upcycling paint

If you missed my last post about my process of salvaging wood and transferring images to wood, you can catch up here. If you don’t care about the process and only came to look at the pretty pictures, that’s okay, too.

Other than quotes and graphic design elements, I also like to transfer prints of my original acrylic paintings to wood blocks. To me, a piece of art on wood is infinitely cooler than ink on a sheet of white card stock. These pieces were all made from the same recycled pile as my salvaged quote pieces.

This first one is a print of my purple piano painting, which I like to refer to as ticklin’ the ivories. Don’t ask me why. I was just proud I actually came up with a name for one of my paintings. Far more creative than red skyline or blue guitar, don’t you think?

As you can see on this wood art piece, the transferred image doesn’t end up being an exact replica of the original artwork. I played around with the colors a bit in Photoshop. Also, some of the ink inevitably rubs off during the transfer process, giving the overall piece a distressed, vintage look (or as Kristen calls it…shabby chic). I currently have two sizes of this ticklin’ the ivories wood art available in my Etsy shop here and here.



I stain the backs and edges of all my wood pieces in a red oak finish. I love how it brings out the detail of the wood grain and knots, as you can see on the back of red bridge painting print here:


I told you I wasn’t usually very creative when it comes to naming my paintings. This one is from my acrylic painting of Memphis’s Hernando de Soto Bridge at sunset. Or sunrise. I’ll let it be whichever one you like better. This is available in my Etsy shop here (great Memphis gift idea).


Then we have the red skyline/cityscape print (view the original here). If you can come up with a more creative name for any of these pieces, please do tell. This is available in my Etsy Shop here.


I like how you can see the textured detail from the original painting—which is more noticeable in this close-up below—despite the fact this is merely a print transferred to wood.


Last up today is the Blue Memphis Bridge @ Sunset. This is in my 2nd favorite of the paintings currently hanging up in my house (which you can see here). The original acrylic painting is spread across two canvases, so I had to work a little Photoshop magic to turn it into one print. This was initially painted a few years ago as a present for my sister when she lived in Nashville. Luckily, we now live together and share basically everything, which gives me the added bonus of having this piece now hanging up in my house. This item has already sold in my Etsy Shop, but I’ll definitely be making some more in the very near future.



I’m hoping to post at least once more before Christmas (more wood prints or a Project 365), but if not…Happy Holidays to everyone!

– lindsey archer



painting premiere

I get to start this post off with some good news, which is always nice. The paintings I’m about to show you, as well as the pieces I recently wrote about here and here, will soon (if not already) be hanging in an art gallery. Nicole from Allie Cat Arts approached both my sister and I on Etsy about showing some of our stuff at her gallery in our lovely neighborhood of Cooper Young. Located at 961 S. Cooper, the gallery is only two blocks from our house.

I’ve never had my work in a gallery before, so I’ll be honest. I am freaking out a little. It always feels good to have someone you’re not related to appreciate your art, though it still seems slightly unreal. Now, for those who message me on Etsy asking if I have a shop in Memphis, I’m one step closer to saying yes. Next time you’re in the Cooper Young area, please stop by Allie Cat Arts to see some of our work, along with the work of other great local Memphis artists.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk about some paintings. These are the last of my first round of experimenting with gel medium I don’t know what I’m doing series. We’ll call it EWGMIDKWID for short. This is one of the first abstract skylines I painted using the mixture of gel medium and acrylic paint. While I like the coloring and the actual size of this canvas the best, the paint could have been thicker. I wasn’t quite sure what the gel medium would look like once it dried, so I was somewhat shy with slopping the thick, white, glue-like substance onto my canvas. What did I learn? Gel medium dries clear. I shouldn’t be shy.

For those who are wondering, these skyline/cityscape paintings are not reproductions of any actual skylines or cityscapes. I went more of an abstract route and painted random building shapes and sizes. We’ll call it Skyline à la Archer, as in it came straight out of my head instead of from a real picture. Or, you can use your imagination and pretend it’s your city and I painted this just for you. Regardless, I plan on attempting a few paintings that resemble real city skylines. Some day. Maybe soon.

This next blue skyline/cityscape is my favorite. Well, other than the big ass blue canvas, which happens to be remarkably similar to this one. Because I got over my shyness with using the gel medium, this painting is extra heavy on the texture. When I first envisioned what I wanted to accomplish by mixing gel medium with my acrylic paints, this is it. It only took me eight or ten tries to get it right. Not bad. Plus, I love how the yellows and blues ended up blending together here.

This last acrylic painting translated very well into a print, which I hope to add to my Etsy shop very soon. And unlike the skylines/cityscapes, this is an actual reproduction from a real city. While still slightly abstract, I modeled this painting off of the Hernando de Soto Bridge, which connects Memphis, TN to West Memphis, AR—via Interstate 40. I feel this bridge is an iconic part of my city’s skyline. I love creating art pieces around it, so I definitely have more Memphis bridges in my future.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, these three paintings are now available at Allie Cat Arts. Fellow Memphians, if you’re in the mood to support some local starving artists, please stop by and take a look at all the great pieces Nicole has hanging in the gallery.

Up next is another Project 365 post. Stay tuned.

– lindsey archer

a little rock, a little roll

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post about the abstract skyline paintings (you can go here if you missed it), I’ve been experimenting with adding gel mediums to my acrylic paints.

This first painting shown here is my least favorite. So, let’s get it out of the way first. The colors didn’t exactly turn out how I pictured them in my head, which happens more often than I’d like to admit. Sometimes, I’ll think up something in my head and when I try to render that to a canvas, the picture gets lost in translation. Naturally, this means it is everyone else’s favorite. My sister loves this white guitar and isn’t happy about my desire to sell it. Oh well. It’s for sell in my Etsy shop here.

I like the blue abstract guitar painting much better than its white cousin. I think the blue colors make more of a pop. As an artist, I don’t choose colors or shapes that particularly mean something to me. I didn’t paint this blue guitar because I was sad and it represents a certain blah blah period in my life. I simply purchased some new blue paint I thought was pretty, so of course I wanted to try it out right away. I’m not one of those artists who bleeds thru their work, not that I’m knocking on them. It’s just not my process. I paint because I like to add colors to canvases and see what I can make from them. I enjoy it. It’s a hobby. Does that make me less authentic of an artist? I hope not.

This blue abstract guitar painting is available in my Etsy shop here.

This next guitar painting was a work in progress. While I completed my skyline and other guitar paintings in one sitting, this one dragged on for a few weeks. It was my first guitar attempt and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted it to look like. The background is loaded with colors, a few paint layers thick, simply because I couldn’t decide what I liked. After each layer, I’d take a step back and…I wasn’t feeling it. So I added some more paint. And some more. And then I said screw it and left it on my easel for three to four weeks. If you follow my Project 365 posts, you’ve already seen this canvas twice. Click here to see it in its first incarnation, from blank to first official coat of paint. 30 days later, I finally added the top coats and the guitar. At least it didn’t take me as long as my trolley painting. It turns out, these final colors compliment our living room perfectly—where the painting is now hanging.

Considering my sister is obsessed with the color purple, she freaked out a little when she saw this abstract piano painting (can you tell I like painting abstracts?). This was actually my first attempt at using gel mediums on the background. I didn’t use quite enough, which is why this background doesn’t have quite as much texture as my other skylines I wrote about yesterday. I still like how it turned out. I grew up playing the piano, so I couldn’t paint a guitar without painting this one. One day, I will own a baby grand. One day.

That’s all for today. Not all of these are available in my Etsy Shop, but as soon as I figure out a cheaper way to ship large canvases, I’ll be sure to add them.

Oh, and today is my wonderful sister’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Kristen! Everyone pay a visit to her latest blog post, where she shows off her beautiful Memphis Letters photography print. Or you can just skip straight to her Etsy Shop and buy one. Do it. Don’t fight it. Just let it happen.

– lindsey archer

project 365 | days 159 thru 174

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, today is another Project 365 post.

To catch up on all my Project 365 posts—starting at day 1—you can go here, scroll down to the bottom and select older posts. Today we’re starting with Day 159. As always, click on images to enlarge.

Day 159, if you’ve ever tailgated at an SEC football game, then you’ve most likely played cornhole before. If you haven’t attended an SEC game, then I feel sorry for you. Why? Because we know how to party. When I recently went to Side Porch Steakhouse in Bartlett for my brother’s birthday and saw they had a mini cornhole set up on their bar, well…I fell in love with the place all over again (great steaks!). Then, I taught my four-year-old nephew how to play. It’s all about educating the next generation. Day 160, I know I’ve previously mentioned my weakness for Barnes & Noble. I might as well write them a check every other week for half of my paycheck—that’s close to how much money I spend there. Though, since my favorite B&N Bookstore closed in January 2011, I now buy most of my books online. It’s always exciting to come home and see a B&N box waiting for me on my porch.


Day 161, I love my neighborhood (Cooper Young). There’s so much to do, so many places to eat and grab a drink…all within walking distance of my front door. Kristen and I take advantage of this often, choosing this night to venture down to for sushi. Delicious. Day 162, Kristen has a talent for sniffing out yard sales. It’s like psychic magnetism or something. I can just put her on her leash, say Go! and within a few minutes…BAM! There we are on a stranger’s lawn full of fantastic treasures like this lovely trunk. Okay, not really. I don’t actually have to use a leash anymore. My sister’s way better trained than that.


Day 163 and 164 are both artwork pieces I made for Cooper Young Festival. Original acrylic paintings on canvas that I believe are both 16″ x 20″. Abstract guitar and Ticklin’ the Ivories.


Day 165, happy 27th birthday to me. Kristen and I took off work and trekked up to Nashville to see one of my favorite singer/songwriters perform at The End. Mr. Jay Brannan. His voice + guitar playing was even more beautiful in person and absolutely worth the 3 hour drive. Day 166, my family meets up for dinner for everyone’s official birthdays. Since I was out of town on the 21st, we waited and met up at Boscos the next day where my sister surprised me with this custom made cake to resemble three of my favorite books (Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief, Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas & John Green’s The Fault in our Stars). Don’t I have the best sister in the world? And in case you have an upcoming celebration in need of a cake, this lovely piece of work was made by the supremely talented Ashley from BadAsh Bakery. I highly recommend her.


Day 167, I bleed Maroon & White. And now—thanks to a little birthday present from my Mom—so does my yard. Hail State. Day 168, more Cooper Young Festival art prints, which are also currently available in my Etsy Shop. Elvis Presley + Typography = great art prints.


Day 169, I waited until the weekend to celebrate my birthday with my friends and we started it off right early Saturday morning at Memphis’ very own trampoline park. This is what Christine, Cory, Kristen, myself, Laura and Jennifer looked like after one hour of jumping our asses off. We later met up with more friends for dinner, then drinks at Celtic Crossing, where I apparently challenged a guy to a dance off. In other words, I had a fantastic birthday. Day 170, I bonded with my new duvet cover (thanks Momma & Kristen) as I thoroughly enjoyed a lazy Sunday of doing absolutely nothing but laying in bed with Mulligan.


Day 171, more Cooper Young Festival art. More original acrylic paintings on canvas. Day 172, my parents’ dog, Bogey, is a beast. A 180 lb. adorable beast. He is so fluffy I could die.


Day 173, when I work on my freelance graphic design, I can’t just sit there on my computer and design or I get bored and have trouble concentrating. So, I usually have a million other things going on at the same time. Thankfully, I invested in a huge iMac screen that allows me to concurrently work in Photoshop, Illustrator, watch Hulu (Prison Break) and track my Twitter feed. I have no idea how this makes me work better and faster, but I swear it does. To each his own, right? Day 174, I call this one Big Ass Blank Canvas. 3 1/2′ x 6′ of white space just waiting for inspiration. Once I get the images up on my portfolio/art tab, you’ll get to see what I actually turned it into. Until then, you can see a small blurb of it in one of the four random headers I now have displayed at the top of this blog (viewable in desktop version only). Hint? I now call it Big Blue.


That’s 16 and done. I’ll be working hard this weekend editing the images of my artwork to update my portfolio, so check back next week. Have a great weekend!

– lindsey archer

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