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OOPS! An Idea that Went Horribly Wrong

The plan for this canvas went horribly wrong. The idea in my head did not translate one bit the way I intended on the canvas. That is a polite way of saying “Yuck, it was rear end ugly!” But it was just an O.O.P.S., an Outstanding Opportunity Presenting Suddenly, that started the journey of this canvas.

After saying O.O.P.S., I ripped off as much of the glued on elements as possible and grabbed more paint. There is freedom in ugly, because there wasn’t any way that I could make it any worse.

The texture of the ripped off elements inspired me to add more texture with modeling paste and my Words to Live By stencil. If you’re new to modeling paste and want to know more of what it can do, take a look at the Modeling Paste Play mini workshops.

Once the modeling paste was dry, the rainbow play began.

That thing that I detested so in the beginning, became a playground for layering color. That cardboard was pure rainbow joy to me, but it was about to be sacrificed when the muse pointed me in new direction.

As more color was added to the canvas, the muse kept saying make the colorful cardboard circle a glowing white moon. How on earth was I going to cover up that magical rainbow on the cardboard. I couldn’t! I wouldn’t!

As I fussed at the muse about this, she gave me a head slap and the idea to just remove the cardboard. I used a knife and carefully ripped it off the canvas as if I was removing a piece of the Sistine Chapel.

She was right, I had to admit. The circle was much better without the cardboard because it let the rainbow texture next to it stand out more.

The direction the muse pointed me in was a crazy silly dream that I had about the man in the moon dancing and conducting a symphony of butterflies fluttering about the world.

The title, courtesy of my Vintage Typewriter Alphabet stencil from StencilGirl, became the final element.

This went from so-ugly-I-didn’t-even-take-a-picture to something I adore all because of an O.O.P.S.

Here are the supplies I used. Some of these links are affiliate links which means I get a small percentage. It doesn’t cost you anything extra and it helps keep the free tutorials coming!


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  • Jeannie L June 26, 2017, 7:58 am

    I love the way your muse talked you into something you really didn’t want to do and it turned out wonderfully. I, too, would have fought a little with my muse in this instance. The texture and rainbow colors of the cardboard was quite lovely. But…..you did what you had to do. and Voila~gorgeousness!

  • Heather June 26, 2017, 9:46 am

    I love this piece! Wonderful colors, texture, and design. I love how you described your process too, your muse directing you to remove the cardboard and make the moon. Awesome!

  • MamaRose June 26, 2017, 11:48 pm

    Hello Carolyn,

    The most wonderful concept I have learned while following you is O.P.P.S. Every time I screw something up in my art journal or whatever I am using I remember O.P.P.S. While one side of my brain is saying “This is a royal mess, so toss it”, the other side is saying “Don’t be hasty, now. We can make this work.” I take a deep breath and start fixing stuff and “voila” something pretty begins to develop. Thank you for bring O.P.P.S. to thinking differently!

  • Sandra June 27, 2017, 7:27 am

    and I’m sure you’ve saved that lovely rainbow cardboard circle to use in another place

  • Marsha Sue Pitman June 30, 2017, 9:21 am

    I love how this turned out! In the play I find the courage to keep trying until something I love emerges and there is where the thrill is found! Thank you for that gift!

  • Sue July 2, 2017, 1:43 pm

    Love this piece Carolyn, all the colour and the gal in the moon on the top of printed material, looks like you meant it to happen 🙂
    Love your art and your video’s and I most love getting your e-mails. Really enjoy reading them.
    Hugs from Victoria, BC
    Canada (150 yrs young) 🙂

  • Sandra Cunningham September 16, 2017, 1:31 am

    Carolyn, I laughed as I read your description of what you were doing. You have a great way of expressing yourself! I think of all the pages I’ve watched you make, this one is my all time favorite. I love the texture, too. I never thought about using lettering to create texturing like you did here, it looks cool. I have become a lover of many colors since I started following you, too! I love the colors you used here. Great job!!! Thanks for all the inspiration!