Sunday, September 8, 2013

Paint-By-Number Love


There are so many nail holes in my walls.  There’s more spackle than wall, I think, since I keep rearranging things and patching holes and then adding more things and then moving what’s there to make more room. The house looks like a college dorm room funky art gallery, and anyway, every time I try to pare it all down and try to live with a bare wall to see what it’s like, I discover I don’t like bare walls and out comes the hammer again.  Having my walls smothered in framed art feels cozy, and anyway, I can’t ever pick just one thing. 

Dean and I walked down the road to our neighbor’s yard sale last weekend, and they had a[completely excellent!] set of four framed seasonally-themed paint-by-number paintings leaning against their porch, spattered with bird poo, and, well, I was all over it.  I’m desperately trying not to start a collection of paint-by-number paintings, but if three sets is a collection, it’s already too late. 


That’s the summer one.  It’s a kid, fishing!  I know, right?  He’s got his Huck Finn hat, and his can of worms.  He’s got all day, with nothing to do but sit there in the sunshine, dunking his feet in the creek.  I just love it.  They looked like they’d been in the neighbor’s barn for quite awhile, so I unframed them, washed them with oil soap, and then steam-ironed them from the back (scary!  Dean said, “What if the paint melts?”) to flatten the warped edges.  It worked, but yikes.  Now they look perfect. 


I am a child of the 1970s, and I grew up in a world of string art and macrame owls, so these are lovely to me. They are wonderful in the way a granny square blanket is wonderful: they’re colorful, they’re nostalgic, and even though they’re dead easy to do, they make such a great impression. They’re art! They cost a dollar! I don’t have any more bare walls, and that’s the way I want it. The cozy things cottage is packed to the rafters with stuff I love.