Thursday, February 17, 2011


My father is a painter and I grew up around a number of artists of all kinds.  My home town, St. Louis, has a great art museum, when I lived there was free.  It sponsored wonderful exhibits including Van Gogh and Matisse.  I spend a lot of time visiting local galleries to take in the creations of such talented artists.  But, collecting original art is out of my budget.  Or is it? 

See what I picked up recently at an estate sale for . . .

$2.50!  It is a water color by a local Oregon artist of a scene in the Cascades Mts.
Or how about this one from the same sale:
$2.50 again.  This one is a small oil painting of the Oregon coast. 

I found this next piece at an estate sale about 2 years ago.  It was a crowded sale, but I got in early and found it in one of the bedrooms lying on a bed full of stuff.  It was quite a bit more  . . . $15!  As I carried it through the sale, other people commented on it and remarked what a nice piece.

This is another Oregon artist and is a wood block print of one of the coastal trees along the beach.  The artist is known as a painter and printmaker. 

                                  MY COLLECTION

Soon to be expanded, I hope.  I am always looking for the right piece and the right cheap price!  Let me know if you have any special original art finds.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


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I found this wonderful stencil booklet for $1.50 at a locally owned art supply store.  I grabbed most of what they had in stock.  I kept one and gave the others away.  I knew I could use them somewhere.  I soon realized it would be great to have a Chinese greeting at the exterior front door.  And, it turned out above the mailbox was the best choice. 

I love the original brass mailbox slot with years of patina. 

I selected two chinese characters from the above booklet.

                                    Long Life                   Happiness

I used some of our black trim paint and added these welcoming symbols above the mail box.

Since the house has cedar shake siding, I was not able to keep the stencil perfectly flat when applying the paint.  There was some bleeding of the black paint which I had to cover with the exterior house paint.  I used a craft paint brush to dab and cover over the out-of-place black paint.

It adds a little extra to the entrance.  Something different yet does not change the original character of the house. 

Here is the view of the front door.  (Yes, I am in the middle of stripping the front door!  It is going slowly!  I am not crazy about the paint stripper I am using.  Any suggestions for an effective stripper that is not TOO toxic?)  Someday, I hope to show the whole redone entrance but could not wait to share the mailbox compliment.  It was a cheap and easy project I am very pleased with.