Sunday, February 24, 2013

Color My World

As eager as I am to get outside and sketch, the combination of a busy workload and challenging weather conditions have made it an impossible feat this past week. So I've decided to share another passion of mine, collecting vintage children's watercolor tins. Some of you will remember these from your childhood; brightly colored images of children or animals existing in a fantasy or realistic world, occasionally practicing the art of painting. The paints included in these tins were never of high quality, and it would take numerous swipes with the cheap little brushes to gather enough pigment to get the darkness you so desired. But for those of you who have grown up only having held a plastic paintbox in your hands, you really missed out. Choosing a new set meant hours of fun and possibilities ahead, and for me, it made me feel like the "real" artist I would one day become.

These beautiful watercolor tins are hard to find now and when I do spot one the price can be quite high. I collect all kinds of images though for some reason, I've never been attracted to the Disney tins. I don't know why since I love the old Disney movies like Lady and the Tramp, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. One of my favorites in my collection is of course the huge Alice in Wonderland set.

Many of my sets are in perfect condition with never used paints, and from an investment standpoint that is ideal. But I don't collect these with the intent of resale. In fact I feel sorry for these pristine paintboxes that have never been held by wee hands. Give me the messy ones with worn down paint wells and pigment spotted lids. When I hold it my hands, I wonder what young artist dipped a water laden brush into the paint to capture an image of their puppy, kitty, doll or the view outside their window, or maybe even a spaceship circling the moon or a fairy perched upon a flower.
Hopefully one day I'll have a slew of grandchildren who will come to The Crooked Little House and pick out a favorite watercolor tin to use. But until then, maybe I should just invite my girlfriends to come by to select a paintbox and enjoy an evening of creativity.
"Everything is art. A cook, a shoemaker, a hairdresser are all artists according to how talented they are. This whole mess of labels and titles has nothing to do with me. I am absolutely indifferent to the noise and commotion. It isn't  the medium that's important but the person that expresses himself through it. I just continue to look for those special moments, the way a fisherman does when he tells you, They're biting today!"     Jacques Henri Lartigue


  1. Replies
    1. Their talents lie elsewhere. Buddha has amazing vocal abilities, and Erb is working towards earning a spot in the next summer Olympics.