When I was a little kid I used to love going to spend the weekend with my granddaddy. We would go to the movies or the dollar store or to pick peaches; but the thing I remember doing most was going visiting. Usually we would visit lovely old ladies who would put me down for naps under crocheted blankets in sun rooms filled with spider plants and philodendrons. Or we would go see scrappy old men with howling bloodhounds tied to trees who would feed me Brunswick stew with saltines and ‘get’ my nose. One lady we would visit was a widow who lived a few doors down in a white painted brick house with magnolias in the yard so huge, nothing else could grow. She didn’t put me down for naps- we would have sweet tea- and her walls were covered with paint by number landscapes, covered floor to ceiling. I didn’t think much about it then- if those were places she wanted to go, or why she painted so much- but I thought about her the other day and was inspired to do a paint by number for myself.
Now I love being creative; and like most people I know, I want to be unique. But painting by numbers is a new way I’ve found to spend time that is surprisingly relaxing. I sat down to work on this 9x12 wolf and before I knew it three hours had passed. I felt good. I’m sure many people would say that painting by numbers isn’t really art, but I respectfully disagree. If you remember the film Mona Lisa Smile, you may remember the scene where Julia Robert’s students each presented her with the exact same completed paint-by-number, no two were alike. Because of this, I believe it is still art; we are all so unique that not even a mass produced project can make us the same!
I know that old lady died long ago. I wonder if she had kids and if so, did they keep any of her paintings? Really I guess it doesn’t matter- I’m sure she did the paintings to pass the time. But I also believe she did them for herself- because she enjoyed it- and that’s why that little old widow, in her sunlight dappled sitting room, was the first real “artist” I ever met.
These little artworks are a fun and kitschy way to decorate, so have fun with it!