FUNKY FRUGAL: My own version of expensive art

by Tanner Cangelosi

One of my favorite artists is from New Orleans. I love everything he does. While on vacation we were able to go to his gallery along with many other galleries on Royal Street. This was such a treat for me – I loved every moment. My husband endured it.


As I desired one of the artist’s works to hang in my home, I realized quickly that I didn’t have $20,000 just lying around my house. So I set out to make my own art.

The idea to create my own expensive looking piece of artwork came from our good friends, the Stages, giving us a large old frame. I quickly spray-painted it with a hammered metal paint to give it new life. I bought a piece of thin plywood from Home Depot and had it cut to fit in the frame for no additional charge. I chose the wood because a custom canvas would have been more time-consuming and expensive.  

I got inspiration from a particular artist along with many other street artists in New Orleans. Taking that inspiration, I created a similar look, but not a carbon copy. Using oil paints, I got to work. If you’ve never used oil paints, it would be good to take a class or watch a tutorial on YouTube. It is much easier than you would think and very relaxing.  For “expensive” looking art I like oils because of the texture they leave behind. If you want to use acrylic paint, you could buy some added texture or medium to achieve the same look.  

When I finished my masterpiece (during my children’s naptime), I quickly hung it in my entryway, even before it dried! I love a quick project.

This project will remind me of our sweet trip to New Orleans and greet each guest as they enter my home.

Artist in residence

Frame:  Free

Board:  $20

Paint:  $5

Spray paint:  $4

TOTAL:  About $29