My Buys: Thrifty art to love (or upcycle!)

It is a bittersweet find today at the St. Vincent de Paul charity shop in Limerick. As much as I LOVE these colourful, joyous paintings – who wouldn’t? – I can’t imagine who would’ve given them up! I am all too familiar with the creative process; as you’re work gets better there’s a certain amount of cringe factor in your previous attempts. I’ve tossed my own fair amount of scribbles over the years. But while the still lives  were perhaps by a more experienced hand, these delightful penguins seem to be untainted by professional training and are all the more better for it.

It’s not often that I will find good original art like this on my thrifty travels in Ireland. It’s usually a medley of washed out scenic postcards or sad religious motifs. These all have their place, just not in my home. I asked the shop assistant if he had any idea where they came from, but unfortunately they were an anonymous donation. So home with me they came at just €4 for the lot.

Thrift-Art-1A stash of acrylic paintings found during todays charity shop circuit. All five, including the cute penguin duo below, cost €4 in total.

So while there is a dearth of thrifty art in Ireland, not so in the U.S. There is a huge dedication to Mid-Century and second hand art, where even old ‘paint by numbers’ art is regarded as acceptable kitsch. The famous works of South African artist Vladimir Tretchikoff, most notably his blue skinned Chinese Girl, are synonymous with modern Mid-Century inspired interiors, but collecting vintage PBN art is a trend that will continue to grow. It’s cheap, easy to find, generic enough to fit into any interior (unlike Tretchikoff’s Chinese Girl) and ideal for upcycling.

In fact the trend spotters have already jumped on board the PBN fandom – check out these gorgeous wall murals inspired by PBN art, below, plus a lovely little upcycling project at the bottom. Enjoy!

Credit A Very Modest Cottage

A paint by numbers style country scene wall mural. Credit: A Very Modest Cottage

Credit Strawberry Mohawk Babble

A paint by number style clipper wall mural. Credit: Strawberry Mohawk/Babble

Credit The Lettered Cottage

A paint by numbers style woodland scene wall mural. Credit: The Lettered Cottage.

Credit Honestly WTF

Upcycle your thrift shop find with this fun paint by numbers tutorial from HonestlyWTF


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