Monday, July 16, 2012
By the Number
While looking through the note cards at our local St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store the other day, I ran across some cards featuring colorful paint-by-number pictures, and I immediately thought about my Grandpa Joe. Grandpa really embraced the paint-by-number phenomenon of the 1950s and 1960s, painting many lovely scenes, framing them and either displaying them in the downstairs rec room of Grandpa and Grandma's house or giving them as gifts to others in the family. Grandpa gave one to Mom, Dad and me that depicted Jesus Christ. The back of the note cards that I saw at St. Vincent's described paint-by-number pictures as American folk art that reached its pinnacle during post-World War II. I recall painting by number myself, thrilled with the thought of being able to make a painting (with my limited talents) simply by following the numerical instructions. As I recall, Grandpa's paint-by-number creations were mostly landscapes, often with snow in them and they frequently featured light turquoise blue paint. So, when I saw that at least one of the note cards at the thrift store featured a snowy rural scene using light turquoise blue paint, I had to buy the card for 25 cents. I'm not sure to whom I'll send the card, but for now, I'll enjoy looking at it and reminiscing about Grandpa Joe and his artistic talents.