Art-Off

Wife with good taste + husband who says "no" or "maybe" to everything + two small rug rats = house that is painfully undecorated.

The formula above is what led us to a late evening run to Michael's to buy canvasses, 15 tubes of acrylic paints, gel mix ins, and paintbrushes. Inspired by a couple of our neighbors who bought giant canvasses and tried their hand at abstract oil paintings, and given our competitive natures, The Good Doctor and I decided to face off in an art-off.

He picked his design, I picked mine, and we retreated to the garage for many a late night listening to the comedy channels on I Heart Radio and painting our hearts out.

At first it was supposed to be some big surprise and he was not going to show me his design, but after seeing my painting technique, he decided to let me in on the big secret. Cityscape. 

Me: Hmm. Sounds...ugly. 

Him: No. It will be cool.

Me: I don't really like cityscapes anymore. I used to love them but I'm over them now.

Him: Whatever. You suck.

Me: I'm just saying...

Fast forward a couple weeks.

His painting looks...ugly.

Me: Uh.

Me: Huh. 

Me: Mmm. 

Him: Dude, leave me alone! You have no idea what I'm doing.

Me: YOU have no idea what you're doing.

And this continues, mercilessly, throughout 94% of what he's painting. I sigh, I question, I shake my head, I look at his painting sideways, upside down, with one eye closed. I am very McKayla Maroney about the whole thing. 

I am brutally honest. I don't like the colors. I don't see how it's going to fit into the house. I don't understand why you're using so much paint. That part kind of looked good, until you just did that irreversible thing. Why did you do that? I am the painting devil. He asks for feedback and I have nothing positive to say. I even tell him, "Maybe we can Craigslist it." So mean. Harrrrible. 

Then suddenly, toward the end, it all comes together.

His painting looks incredible. Way better than mine. Like this art-off gold medal that I had in my pocket the whole time suddenly got ripped away like Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals when the Warriors (me) were so ahead of the Spurs (him) and then at the end, everyone was all, "WTF just happened?" 

I become the biggest fan of his painting. After breaking him down to Chinatown, I have reversed my opinion 180 degrees. The painting has texture, the colors pop, it looks totally amazing from far away, it all comes together and looks like a professionally done piece. I am PROUD of him. I am convincing him (after weeks of relentless hatin') that his painting is INCRED. He looks at me like I have just kicked 101 puppies in the stomach and he's the next in line.

I'm like, "Seriously, babe, you know how much I hated your painting the whole time, right? Well now I am eating my words. It looks amazzzzzing."

He's still shaking his head like, "I know you. You're a puppy stomach kicker."

I try to tell him that should make me even more credible. When haters turn into lovers! It means I really do think his painting is fantastic. 

He's like, "Puppy kicker."

Then he shows me this Tanja Bell YouTube video of how to paint with a palette knife, which is what he modeled his painting after.

I'm like, "Dude, you did this. Exactly!"

For a virgin painter, I'm astounded. I insist that he hang the painting immediately on our dining room wall. He still thinks I'm going to kick his puppy gut.

But this now proudly hangs in the room where we eat. It is really special and I am publicly declaring my wrongness. I was so wrong. Bad bad me. I was hating so hard on him and his painting turned out better than mine. This is what it's like being married to me.

 

Meanwhile, my entry into the art-off. Meh. I mean, it's got this cool pumice texture but I don't know. It looks really homemade. And as you can see, it doesn't have a permanent home; my pieces are just resting on the headboard at the moment. Of course, The Good Doctor, very supportive of my efforts and nice during my artcapade.

And lastly, Emmy's painting, inspired by her buddy Jack. The Good Doctor did a great job taping off the canvas with her name, and we just let her go crazy with the paint colors.

 

There you have it, I accept defeat in the art-off. Much to my own astonishment.

Footnotes so you know the scale of these items: The paintings we did are 48" x 72." Emerson's is 18"x24."