Kevin's Story about Paint By Number Ship Painting:
“Paint by number?” by Kevin McClintic – February 2011
This is my second trade with Rosalie at bARTer Sauce. This time, I traded a beautiful, old oil painting depicting a large sailing ship battling huge waves during a storm.
Not much is known about the origin of the painting, except that it is signed “Gladys” and dated 1976 which would make the painting 35 years old in 2011. I acquired the painting during a visit to Value Village, a local chain of thrift stores in the Northwest.
I have owned this beautiful piece for almost a quarter century. For the first dozen years, the painting was prominently displayed on the wall of my basement bathroom hanging facing west over an old antique cast iron bath tub that dated back to 1917. I would often gaze at the painting as I would soak in a hot bath, and wonder who Gladys was, and why she chose to paint the picture.
In my imagination, I picture Gladys as being around retirement age back in 1976, and the image of the ship portraying a coastal sailing vessel, perhaps hauling lumber from Grays Harbor to California and returning with manufactured goods and perhaps fresh produce on the return trip.
After spending a dozen years in Seattle’s north end, I got married and my wife and I bought a house in West Seattle. The painting accompanied us on the move. The only problem was that it just did not go well with our pink bathroom, so the painting ended up in a basement once again, this time hanging facing east in a small craft and storage room for yet another dozen years.
Fast forward to 2011, and I decided that the painting really needed to find a new home where it could be prominently displayed and enjoyed for another dozen years or longer.
The painting needed to make a trip to see Rosalie and let her be a match maker to find it a new home. Being that it is a nautical work, it was only fitting that the trip to bARTer Sauce involve a trip on the water. After all, twelve years in a basement is a long time to be in “drydock” with no sign of water nearby.
So off we went, me and the painting heading for First Thursday Artwalk. First leg of the journey was the number 21 bus where we were the only passengers and cargo onboard.
The next leg involved a transfer to the number 54 bus which allowed us to connect to the Seattle Water Taxi shuttle bus which took us to the Seacrest dock in West Seattle for the last leg of the journey.
Once again, we were the only passengers and cargo on the 7PM eastbound sailing of the “Rachel Marie” for the ten to twelve minute ride across Elliott Bay to drop us off within just a short several block walk to bARTer Sauce. Attentive readers may recall that the “Rachel Marie” was the boat that suffered a mechanical failure which caused it to crash into the seawall back in 2010. They did a good job fixing her. She looks like nothing ever happened.
The only other remaining mystery is whether this painting is a paint by number work? It really makes no difference, but I have often wondered over the years whether this might be the case? Rosalie said she has some friends who are very experienced in identifying paint by number works, so perhaps she will be able to solve that mystery once and for all – hence the story title, “Paint by Number?” with a question mark.
Paint by number or not, this work would look great hanging in your home for the next dozen years.