16 x 20 inch vintage paint by number
This morning after we hung the new art show at the Janesville Performing Art Center, I headed off to my favorite consignment shop for a cuppa joe, the current news, and a 16x20 used frame for the frog band watercolor. I didn't want to spend much to display the painting, so I headed to the shelves of framed items. There's all sorts of things from which to choose, everything from faded prints, to someone's nice cross-stitch, to photos, to black velvet Elvis. Usually the frames need work, sanding, maybe repainting. But today the frame that seemed to suit my needs best was varnished pine, definitely 50's. Inside was this cockatoo, painted on canvas board, and even signed. I love the colors, which remind me of my grandparent's 1960s ranch house with pink tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. It was dirty, a little wrinkled at the bottom, and there was a wee hole left by a nail or a screw in the upper left corner. It looks like it might have been attached to a restaurant or motel wall.
Paint by number kits were the rage when I was in elementary school, and were my favorite craft activity. I remember sitting at the kitchen table completing little scenes from the national parks. To this day I want to see Yosemite, at least partially because I slaved over a little acrylic painting of the waterfall there. I may have painted a scene or two featuring a barn too, since we lived on a dairy farm. Mom and I both liked to complete the kits, but I also enjoyed gluing colored pebbles into designs that looked like bull fighters, or harlequins. Homemade decor kits were lots of fun, if not particularly original or beautiful. We melted plastic pellets and made artificial foliage for flower arrangements. We mortared little tiles into trivets. We wove pot holders. Stop me before I get lost here in nostalgia.
Anyway, the owner of the shop tells me that old paint by number pictures sell well as collectibles, so after I took the bird picture out of its vintage frame, I took it back to the shop to resell. The honey colored wooden frame looks grand with my watercolor, and I indulged in some happy memories as well.