August Thrift Shop Tale

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, RSS

  1. Rachel August 23, 2010 @ 11:23 am

    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.

  2. Gitana (aka G2) August 23, 2010 @ 5:00 pm

    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).

  3. Nadine August 24, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

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

  4. Barbara Finwall August 27, 2010 @ 4:01 pm

    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!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *