Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Art for Everyone

6

For a long time, I searched high and low to find my very own vintage palm tree paint by number picture.  Recently, I snagged this beauty.  While there are many opinions about paint by number pictures, and whether or not they constitute  real works of art, I have always been a fan of their easily recognizable style.

An artist named Dan Robbins came up with the idea in the 50’s.  He realized that with a paint by number picture kit, anyone could produce a piece of wall worthy art.  The 1950’s were the perfect time for such an idea.  In post war America, people had more leisure hours to spend on hobbies and  other artistic pursuits.  Robbins teamed up with Max Klein of the Palmer Paint Company, and under the Craft Master Brand, produced the first paint by number kits.  I love the slogan that was printed on every paint by number kit box:

  "Every man a Rembrandt!" 

Critics saw them as an attack on creativity.   In the end though, they became worthy icons of pop culture.

I wish I knew who painted my palm trees.   I do know that my mother’s mom painted a wonderful pair of flamingo paint by number pictures. Are there any of these masterpieces on your own walls?

13 comments:

  1. I have fond memories of doing a paint by number of a gray horse when I was a kid :-)

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  2. Lisa-do you still have it? I never painted one myself, but I've always loved them:)

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  3. I haven't seen a paint-by-number set in a long time, but you're right ...they are a part of a certain pop culture. Do you know if they are still being made, or are they only nostalgia now?

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  4. Joanne-you can still buy them, but in my humble opinion the new ones don't invoke that same sense of nostalgia-and not just because they are new, but because the images are more modern looking now:)

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  5. Great post ... what is there about the paint by numbers that just draw you in...? I love the color palettes of that time. Very fun!

    happy leap day!

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  6. Wow. Does this ever bring up memories. Like Lisa, my only memory is of a paint by number horse picture. Sadly, I don't have it anymore. I think mine was of a pinto or what's now called a "Paint" horse.

    I don't really see anything wrong with paint by number pictures. I think the very act of putting paintbrush to paper can spark creativity.

    I also think the picture of your paint by number vintage palm tree scene is pretty amazing. There's a lot of detail in that picture. It impressed me!

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  7. Lisa-me too! I love the colors, and I love the style of vintage illustrations and graphics. The new paint by number pictures can't hold a candle to the old ones. happy leap day to you too!

    Sara-I totally agree with you! Even if someone wasn't artistically inclined, they could still have that feeling of creating a work of art. Whomever did mine painted with a lot of care and it really is a beautiful picture:)

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  8. You know I think our thrift stores are not as good as yours. I've never seen one of these. I would scoop it up. Love those palm trees.

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  9. Kim-I have to confess I found this online. A few years ago our thrift stores would have had stuff like this, but not any more. Glad you like the palm trees too:)

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  10. I did those all the time as a kid!

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