I have a little problem with paintings—I can’t stop myself from buying them. Prints? I have about four. Actual paintings? I’ve got 17 of those (over 30 if you include paint by numbers). There’s something nice about having art that wasn’t mechanically reproduced. Sure, most of these paintings were churned out in large numbers from studios full of starving artists in the 1950s and 60s, but a real hand put brushes to canvas and no two are exactly alike. And today, when chintzy framed prints can cost a pretty penny in home stores, it’s nice to run across an oil-on-canvas painting like this for just $6.99 at a thrift store.
I can’t quite make out the artist’s signature, but I’m guessing it wouldn’t reveal much if I could. I’m also not 100% sure what’s going on, but I see some nuns and some school children on a foot bridge. What I really like about it are the colors and texture and the very stylized interpretation of a traditional European subject.
It’s hard to imagine the thrift store’s thought process behind pricing legions of old Justin Bieber posters, terrible cardboard pastoral sofa prints, a framed Dilbert cartoon and this painting all roughly the same. One would think anybody could see the difference—but perhaps that’s just the art snob in me passing $6.99 worth of judgement.