost of Project: Few 20c brushes (e1)
Paint pots we had hanging around
Required   for this project: Paint
Paint brushes
Duration of   project: Few hours spread over a weekend
Credit: Cathy Clarke
Credit: Cathy Clarke

About Cathy Clarke

Cathy lives with her husband, offspring and so many animals that her household often feels like a small petting zoo. She is one half of the team behind (an Irish Lifestyle blog) where she discusses motherhood, weddings, DIY, GIY, and everything in between. And she is one third of the team behind, a podcast which discusses topics interesting to writers. Follow her on twitter at @CathyCClarke.
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