I’ve always been drawn to amateur paintings at thrift stores and garage sales. Maybe it’s because I can’t paint worth a dime, but I like to think it’s because I find them pretty and I’m “rescuing” them from the trash pile. Not to mention that they are as close to owning “original artwork” as I’m ever going to come.
I enjoy having things to look for when visiting a sale, too, and it’s always like I’ve unearthed a treasure when I find one I like with the colors I’m looking for. It’s a great way to add a personal touch to your decor for just a few dollars, not to mention the fact that you can be sure no one else will have one exactly like it.
Here are some of the ways that I use these paintings around my house:
Leaning on a bookcase in the living room. This is my most recent acquisition, my Mother’s Day present from Brian and the kids. He actually found the painting, but the frame was bad, so he bought another thrift store print just for the frame and the kids painted it before giving it to me.
Since both were only $4.99 each, it still made for an economical gift, which they know I will enjoy almost as much as the gift. I love a good bargain!
I fell in love with this landscape at a Goodwill, and actually paid $20.00 for it- twice as much as I’ve ever paid for any other painting. The colors went perfectly with our bedroom and I loved the subject- it almost looks like the Thames in London.
Or something like that.
Again, the frame was awful and came complete with that fabric inside-frame (fabric covered frame that’s inside the larger frame- I’m not sure what the actual name of it is…) that just screams the 60’s and 70’s to me. I just popped the painting out and painted it, fabric and all.
This was actually the very first painting I bought at a thrift store in the first few years of our marriage. It had a price tag of $4.50 and was half off that day. I guess you could say it’s the one that started it all.
Or not. Whatever.
What? I do not live in a manor house on the British Isles?
Well, a girl can dream.
Although to be honest, the bottom watercolor was not a thrift store find. It is an actual antique store watercolor that was priced way higher than thrift store prices, as you can imagine. I loved the colors, though, and my friend, Julie, who was with me, bought it for me for a gift.
This would probably be the time to mention that shopping with friends and relatives is a good idea.
This painting illustrates one of the other things I like about collecting amateur artwork: the imperfections. For example, I think a flower or two should’ve come in front of the pitcher- all of the flowers are behind or to the side of the pitcher, giving the impression that the pitcher was just stuck on at the last minute.
It just makes me smile every time I look at it.
Can you believe this was just $2.99? I picked it up a couple months ago because this could’ve been painted up the mountain from us and I loved the touches of pink in the flowers on the banks.
This was a recent find for a $1.50. It’s so sweet and small and I loved the shape of the frame. I can’t decide if I want to paint it, though. Can you have too much white?
The bottom line is, if I love it (and it’s cheap enough…), I buy it and find somewhere for it to live.
Brian also collects amateur paintings, but with a different, umm…mindset. Here’s a video where you can view his collection:
What things do you like to collect?