Post a Reminiscence
Yes - Like many others we were into the
"Paint by Numbers", and had done quite a
few- we looked for a long time for the English coach
scenes, we thought they would be the ultimate --
finally found them in Brantford, Ontario. By then my
husband had gone back to university (at night) and I
was able to do all four of them by myself. All four
of them hung for many years in our home only to be
replaced by a beautiful "John Barber"
print of the Chesapeake bay.
We still have the coach scenes - don't have the
heart to throw them out even after all these
June 1, 2001
When I was growing up in the 50s, my parents
would give my sister and me paint-by-number kits for
Christmas. We would enthusiastically attack them
with paint and brush and usually have them completed
by the end of Christmas vacation. Hmmm, was this
painting by number or baby-sitting by number? It
kept us quiet and out of Mom's way for that week
between Christmas and back to school.
I do remember the pride in beginning to blend and
blur the lines to get a softer look. I also remember
being bored by the endless gray tones in a winter
snow scene one year. My taste ultimately turned to
the abstract, so I don't feel I was harmed by the
paint-by-number experience. Now there's a subject
for another study-how many paint-by-number
"artists" ended up preferring abstract
art? Is there a correlation? Is there cause?
Two of the paint-by-number paintings our parents
had framed and hung over their mantle until sold at
their estate sale in 1996. The two paintings were
both scenes of rustic barns, and neither my sister
nor I wanted them for our homes. Happily, a lady
came by the estate sale and bought them to hang in
her B & B.
Linda Beason Hax
June 4, 2001
I recall with pleasure the finding of a set of
light-houses Paint by Number. Having watched our
favorite daughter Diane Ruth with art projects and
her attention to detail, we gifted her with these.
It seems she was about 12 years old at the time.
They are in our living room and bring me great joy!
Thank you for the other shared notes. Diane's
"mute" though no e-mail address feel free
to use for info.
June 6, 2001
I've taken the "craft" up again after
35 years. I'm guessing, that the last "paint by
numbers" kit I had was in 1965. But I've had a
yearning to do the kits again and I finally found
one 3 weeks ago. As simplistic and
"stupid" as others may find it, I want to
continue... which lead me to your site (#1 hit on
the Google search list.) I'm looking for kits. Any
sources you happen to know of would be appreciated.
And Thanks. I have to come down there and see this
June 8, 2001
We were married in 1953 and started out on an
Airman 2nd Class salary. Not having much money, the
paint-by-number pictures were hung with great pride
on our walls. There was a sense of accomplishment in
completing the pictures that spoke to the would-be
artist in me.
I wish I still had those pictures -
your article brought back many fond memories.
June 14, 2001
Paint by number may have saved my sanity.
fall of 1956 my husband took on a new job in
Houston. Not knowing the city or anyone, we spent
the first month there living in a motel. I had no
TV, radio and with a 6month old child, had only one
room to stay in. The big treat of the day was a walk
to the office to get a coke from the machine.
one week I knew I had to do something. On our trip
to the grocery store I saw these boxes of paint by
number kits which had two pictures each. Well, that
was the start of a hobby that led to art lessons,
art school, teaching art and living art. I guess I
painted every picture on the market at that time. I
do not think it was a mindless action, I felt it
sparked my own natural creativity and I cannot tell
you how much these Paint by Number kits meant to me.
I thank the man who came up with the idea and STILL
enjoy doing one now and then.
June 14, 2001
I have two paint by number pictures on a hard
board and painted with acrylics of the "Blue
Boy' and "The Old Man of the Sea" or
"The Fisherman." These are large pictures.
I would like to know the history of these pictures,
if you know it, and about when they would have been
painted. Thank you,
June 16, 2001
My wife just returned from Washington, D.C. where
she picked up a beginner's paint-by-numbers set from
your gift shop. They must be popular sellers as it
was the only one on the shelf - a teddy bear in a
hat holding some flowers. Our four year old daughter
just completed it today, her first attempt at
painting. The look of accomplishment on her face was
priceless. Thanks for the memory.
June 19, 2001
I read the beautiful article in our local
newspaper today, and knew I had to get my memory in
there. I've been on the computer for 1.5 hours
remembering when, 1951-2 we had a project for home
economics class. I had always wanted a horse,
knowing I would never own one. I chose a 12"
x17" metal serving tray with the head of a race
horse, that covered about a 10 by14 area of the tray
as my project. I enjoyed it so much I went back and
bought a wastebasket of the same scene. Till this
day I have the wastebasket in my bedroom, and the
tray is a catchall in my dining area. The funniest
part of that was, in the 1970's we were in Mt.
Jewitt, PA. We stopped at an old hardware store and
I found 2 more wastebaskets that were in their
original boxes, and must have been 20 years old. I
had a friend freehand paint the flower pattern that
was on the baskets. The owner of the store only
charged me 2.99 for each basket. He was overjoyed to
sell them. The quality of the metal was heavy duty
metal, the baskets were 12 inches high and a
10" oval opening. I would really like to see
the exhibit live.
Thanks for the chance to remember.
June 20, 2001
I did a lot of the paint-by-numbers growing up in
the 60s. My mother still has a large
(24"x36"?) of "Pinkie" that I
painted, hanging in her bedroom for 40 years. I
always meant to do "Blue Boy" to go with
it. Recently I saw clock kits and did one for a
friend's present. My daughter watched me doing it
and wanted to do a paint-by-number too. We looked in
a couple craft catalogs and checked a few craft
stores but could find very little. I enjoyed the
museum's e-exhibit and was thrilled to discover the
links to online paint-by-number kits. My daughter
and I are gonna be a-painting now!
June 21, 2001
I am from Québec, Canada. Please excuse my
English. I used to paint by number in the 1950s and
I think that it was a very good and beautiful
pastime. I remember giving some of my paintings to
my friends and they thought I had a great talent but
the only thing you needed was to be patient and
careful, and you made a beautiful painting. I really
enjoyed it. Thank you for the memory.
June 22, 2001
As I'm typing this note to you, I have before me
my one and only paint-by-number framed painting. It
has a cottage, a canal, a boat and about ten trees
in the painting. I do not have a name for the
masterpiece. However, it was framed in a gold frame
by my father. On the back of the painting I have my
name (not on the front as a true artist) and 7th
grade written. I was born in 1939 in Pennsylvania
and remember painting at a card table in our
livingroom while home sick during a snow storm. This
painting hung in my parents game room for all those
years until two years ago when their home was sold.
I now have it "hiding" in a closet. Thanks
for the exhibit and web site. I'd love to get to the
June 23, 2001
Thanks for the memories!
As a new Associate
Resident Member, I was delighted to learn of your
Paint by Number exhibit. Yesterday I dragged my
husband onto the Blue Line Metro for the express
purpose of visiting this gallery. I was not
disappointed. Born in 1949, I reached age 12 at the
precise moment PBN was in full bloom. I spent
countless hours painstakingly applying paint to
board (and countless others cleaning it off my
wrist.... paint took longer to dry than I realized
at that tender age). Apparently, I was in good
company: Dwight Eisenhower, J. Edgar Hoover and
Ethel Merman shared my enthusiasm. So there, critics
of PBN . . .
This mandates a call to my mother in
California to inquire if any of my masterpieces
still exist in the recesses of her garage. Perhaps
the walls of my suburban Washington D.C. apartment
will yet be graced with exact replicas of three
which hang on the wall of a Smithsonian Museum. And
so I shall be the envy of my associates!
June 24, 2001
Paint-by-number was my first experience with oil
paints. It sparked the interest. Since then I have
become an oil artist doing mostly landscapes but
also doing other paintings. Some of these have sold.
Most have gone to friends and relatives who thought
them "great." For me, paint-by-number (of
my pet dog) was entry into the world of art and
world of imaginative painting.