DH Amateur Painting Getting Out of Hand

wantoretire_didMay 9, 2007

DH came into our 16 year marriage with lots of stuff and has accumulated more since. Need any extension cords?

In my former marriage and when I was subsequently single, I was a constant weeder outer and happy being that way. I've continued that with my clothes, etc. and he does OK with clothes, but kicking and screaming with books. We have lots of stuff we don't use, but he won't let go of it.

A couple of years ago, at age 78 or so, DH took up acrylic and pastel painting. He's had a couple of amateur showings, but has only sold a couple to a neighbor for cost of frames. There are a few good paintings hanging downstairs and he's given a couple away, but the rest are piling up. The AC Moore coupons are put to good use as he won't let any of them go to waste.

He took over a spare bedroom upstairs in our very small house and there is now barely room to move in that room. There are enough canvases, frames, and paint to last a lifetime. Last summer and soon now, he will work in the garage as it is much cooler. Now the overflow is oozing into the garage.

This has all added to what is already here and I'm beginning to feel like choking. Last summer I bought one of those country patchwork quilts for our king bed. I CAN'T FIND IT. I've looked everywhere. I know if I buy another it will turn up, but in the meantime, it's driving me crazy. Where could it go in this little house? I find that I look for something and because there is so much stuff, I can't find what I'm looking for.

We must have a couple dozen screwdrivers and a drawer full of screws and nuts and bolts. The only nails I can find are little ones for hanging small things, or ROOFING NAILS or some such thing we will never need. I finally bought a little container of a little stronger, longer nails and hid them for my own use.

OK, I'm rambling. My question is, do any of you have any idea of where there would be an outlet for these paintings, which are mostly landscapes and flowers (nothing depressing)? He IS willing to let go of a lot of them. It would be nice to cover a little of the cost of frames, but at this point I don't care, as it does keep him interested in something. He once said that he was concerned that if he dies before I do, what would happen to all of the supplies. I told him I have that all figured out; that I would donate to a childrens' art group or some such thing. But in the meantime, as we chug along, I'm going nuts. BTW, we don't itemize, so that's not in the solution.

I hope I've made some sense here. Thank you for listening.


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I visit conservatees in lots of nursing homes and convalescent care centers, they would be thrilled to get original paintings. Forget the cost of the frames--some men spend their money gambling, or on loose women.
Our town has a hometown fair and they exhibit paintings in a competition. Our church has a silent auction with amateur paintings.(and if he does that be sure some anonymous collector signs up to buy it and spirit it away)
The man must be 80 by now, you are lucky to have him and he's innocently painting. Count your blessings.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 9:31PM
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I recently saw a request by a local women's shelter for "uplifting" artwork for the walls.

I think the nursing homes and assisted living centers would also be good places for him to donate his artwork.

I'm glad he's found joy in painting. Hobbies, I think, can be important in keeping people interested in life.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:01AM
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Donate them ALL the next time your church, girl scouts, junior league, rotary club etc. has a rummage sale to benefit a charity.
Paintings are gone and the donation is tax deductible. Or if that is too much trouble donate them and eat the cost of frames.

It's nice he has a hobby, but IMO he should be given one space that contains it and when he overflows it is his responsibility to deal with it. If allowed to run rampant it will consume your entire home.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:37AM
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ah, yes, the problem with handicrafts: they produce objects.

That's one thing to be said about golf: it doesn't produce more stuff with every indulgence.

My FIL has sort of the same situation--he likes to paint, and has more canvases than anybody wants. They're pretty, and he enjoys doing it, but I honestly have no desire to hang one of his paintings in my home. They're just not my style.

If he could paint them "to order," they might have a greater chance of finding a home--but often the things he's good at painting (or wants to paint) don't coincide w/ what someone else would want.

Sewing, knitting, and crocheting can often be done "to order," to match someone's color scheme, etc. Ditty woodworking-you can make shelves for someone who needs/wants them, etc., and enjoy your hobby while making something you *know* someone else wants.

The other thing I'd say is, once he has more paintings than will fit conveniently in a certain room (and, since this is a big part of your life, it would be OK to build properly sized shelves, so they're UP off the floor), then can you rent a storage space?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 11:44AM
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Do you have craft fairs in your area? If he is really just looking to cover costs and get some out of the house, I'd set up a booth and price them $10 above dirt cheap. It would be good for him too to see that someone admires and appreciates his work.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:15PM
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My first thought was [like others'] to donate to a convalescent home.

My next thought was: Whatever happened to the old-fashioned technique of re-using a canvas? I doubt he will claim every single painting as a masterpiece; sort out the not-quite-what-was wanted and re-use the canvas.

But if the artist's room is too crowded to swing a wet paintbrush, then it is time to make enough space to permit creativity to flow. If he really wants to sell, then sort the artwork into those that are *really* good work, which can be offered for sale -and offered and offered and offered, since it does take repeated showings to match buyer to artwork. Another stack would consist of good to very good work: try them once or twice for sale but if they don't sell, move them on to another home, nursing or otherwise. The remaining canvases should be either scraped for re-use or donated to a local school (contact the art teachers through the school's central administrative office) so that budding artists can practice. And do I need to say that frames can be re-used?

If you can't find that quilt, it's time for a thorough dusting, the sort where every item on every shelf is lifted and wiped off and then put where it belongs -- which may or may not be on that particular shelf. Start in one corner of one room and then dust every thing to your right until the whole room has been wiped from top to bottom and inside and under all the furnishings. Schedule mornings or afternoons to wipe and put away for 15 minutes and then do something else for 15 minutes alternating for a couple hours. Don't try to do a whole room in one day, do put everything in its place -- and accept that the place might be in a trash bag or charity box. You'll likely find the quilt sooner than you expect. Lost things so often show up once your attention is elsewhere.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:23PM
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Hi all and thank you for your suggestions for donating the paintings. Yes, I am thankful that DH has this hobby and that he enjoys it so much. He will be 80 in November; has many physical ailments, but in remarkably good health considering his military injury and illness history.

Marge, I went to a local nursing home where DH had exhibited in January, and will meet with the Foundation Director next week. He is very interested.

Then went to the nursing home which is a part of the local hospital and met with the activities director, with some lap robes for the residents. I told her of the paintings and without hesitation she said "I'll take 20". I was speechless!!! What she is going to do is to have an "art day" where residents may choose their own paintings. Sadly, there are many who have no family, so it will give them an opportunity to pick something to personalize their rooms.

Talley Sue - Unfortunately, golf is becoming less and less due to spinal stenosis. I couldn't even inventory the golf stuff he has collected. It will eventually go to a youth organization.

Meldy - This is a king-size quilt. Not going to be lost on some shelf, believe me. We are in a very small Cape Cod, just not that much room to get lost. I'm thinking maybe I put it in a bag and it unwittingly became a donation. Or, as DH said, if I buy another one, it will turn up. That's how it works. Kind of a Murphy's Law deal.

Thank you all again.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 6:54PM
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How wonderful that you can get them out of the house and into places where the paintings will be enjoyed!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 6:27AM
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