The subway art trend continues to maintain a strong presence in home décor. The strong graphic typography of most subway art is a bit too contemporary for my home but I’ve wanted to incorporate it somehow, with my style. Not only did I decide to create my own subway art, but made the painted words meaningful for my family. As Thanksgiving approaches what better message could we deliver but to remind ourselves to give thanks in every situation? The Thanksgiving subway art sign says “Give Thanks” in nine different languages.
My inspiration came from this Pottery Barn sign. It is silkscreened words on pine boards. I knew I wasn’t going to attempt to silk screen my lettering and I don’t have a Silhouette cutter to make nifty custom stencils, (But I’ve asked Santa for one!). So I knew I had to do a throwback to my art school days and hand draw the typography! Uhg.
I took a trip to Home Depot and picked up one 8ft long tongue and groove pine plank. I chose a board that had lots of knots and color variation to it. Normally you wouldn’t want that in a piece of wood, but I knew that the stain would bring out all the colors and give it a rustic look. The board was cut into 4 pieces, but I decided to only use 3 of them. I hammered together the tongue and groove planks and then stained them.
Next I looked up how to say “Give Thanks” in different languages on my iPhone translator app. Don’t you just love technology!? In Microsoft Word, I typed the words and chose varying fonts for them. I printed the words out, cut each word out individually, and then arranged the words on a separate piece of paper, gluing to secure. Then the glued word sheet was photocopied onto a transparency. I took out my super-duper-high-tech over head projector! You remember these things from school right? My kids don’t! My son asked, “What’s THAT?!”. They haven’t seen projectors since Smart Boards and laptops took over… lucky kids. I found projectors super useful for painting wall murals. I love it!
Once the words were projected onto the board, I traced each letter’s image with a pencil. Next, each letter was hand painted with a fine tip brush and gold paint. I won’t lie. This took FOR-EV-ER!!!! I called up my friend, Susie Harris, the queen of hand painted signs to see if there was an easier way to do this, without a Silhouette. She laughed, and then said, “Nope”. Thanks Susie. I think I have carpel tunnel syndrome now!
Even though it took hours and hours to complete, I was pleased with the results. There’s just something unique in hand painted artwork, don’t you think? “Give Thanks” is painted in Greek, French, Latin, German, English, Swedish, Dutch, Irish, and Spanish.
The Thanksgiving Subway Sign sits in my dining room where we will always be reminded to give thanks whether it’s Thanksgiving or not.
“In all things, give thanks.”
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