Post a Reminiscence
I am painting once a week with my father who is in end stage
Alzheimer's. I do not have any artistic talent and have relied
on color books and paint by number kits for inspiration and help.
I have to find the simplest drawings for he can not follow complicated
color schemes. It is a joy to be able to sit with him and enjoy
an activity even though he can no longer communicate in personal
terms. It brings me happiness that I can do something with him
at his level. Paint by Number gives my father honor and dignity
because others see his work and are impressed. His workers are
amazed at how well he does and see him with greater skill than
what he generally present to them. Inside there is still an individual
with character and life. Paint by Number lets others see it too.
November 5, 2004
IAt the ripe old age of two and a half, I believed my mother
must be the finest painter in the world. I loved to watch her
paint—by number of course. That was a rare treat because
my nap time was her painting time. When she painted her eyes would
light up and she would sing softly. My joy came from watching
her. Just remembering can bring the smell of the oil paint to
me today. It is the smell of family and love.
One afternoon I was to be upstairs napping. Instead I crawled
out of my crib when I heard my Aunt Elizabeth arrive to visit
with my mother. I could smell the oil paints, now waiting unattended
on the table for young hands to dabble in their texture and color.
I can still remember wearing my little cross-over white tee shirt,
by now beautifully embellished with multiple colors of paint.
What I have never forgotten however was the look on my mothers
face when she walked into the room. There I sat, on my knees,
on the dining room chair, painting, without numbers, all over
Although she never got to finish that picture there were many
others. Each painting had a place of honor in our basement family
room. Over the years I heard many stories told by guests in that
room reliving their experiences with paint by number kits.
A few years ago my fourteen year old step-daughter received a
gift from her Grandfather. When the wrapping paper came off she
politely thanked him for the present. She tried to explain to
him that she wasn't very artistic but she would try. He told her
it was okay. All she had to do was paint by the numbers.
January 3, 2005
While going through my dad's (he's 82) family collectibles, I
came across this 18x24 paint by number picture. The only thing
I know about this picture is that it came from Wisconsin, and
a friend of my grandfathers painted it. I now have this picture
in my possession and it hangs in my home above the fireplace.
It's like it was painted specifically for our cabin living room,
and my dad was so glad to pass it on, as in get rid of it. That's
all I know about this paint by number picture.
January 26, 2005
Yes I have a very old set of 3 paintings paint by numbers they
were painted by a gentlemen who died he painted them over in Australia
and sent them to his wife . . . she gave these to me before she
got really sick. And they are in frame and beautiful . . . she
lived in Australia for long time then they moved here. I was wondering
where I could find some info and price list on them they are paintings
of Jesus one he is standing holding the cross and another he is
holding a lamb and standing by it and the small one goes in middle
he is sitting on a hill looking out. They all in mint condition
and all go together . . . thank you
February 6, 2005
I received two PBN kits for Christmas, both at the beginner’s
level. They really gave me a lot of enjoyment doing them. Now
I'm working on a larger, much more complex, scene with neat houses
and mountains. I've got a new hobby and it keeps me out of the
bars. By the way, I'm 63 years old. A business man with two companies
with income in the six figures.
February 16, 2005
Not much to do in rural SW Louisiana. My brother and I would
sit down and spend hours painting “The Horse and The Indian
with a huge headdress.” We loved anything western! Yes,
I too can smell the oil paints just thinking about this wonderful
I recently came across a box of paint-by-number framed pictures
at an auction in Arizona. What fun.
I too can smell the oil as we sat at the kitchen table and Painted
“The Horse” and “The Indian Chief.” Oh
to have those days back of easy, slow living. I recently won a
whole box of PBN framed pictures and they brought back fond memories.
Jo and Jerome Copeland
February 22, 2005
I think the paint by numbers, and even “draw by numbers”
I've seen (which are the same pictures but with pencils) are a
great intro to art.
The art store I visit here in Toronto has it all lined up. Right
next to the paint by numbers is the final step, a full sized canvas
that is only sketched out. That is there is a picture on it they
have obviously drawn on the canvas. Now you have to mix paint
and do the rest.
I'm just about ready to try a few of these, and then one day,
maybe even do it all myself.
Web Project Coordinator
Ministry of Education/ Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities
April 13, 2005
My husband gave me the two paint-by-number kits that started
me on my way; I still have the two main "paint by number"
paintings that I did in 1959-1960. They are pictures of Emmett
Kelley the sad faced clown. They are framed and until a few years
ago hung in our family room. Strangely enough, I was watching
TV and saw these same paintings hung in the living room of one
of the houses that the detectives visited. We all were pointing
and shouting. We could not believe it. Guess that I wasn't the
only one who painted those pictures. I did learn not to actually
paint-by- number by starting with #1 and continuing with 2, 3,
4, etc. The pictures turned out better if I chose the numbers
pictured in the background and work my way forward. The paintings
looked less like paint-by-number paintings that way. I did start
on a Last Supper paint-by-number painting a year later but I never
finished it because the addition of a fifth child in our family
took up all of my time. Those kits were a lot of fun. The manufacturer
stood behind their product and would send replacement pots of
paint when needed. Guess those kits are now part of the history
of fun art in our country.
June 23, 2005
While looking on the web I found your address requesting information
By Number sets.
My late husband was an employee of Craftint Mfg. Co., in Cleveland,
Ohio. They first came out with the sets in 1953. He was sent throughout
the country establishing accounts to promote this new item and
sell it. He was largely responsible for the growth of the company
and the spread of this new hobby.
I, as a young wife and mother, painted many of them--but only
half. This way there were samples to give to customers to show
what they looked like. I also earned extra money for my household.
He was with the company until his untimely death in 1968.
Greta Katz Malkin
September 25, 2005
I have recently come across your web site. The site is nicely
done, however there are some very important details left out.
Although the paint set was discovered by Dan Robbins and marketed
by the palmer pan company, there was not much success until my
father, Anthony Anton and Anthony Donifrio purchased the Palmer
Pan company and all the rights, after which the paint by number
took off. The paint by number by the late 1980s, was selling around
15 million sets a year all over the world. The company was sold
in the late 90s, with an estimated annual sale of about 35 million
dollars. Both my father and Donifrio have passed since that time.
I would like to see more credit given to these guys. if not for
them the paint by number would be just another patent #.
Anthony D. Anton
October 14, 2005
I did paint by number kits as a child in the early sixties and
loved it. I cannot draw or paint. I am just not gifted that way.
But the kits allowed me to have a creative outlet anyway. I fondly
remember the kits and the hours of enjoyment and pleasure I got
from them. So much pleasure in fact, that I will be finishing
my "lady with a flower hat" kit by tomorrow. I am 51
years old, a wife of 32 years, a mother of a 24 year old and a
successful author or technical reference manuals. This allows
me a creative outlet and I don't mind admitting it. In fact, I
even use my own colors and vary the kit a little each time to
make it my own.
Vicki M. Lambert
October 22, 2005
In high school during the 1960's I struggled with depression.
A paint by numbers hobby was thought to be helpful in some way.
A gift box contained two canvas boards. I don't remember the pictures.
I painted over one creating a vibrating question mark. The other
I threw in the trash.
October 23, 2005
I well remember Paint by Numbers! My mother gave me a kit for
Christmas one year...I was about 12 or 13, which would have been
in 1957 or 1958. The kit contained two scenes of streets in Paris.
I started painting one but became discouraged because it was taking
so long. My mother then finished the paintings . . . my grandmother
was from France so the Paris scenes appealed to my mother. She
then framed them and hung them
up in the living room. They were there when she died in 1991.
I can still remember the smell of the oil paints in the kits.
December 15, 2005