I was given the opportunity to review the Love Is Art kit a few weeks ago; something that my partner and I had discussed several times previously, so we were excited to be given the opportunity to try the kit. We selected the Blue kit as we did have the intent of actually hanging the art on the wall – so it needed to match the colour scheme of our home. One thing to note with the kit available in New Zealand is that it does not come with the frame to stretch the canvas over – assumedly due to the wood having to be brought into the country and the restriction around importing such materials. So while the kit provides the rest of the tools needed to make the art, you will need to either make the frame like we did, or take the canvas to a professional to be stretched.
Upon receiving the box containing the kit, there are some pictures demonstrating a rough guideline as to how to set the scene, as we as more detailed instructions inside the box. The box contained a cloth bag, which housed the canvas, a plastic drop sheet, the vibrant blue paint, two sets of cloth booties to aid in walking from the canvas to the bathroom, and a loofa to help scrub off the paint afterwards.
Before setting up, we did look up some reviews as to what others who have also tried the kit recommend. And the biggest recommendation was to use as soft a surface as possible to lay the canvas down that is not the bed (no concrete floors as one reviewer found out the hard way). The instructions in the kit do mention that the bed is not the place to do this as the canvas can warp and the outcome will most likely be a big solid blob of paint. So with that in mind, we moved some furniture to clear a space on the bedroom floor carpet; first laying down the plastic drop cloth, and then the canvas itself. We did also lay a path of towels from the canvas to the bathroom across the hall as one review did mention that the cloth booties were thin so the paint could potentially leak through, which we weren’t going to risk getting bright blue paint on the carpet of a rental property. Overall, the set up for the canvas wasn’t too laborious, though this will depend on how much room you have to make to fit the canvas. It may also be worth noting that if you live with others, you will need to pick a time where you are guaranteed to have the house to yourself for a couple of hours if you don’t want to explain the drying canvas on the floor. And if you are like us and have a path of towels leading to the bathroom (meaning the door was left open) it also a good idea to kick any pets outside for the time being as well – you don’t want a random paw print appearing on the canvas.
Previous to setting up the canvas, we had also looked up other canvases for ideas as to how best to apply the paint and potential designs. Our biggest concern was that it would end up looking like a big blue blob in the middle of the canvas (not exactly something that would look great on the wall). However, we did find one reviewer, who had placed lines of masking tape across the canvas which, after the paint had been applied and the tape removed, created blank lines to break up the mass of colour across the canvas. So with this idea in mind, we lay down several lines of masking tape across the canvas, making sure that they were flat against the canvas to try prevent bleeding under the tape. One thing to note if you do this design, is that the tape did stick to the plastic drop cloth with the movement, and did cause some ripping of the plastic. We were lucky that we didn’t get paint on the carpet, but it is worth keeping in mind.
The kit recommends starting foreplay away from the canvas – this is more of the main event, so with the canvas all set up, the cat kicked outside, and the paint on standby, we got down to it on the bed next to the canvas. Once warmed up and ready to move on to the canvas, there was a slight intermission as we dripped the paint from the bottle randomly across the canvas – careful not to pour straight lines, in accordance with the instructions provided. It is also recommended to pour most of the paint on the canvas, rather than on the body, in order to cover a larger area of canvas. This would also be the time to put on a condom, as any leakage onto the canvas would be something that is displayed on the wall if the canvas is hung up. Surprisingly, the paint did dry rather quickly, so once on the canvas the movements did spread the paint a fair bit, but if a spot wasn’t touched right away, then that spot was a deeper blue as the colour set into the canvas. In all honesty, it wasn’t the most romantic setting in the world. The paint did make grasping a bit tricky, and even the carpeted floor wasn’t particularly comfortable, but there was a lot of laughing and it was an overall fun and different experience.
Once the main event was over, we popped the booties on to test whether they did provide much protection (which they did in the end), and made our way to the bathroom to wash off the paint. I would say that the added loofa in the kit was beneficial as the paint did dry rather quickly on the body as well, so it did require some scrubbing. The kit does also say that the cleaning is for your partner to do so it adds another element of intimacy to the experience. As I have brunette hair, I can’t say whether the paint did stain at all, but if you are blonde, then it would be worth tying your hair up just in case.
After washing the paint off, we chilled out for a while as we waited for the canvas to fully dry. Once dry, we removed the tape to find that there had been some bleeding underneath the tape, but overall it was a success. We then left these parts to dry completely, before moving the canvas and returning the bedroom furniture back to normal.
The following day we purchased the wood needed to stretch the canvas, as well as a clear coat sealant to spray over the canvas once stretched. The Love Is Art website has a very informative video on how to stretch the canvas, as well as the measurements for the wood, and how the frame should look as well. After assembling the frame, my partner used a standard staple gun to stretch and secure the canvas across the frame, and we sprayed the sealant on the canvas. While this wasn’t a step recommended in the instructions or in any reviews, we were concerned about the dried paint transferring on to the wall once it was hung. So the sealant was a precautionary measure, but also ended up being a great decision as when applied, it made the blue more vibrant, but also created more depth in the canvas as well – I would highly recommend this step.
Overall, the kit was fun, adventurous, and a very different experience, with a worth keeping result. The result of using the tape, created dimension to the canvas, which may have been lost had we not used it, and also helps to semi-disguise the fact that it is a canvas created using intercourse (no obvious knee or hand marks). And is a pleasant reminder each time we see it as well. While I don’t think we will be creating another canvas any time soon, I feel like it was definitely worth the time and effort to create, and is an experience I would recommend – whether it be as a wedding gift (Love Is Art do have a wedding kit available), or as an anniversary present.