August thrift

Big score at the thrift shop this week:

A matching set of vintage paint-by-number landscapes! They are beautifully done — each and every cell is painted with love, I can tell. Each is signed “Palme” in the lower right hand corner and they are so perfectly (professionally) framed that I haven’t had the heart to pull them out to check to see if there’s a full name and/or date on the back of the picture.

These paintings are meticulously done, with nice wooden frames to show how (justifiably) proud the painter was with his/her finished work, and they are big: each one is 16″ x 20″. And the scene is gorgeous — Fall in New England. In a word, or several, this is the gold standard, the jackpot, the n’est plus ultra of paint-by-number paintings.

They didn’t have a price on them so I had to take show them to the manager to get her expert opinion. She frowned, tapped one with her fingernail, determined that it was cardboard (not canvas), and told me “$9.99. each.”

Bargain. Which, again, is hard to find in a thrift shop these days. The Antiques Road Show and eBay have seriously lessened the quality and raised the prices of thrift shop goods these days, and a real bargain is hard to find. I would have paid twice the price for these paintings and thrown in the title to my SUV to sweeten the deal, so when the manager said $9.99 I couldnt get to the cash register fast enough. We’ve been thinking about getting rid of the SUV any way.

So here they are:

These two Fall paintings have filled in a sad and painful gap in my collection of thrift shop paintings of the four seasons. I had Winter already:

(44″‘ x 32″, canvas, signed “Kate Q.” on the back; it’s hanging over the fireplace in my livingroom.)

And I already had Spring:

(16″ x 20″, canvas, signed “JK ’67” in lower right corner; I’ve almost cleaned all the decades-worth of filthy cigarette-smoke-tar off it.)

Now all I need is Summer. If you see a good Summer thrift shop painting, let me know.


4 comments to August Thrift Shop Tale

  • Rachel

    C’est magnifique! And perfect for August, I can feel a bit of autumn chill in the air. Are the other two also Paint By Number? They dont look it from here, but hard to tell on the computer.

  • What a perfect find! I love the seasonal approach – so much changes with the seasons (the clothes we wear, our tea preferences, what foods are available, etc.) Your book did a great deal for deepening my appreciation for the seasons (especially since here in the Pacific NW our seasons could be described as: spring, summer and then rain for about seven months).

  • Nadine

    I’m impressed that anyone had the patience to finish not one but TWO paint-by-numbers. They are indeed worth framing.

  • My sister, Nancy, has a great collection of “thrift store art”. She started collecting it after reading an article about a museum of bad art in Boston. So she calls hers a collection of “Bad Art”. But they aren’t all that bad. She has one excellent paint by number. Not quite as good as yours, though. They’re real masterpieces!