Tag Archives: childhood memories

Museum Curator Elevates Prestige of Paint by Number Art

The argument about what does and does not qualify as art has created tension in the art world for centuries. Some people think only fine art should be considered “real” art. Others believe that primitive, rustic, rugged pieces crafted by the unschooled are indeed genuine works of art. This is just the type of debate that has surrounded paint by number paintings, which were created from mass-produced paint by number kits, for the past several decades.

While many art elitists do not believe paint by number paintings are true works of art, William L. Bird, Jr., believes they are. Bird should know – he is not only the curator at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, he is also highly educated on the subject of paint by number.

Bird raised the prestige of paint by number art in his book, Paint by Number: The How-To Craze that Swept the Nation. In his book, Bird gives an explanation of how paint by number was born, who marketed it, and why it was such a success. Also, the author explains the level of artistic skill it took to create paint by number kits. Understanding these facets of this technique and brand is helping the public see paint by number paintings for what they truly are – a form of art.

William L. Bird, Jr., further championed paint by number paintings when he displayed them in an art exhibition in 2001 at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

An individual who visited Bird’s exhibition commented to Bird that several paint by number paintings from “identical kits” had variations painted in them. (These were variations that the artists themselves had “painted outside the lines” to add.) This individual wondered if such artistic inconsistencies helped these particular paintings qualify as art. Bird affirmed, “By expressing preferences and making choices, these painters are taking the first steps toward art. I think you can charitably argue that in these cases it was art.”

Do you love paint by number and Segmation? Whether you like being a perfect painter or great digital artist, or simply have fond childhood memories of coloring inside the lines, your experience is valuable. We want to hear your story in the comment section below. What does paint by number mean to you?

Sources:

http://www.cabinetmagazine.org/issues/15/paintbynumbers.php

http://www.amazon.com/Paint-Number-How-To-Craze-Nation/dp/1568982828

Note: The top photo used in this post does not belong to Segmation; it was found at http://mocoloco.com/art/archives/020982.php.

Coming soon: Read Segmation’s heartwarming article about various individuals’ much-loved childhood memories of paint by number.

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Professionals Integrate Paint by Number Into Their Careers

Paint by number art has become something of an American legend. Thousands upon thousands have fond childhood memories of creating amazing paintings using paint by number guides. Some individuals are so moved by paint by number that they have actually integrated this form of art into their careers. Such people see the true value of paint by number kits in that they helps “everyday people” paint works of art that they can truly be proud of.

One individual who has beautifully integrated paint by number into his career is Trey Speegle. Speegle has made a name for himself by taking paint by number paintings and “recontextualizing” them, then “combining them with words and phrases that deconstructs the genre in a variety of ways.” Trey Speegle strives to bring certain themes out of vintage paint by number paintings; themes like hope, transformation, longing, and love have all been drawn out by Speegle in the past. This amazing artist works with Anthropologie Home, Stella McCartney, and Fred Perry, among other people and businesses. Trey Speegle truly brings the best out of paint by number paintings.

Artsist JoDavid loves paint by number so much that he has invented a “Paint by Number Salon” in he and Marlow Harris’ place of residence. Their salon is garnering attention from the media, and rightly so – the space is filled with 160 paint by number paintings. The salon is greatly inspirational to JoDavid and Marlow Harris, as well as to many others. Of the paint by number salon and paint by number itself, Harris commented, “It’s beautiful – it’s art.”

Karen Savell’s career as a paint by number art restorer testifies to her fondness for the art form. Savell began restoring paint by number paintings in 1999, and soon people began to notice her talent. After a few years of finishing others’ paint by number paintings and restyling classic pieces, Savell began her own business restoring these amazing works of art. Today she is thrilled to be living her dream of working with paint by number art.

How has paint by number made its mark on your life? Whether you love creating perfect paintings or have knit paint by number into your daily life or career, your experience is unique and valuable. Segmation wants to hear your personal story in the comments section below. What does paint by number mean to you?

Sources:

http://treyspeegle.com/bio/

http://unusuallife.com/paint-by-numbers-house/

http://vimeo.com/38068832

http://www.paintbynumbermuseum.com/karen_savelle_intro

Coming soon: Have you ever wondered where today’s traditional “Christmas colors” and other holiday shades originated? If so, you’ll want to read our next post.

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https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/use-color-bring-home-life/

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