By The Numbers
The other week my close friend Peter came for a visit and for some reason we got to talking about paint by number kits that were very popular in the 1950’s. My mother was always buying them for me, but I quickly got bored with them, all those little jars of smelly oil paints, and all those tiny little numbers. I was always running out of a color or two, and I never finished them. I would get so frustrated by them, that I would just paint what I wanted on the numbered canvas and that was that. Now my brother who was 13 years older than me, would sometimes take over for me, and I remember that he did two paintings of clipper ships that he was very proud of, and got them framed and hung them up over our twin beds in the bedroom that we shared for a short time. Finally my mother got the point that I did not like doing them, and happily for me she stopped buying them “He’s too artistic for paint by numbers” she would announce to the clerks in the neighborhood toy stores we would shop in. So instead she would buy me big sketch pads and crayons and I would happily draw what I wanted to draw.