Art for my Zoom Room

No it’s not this.

A friend gifted me this dated collage of Paris scenes. It was left behind by the former owners of her new home and she did not want it. (Really?!) I had been wanting some art on the blank wall at the north end of the living room as this has become my new Zoom background. I wanted something soothing, not distracting, so that when I speak on a Zoom call, what I am saying is more interesting than what is behind me. Am I the only one that sometimes gets more interested in the books on the shelf behind the speaker than the speaker themselves?

Here is my inspiration.

I tore this image out of a shelter magazine like Architectural Digest or Dwell. I don’t really remember which one. I like the proportions of the color blocks, but this is a rectangle canvas and my free one is a square. Plus, I’m not copying it, just using it as a starting point.

Here is Paris with a couple coats of wall primer paint over it.

Did I mention that I wanted to do this on the cheap? And not buy a bunch of resources that I will only use part of? So I used the wall primer that I have been using in the condo renovations, and some of the ceiling paint that is left over and some of the blue paint that I used to create the blue circle in my bedroom (and if you remember, that quart of Robin’s Egg blue I first bought to paint the closet in the apartment. I needed a few more colors, so I bought these:

This is basic craft paint, each one $1.69 USD, $5.60 with tax.

This is the total cost to me of the painting. All the other supplies were my leftovers from other projects or gifted to me.

The final painting installed.

When I have done projects like this before, the reactions I get from others tend to fall into two camps. One is “I could never to do that. You are so creative. What a gift.” And the other camp is “What is the big deal? That isn’t art. That is a bunch of paint smears that a troupe of drunken monkeys could have achieved.” My response to those statements is:

I could never do that–You can if you want to.

You are so creative–I am. I have been practicing creativity for most of my life. You get good at what you practice.

What a gift–It is. But it is an exercised gift. If you don’t practice your piano, it doesn’t matter how much talent you are born with. You have to use it.

What is the big deal?–It is not a big deal. People all over the world express their creativity with what ever medium they have at hand. Drums, fabric, paint, orchestras, technology, drama. What is weird is that here, in the world populated by Europeans and their explorer offspring is that we have created hierarchies. There is “high art” and “folk art.” There is big money in the “high” art. I went to two of the “high” art universities. Washington University in Saint Louis (1 year)and the Kansas City Fine Art Institute (6 months.) I still visit Art Museums from time to time, but mostly I find them uninteresting. I could write a whole post on this topic alone.

That isn’t art–Says who? You? I say it is.

That is a bunch of paint smears that a bunch of drunken monkeys could have achieved–Perhaps. Doesn’t matter. I like it and it is on my wall until I get bored with it.

Beloved readers–please tell me how you get creative on the cheap!


  1. I think you created a beautiful piece of art. I especially like the colors you chose. All together, it looks like an abstracted shoreline. Haha, I know what you mean about reading the book titles behind a person talking on Zoom.:-)

    I’ve used leftover wall paint for paintings, too. It works.:-) I don’t paint much anymore, but when I did, I kept my palette to a minimum: a warm and cool of yellow, red, and blue. You can make anything with those 6 colors (watercolorists don’t need white), and it forces you to be creative. Like, how can I make and use 5 shades of blue when I’m only starting with 2 shades?

    I think zero cost Christmas wrapping also forces you to be creative. It’s fun, too, coming up with stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pricilla–I have so many questions….First, yes, I see an abstracted shoreline in the painting also. But if push comes to shove, I will title it “Balance.” I would love to see more of your paintings. I remember some watercolors that were exquisite. And yet, we all should follow where the muse leads. So if you do not love watercolors anymore, but want to write haunted fiction, then YES! Then, I would love to have more details on zero cost Christmas wrapping! Please, more details.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, this is embarrassing, but I don’t know where the contact messages go. I tried to send myself one, to help me track it, but no luck. Do you know where I read it? In WordPress? Email? Also, other readers would like to access the zero cost wrap. Would you post it in the comments? Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If you go to your blog, look for a black bar that has “My Site” and “Reader” (usually at the very top). Click on “My Site,” and then in the column of choices (again with a black background), click on “Feedback.” That should have all your messages. In the meantime, I’ll comment here in a jif with what I sent you.


      3. I found it!!! Thank you! No worries about you posting it, I will copy what you sent me and throw it up in the comments. Funny, I never looked at the feedback tab before. [blush]


  2. It feels like a harbor. Which is both comforting and stimulating.
    I wish I had the courage to create; I have a thousand excuses for avoiding it. Maybe that’s my creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s breathtaking! I love your artwork.
    I make paper crafts from thrift store books, mostly cards, but I’ve made a junk journal too. It’s super cheap and keeps me out of trouble lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This turned out great! The colors are so soothing. I, like you, pay more attention to the backgrounds of people when they’re talking on Zoom. You made me laugh with your “drunken monkeys” analogy. I don’t know any drunken monkeys, but I’m not sure they could get this nice, soothing balance of color and shape! Great job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I don’t know any drunken monkeys either. But I have seen drunken squirrels (off of fermented pears) and I imagine it is sort of like that.


  5. Well that little dark pink bit could be Mont St. Michel behind an industrial port wall…
    LOL 😉

    I’m all for creativity and dying to hear Priscilla’s creative wrapping suggestions!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! Ha! I love what you all see in my painting. I have asked Priscilla to post the list here. I can’t find the list she sent me, which I’m sure is user error on my part.


  6. Here ya go Fawn, and anybody else who was wondering about how I wrap Christmas presents (and other presents) with zero cost:

    When the pandemic started, our grocery store wouldn’t let us bring in reusable bags. It was either plastic or paper. Those paper bags are free wrapping paper! Some things I did with it:

    -Wrinkled it all up to make it soft then made fabric yoyos out of it (except, of course, it wasn’t fabric, it was paper). If you put a few yoyos on the top of a gift, they look like snowflakes, sorta.:-)
    -Wrinkled it lengthwise then crosswise so that there was a plaid effect to the wrinkles. Then I used leftover paint (anything but water colors) to lightly brush across the surface. The wrinkled plaid effect became a colored plaid effect.
    -Used it like regular wrapping paper then made it Christmassy by gluing the front of a used Christmas card from last year onto the top of the package. I also glued a row or two of cotton string around the edge of the card to frame the image. Not fancy glue, just school glue (years old!) leftover from when my daughter was in junior high.
    -Used it like regular wrapping paper then tied all sorts of knots and braids in cotton string and decorated the package with winds of the knotted string.
    -Used a white pigment pen (leftover from another project) to draw white snowflakes. White wall paint and a small brush would work well, too.
    -Embroidered snowflakes or red stripes on the paper. It helps if you pre-wrap a box to see where the sewn pattern should go, and then wrap it for real afterwards.
    -A nod to first grade art class . . . I carved a potato into a star stamp and stamped green stars all over the paper with, you guessed it, leftover green paint from a years-ago craft project.

    Besides free grocery bags, I also used free newsprint ads that came in the mail and larger envelopes from the mail turned inside out. I made drawstring bags from bits of cloth leftover from cutoff jeans and a feedbag.

    I kept leftover doodads from product packaging. I always LOOK at packaging before I throw it away to see if I can use anything. I also found stuff during walks, and I repurposed bits of weird things: three wooden beads, a length of ball chain, embossed Christmas charms (cut from seasonal store packaging), hemp handles off a soiled bag, and metallic elastic. I used these to decorate packages.

    Lots of Christmas charity mailings come in red envelopes. They’re good for cutting out stars to glue on the newsprint wrap.

    And finally, I used a hubster’s thread bare tee shirt to make yarn to use as a ribbon.

    When I ran out of tape that we had on hand to tape the wrapping paper in place, I used glue or string or the tee shirt yarn to tie the wrapping in place.

    Hope that helps.

    Liked by 1 person

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