My elegant dining table

Is not a thing. 

Though sometimes I wish it was. I see pictures of other people’s beautifully decorated homes with everything in its place, fall themed table runners and centerpieces… I wish sometimes I were one of those people.

Alas, I am more the scramble around the living room making sure no dirty underwear are lying on the couch because someone showed up without 3 days advance notice.

We don’t even HAVE a dining room table.  We don’t have a dining room. The kitchen island I occasionally try to decorate,  but mostly it’s just a catch-all for everybody’s crap. Like right now,  I have the pumpkins from our garden displayed for fall.  They looked nice, but slowly became surrounded by some library books, and inhaler, random vitamins,  deodorant,  a lighter,  a can of Dr Pepper from yesterday,  a random spoon I don’t know if it’s clean or dirty,  a lint roller,  dog meds… it is NOT elegant. It’s functional, lived in and messy like my life.

We have no dining table, we eat on TV trays, watching HULU at dinner against all parenting and family advice.  I am at least,  currently working on our TV tables.  They were pretty when we got them 3 years ago, but the finish had chipped on several and some of the edges were peeling. My daughter helped me chip all the formica coating off with a razor blade. 

I painted the tops with a heavy bonding primer and now I’m sketching scenes to paint on each one. We’re going to epoxy the tops when I’m finished, to make them durable. I have the first sketched out and ready to start painting.

I’m not nearly as brilliant an artist as my friend Jennie, who can sit down and while looking at nothing but the image in her head, make things just come alive from 2D white nothingness.

I have to do some planning first. I go look at my photos, outside, browse the web a bit. My kid even screen captured a bunch of stills from Red Dead Redemption II (they are really quite gorgeous!). I gather stuff I like, then start sketching out individual elements. Those I lay out on the table like a puzzle In putting together, so I can try the dog in different places, or move the cows to a different position on the fence. Once I’m happy with layout, I do a very quick drawing of the basic shapes or outlines to show them in their proper place. THEN I actually start re-drawing them on the table top.

Lol… I approach art like I’m writing a novel.

After I sketch everything, I take pictures of the sketch, in case I lose my bearings by painting over something. After all this, I finally start to paint. The painting part I think I actually approach like most painters- background, lights and shadows placement, layer details over all that.

Once paint is finished, I’ll let it cure for two weeks. Then it will go to my new She-shed and get a flood coat of epoxy over the top to protect the painting while we’re eating on it.

I don’t expect they’ll be all finished until next year, since this is more or less my nighttime TV watching project. I’ll try to remember to post pictures as I make progress.


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