Light with Modern Art

Turn modern art into your favorite lamp.
Turn modern art into your favorite lamp.

Whether your inspiration is the rising sun or a setting full moon, light is the key to making this art project a success. Using closet push lights, any stretched canvas can become a modern art focal point.



  • 2-inch x 4-inch lumber (approx. 20 linear feet)
  • silk or satin fabric
  • sheer fabric
  • sewing machine
  • miter saw
  • pneumatic staple gun
  • staples
  • a closet push light.


  1. First, construct a wooden frame. Use 2 x 4's cut and mitered on the edges to create a frame no larger than 4 feet x 6 feet. Assemble the frame with a pneumatic staple gun.
  2. Next, decide on the design. Robert used a sheer silver fabric and a red sheer fabric to represent an Asian-inspired sunset. Choose fabrics based on your inspiration. Some ideas: the green spring moon, the summer sunset or the harvest moon. The design should be semitransparent to let light through. Test fabric by holding it up to the light in the fabric store.
  3. Next, decide which fabric you would like to use more of. Devote one-third of the composition to one color and two-thirds to the other. The proportion of the fabrics is best in fractions of three or odd numbers.
  4. Sew the fabrics together to create a horizontal piece that can easily stretch around the frame all the way to the back.
  5. Staple the fabric to the back of the frame, covering the exposed wood. No creases or staples should be visible.
  6. Hang your canvas over a closet push light, and voila! Instant modern art. Use multiple lights in odd numbers for a variation on the theme. Have fun and get inspired.