Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Oh, the horror of a paint-by-number painting July 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 2:01 PM
Tags: , ,

SEE THESE EYES? My second daughter claims they creep her out, that the eyes resemble those of a deranged person in a horror movie.

The horrible, horrible eyes.

Then look at these eyes. Nothing wrong with these brown beauties, she says.

The brown beauties.

Perhaps the hair style, the cut of the bangs, lends to her uneasiness, her favoring one face over the other.

Or possibly she finds the presence of numbers, bleeding through the translucent skin, rather disturbing, adding to the macabre element.

I’m not going to admit to her, not even hint, that I understand her viewpoint. I can’t. I won’t.

These are, after all, my masterpieces. I tediously, laboriously, carefully, proudly painted these ballerinas as a child from a paint-by-number kit.

My ballerinas, painted number by number.

Up until recently, these portraits had been stashed in a chest of drawers. But one day I decided the time had come to unveil my artwork. So I propped the old new art upon a dining room shelf.

I didn’t expect the men in the house to notice the change. If they did, they never uttered a word, not one single comment about the big-eyed ballerinas.

But my daughter, my second-born, who possesses an artistic side and, like me, is always observant of her surroundings, noticed.

I wish she’d kept her horrible opinion about the horrible eyes to herself. Now I can’t shake the feeling that the blue-eyed ballerina, prior to becoming a paint-by-number model, may have starred in a horror film.

The beautiful brown-eyed ballerina.

The horrifying ballerina with the frightening eyes, the fixating gaze.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


4 Responses to “Oh, the horror of a paint-by-number painting”

  1. Kristin Says:

    Maybe it’s the contrast? Dark hair, blue eyes? As a brown-eyed girl myself, I’m always a fan of the brown eyes, but I can appreciate blue as well as the time and pain-staking effort you put in the artwork. Good job.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Yup, this is the best painting you’ll see from me. Paint-by-number can transform anyone into an artist.

  2. Neil Says:

    Deranged? No. Unnatural? Yes!

    The shade of blue is one of the problems. It doesn’t blend well with the upper half of the iris. The same shade was used in what I assume is her sclera. Have you ever see anyone with a bright blue sclera? Me neither. I can see why the paint-by-numbers movement lost it’s momentum!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Ah, Neil, I am no artist. Perhaps I should have strayed from the instructions. And, just FYI, when I was shopping recently at Walmart, I saw a paint-by-number kit for painting horses. I was tempted…

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