I've started collecting old paint-by-number canvases for my guest room. They're fun, nostalgic and relatively inexpensive as far as "art" goes. But I'm kind of particular when it comes to the subject matter. I don't necessarily want paintings of kittens or cherubic children. (No offense to feline or child advocates). I was super excited when Karen came across Easy 123 Art. You upload a personal photo on their site, choose the size and type of framing you want and they mail you an old-fashioned paint-by-numbers kit for your image!
Because we're focused on Flora & Fauna this month, Karen chose a photo she took in Greece of the beautiful figs that grow in her backyard there, and I chose a photo of seagulls bombarding our lobster boat while on a tour in Maine.
Easy 123 Art graciously donated our canvases for this post and we are pretty happy with how they turned out. When Karen and I first opened our packages, we were admittedly a little intimidated by the complexity of the outlines. We're weren't paying too much attention to the fact that there was a whole lot of detail in the pattern on her plate or the subtle mix of colors in my ocean when we chose our photos! But let's remember, this is paint-by-NUMBER, people, and we just needed to pull out our reading glasses and follow the numeric guidelines.
There are several size options from a small 8X8 to the much larger 16x20, ranging in price from $39 - $90. You can also choose one of their "Ready To Paint" kits if you don't want to use one of your own photos, but we loved being able to personalize what we would be hanging on our walls.
Since we were working on a deadline, we took a little less time with our projects than we might have over a leisurely vacation. But the experience left us with the idea that this would be the perfect beach, lake or mountain activity for rainy days. I can picture myself dipping in and out of the canvas as I wake up in the morning and paint over coffee and a muffin, and once again after a nice nap before adding more color while other family members work on a jigsaw puzzle or play cards.
Really, who needs TV and email distractions when you could be truly enjoying your down time over the sweet success of creating your very own paint-by-number? I'm thinking this is an addictive hobby and I'm already looking through my photos to see which one I'd like to do next!