A Lucky Find…Or Was It?

Last week while out running some errands I pulled into a parking space at a local store.  There
was a truck parked next to me full of junk that looked like he was on the way
to the dump.
Among the junk I could see the top half of a very large painting.  It was a portrait of a man and all
that was visible above the junk were his eyes.  There was something about those eyes that just

drew me in and I really wanted to get a better look at the painting.


I waited patiently for the owner to return and I asked if he was interested in selling the painting.
 There was a little bit of a language barrier but when he realized what I was asking he jumped on
the back of the truck and handed me the large painting.  It stands over five feet tall and four
feet wide. I asked how much he wanted for it and he told me
I could have it.  
I couldn’t just take the painting and not give him anything so I reached in my wallet and saw I only
had three dollars cash left.  He kept insisting he didn’t want money and for me to just take the
painting.  I believe he finally took the three dollars just to get away from me!

I couldn’t wait to get home and show my husband my newest purchase and guess what….
He hated it!  

You may remember this post about the Chromolithograph I purchased that he thought was just
weird. That piece now hangs in our dining room and it is one of my favorite things in our home.

My new painting has been leaning on top of the console for a week and I stop and look at it every time I walk by. The eyes show a vulnerability and sadness that really appeals to me.
Before I show you my painting here are some examples I found of decorating
with vintage portraits.
Country Living
I need your totally honest opinion with no sugar coating.
Is he a keeper or would I have been better off spending the $3.00 on a
diet coke and candy bar?
Here is the portrait of my instant relative, Joe.


Be honest and tell me what you think.

81 thoughts on “A Lucky Find…Or Was It?”

  1. I think if you like it then it's worth your money. Personally, I wouldn't want pictures of strangers hanging on my wall but that's me. So to me, I would go for the coke and candy bar 🙂 but since you like it, I think you got a bargin.

  2. I kind of like him. He looks pretty happy. The thing I find interesting about it is that his face looks very young, but his hair ages him to say 50-ish…at least I think it's a 'he'. 😉

  3. I can see why you were enamored by those eyes! My first reaction was a bit spooked out (sorry!) but the more I look at him I can see a very soulful (is that even a word?) man, I think. I'd say it's your call. And only $3.00! This one belongs over at my Club G.W. party going on right now!


  4. I don't usually like vintage portrait paintings but I like this one. I like the colors and the texture and it looks great. I would keep it, honest, no sugar coating.

  5. Hello Sherry,
    So happy to see you and JOE here at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY PARTY…it was so nice of you to bring a new friend along with you:) Now I like Joe and think he looks stunning in your home…a real keeper.


  6. Sherry, Are you sure its a "Joe" and not a "Joanne"? The face looks feminine to me? But, aside from that I love using these kinds of paintings! I think they are cool and its fun to have a relative around! I love your blog! You are so inspirational and talented! I know you will make the right choice! Have a Merry Christmas!!

  7. I love the portrait, only I think it's of JosephINE. Something about the collar and the hair… it really looks like a casual woman to me. Anyway, I would have bought it, too. Such a kind face.



  9. "Joe" looks like an elderly woman to me and not a man at all! I think he/she is charming. I would certainly understand if your husband wouldn't want a guest in your bedroom but think Joe could easily be incorporated into your decor. If spending $3 for it made you happy then it was money well spent!

  10. Hi Sherry,
    I see what you mean about the eyes. They are unusual. I'm not sure if I like it for my own personal style and decor. It looks pretty the way you have it displayed but Mr. Sissie would probably would not like it at all. He isn't big on portraits of "unknown" relatives.
    I'm a true believer that if it makes you happy and you like it, then that's all that matters.


  11. Wow Sherry, I love it – though I think it's of a woman. To me it looks as if she's looking whistfully back to something/someone/somewhere she loves but is leaving. I'd certainly be hanging it in MY home even is OH didn't like it!
    Wish I lived on the same continent, I'd have it off you ;o)
    Rose H

  12. Sherry,
    I love Joe, but he/she looks more like someone's grandmother. Could it be? I am sure you can see more detail. It is some thing about the hairstyle and the face shape.
    The eyes are definitely enchanting and kind.
    It really doesn't matter what we see in art, only how it makes us feel. Joe or Jo? 🙂

  13. Morning Sherry. So you named him Joe, huh? I love to name things too. I don't see a thing wrong with him. What does hubby not like about him? Still, for $3.00, I'm sure you can find something to do with him. I say it's a good find.

  14. I kinda like it, but "Joe?"…isn't it a woman? I'm lost…I better go back and reread…and it's funny, but the eyes look completely different from what I thought the rest of the face would look like.
    Loved the story though…moments!

  15. I like the muted tones and the composition though not overly exciting is pleasing and balanced…I think the face has a feminine quality, and definitely has a sadness and vulnerable look to the expression, almost like the subject would prefer not to be sitting for the artist but to escape into the background and go about their daily works.

    I am not convinced it is a male subject, but perhaps are life worn older woman…I think Joe was a lovely find and a bargin at that price.

    Blessings Kelsie

  16. OK Sherry, I kinda of like Her that's not a guy It looks like a lady to me.
    But anyway I do like it.. Just think you saved yourself 480 calories..LOL

  17. Oh my Sherry! Definately a KEEPER! She was a great find and I think she looks like such a warm soul. Beautiful picture and the colors are perfect for your vignette! He'll begin to like her in time…she's a keeper! (or you can send her to me! :O )

  18. I think Joe is a Jo …. as in JoAnn or Joan. The person looks like a female to me.
    I think anything that is an actual painting is something worth keeping. With graphics technology as advanced as it is today, actual hand paintings seem even more special ; )

  19. I have to agree.. I think it's a woman..I love the painting, but the hair looks like it's in a top bun and the person looks feminine. Great find and love the vintage look!!

  20. Now I'm feeling sorry for Joe. Either she is a masculine looking Grandma or a feminine looking younger guy and I'm not sure which. Maybe that's why the painting ended up in the trash. Joe didn't like how the painter had portrayed her/him. Can't beat it for the price though!

  21. I actually like it very much! The colors are very pretty and I like how it's sort of muted looking. I think you did good. I can't believe that someone was going to just throw that away! Surely not! I would like to think he was at least going to be donated to Goodwill or something. I say keep it and your husband will adjust. Ha!

  22. I agree with some of the others. I think he is a she. A very soulful painting, full of grace, dignity and peace.

  23. Is it Joe or Jo-Anne? It truly is a beautiful painting and I love the colors. But, in all honesty, I am not a fan of unknown people portraits in my home. Would rather have my own crazy family members hanging on my walls. xoxoxo P.S. Just read some comments before posting mine and it seems others think it might be a lady too.

  24. Well I was going to say it looks like a woman, but I see it has already been said. Hmmm….I'm kind of opposed to pictures of strangers on my walls like some of the other commenters have said, but Joe/Jo is nice and I like the colors. Maybe in the right spot it would work. I definitely would have paid $3 for it. That can't be beat! Lisa~

  25. Beautiful painting, I also think it is a mature woman…there are no shadows where facial hair would be on a gentleman. Gender really doesn't matter, it is a beautifully painted portrait…yes, I would have bought it. Can't wait to see where you hang the painting.

  26. Sherry,
    I think "he" looks like a "she". 🙂 Either way the painting is well done and the only issue would be the size. If you have a spot for him/her, and you can convince your husband that he/she is worth the wall space, then I say go for it if you love it.

  27. As an artist who does lots of portraits, I agree….this is an older woman. The lighter brow ridge, no beard shadow, softness of the lips ….everything says female to my eye…including her clothing. I'm guessing this is an oil on canvas done by a fairly amateur artist, but one with training under their belt…perhaps a student piece from the model. It shows a lot of talent, especially in the expression and loose treatment. If it's unsigned, it may be a student piece…or unfinished. I would guess it's 50-60 years old. You got a great find! If you love it and want to live with it…then it's a masterpiece!

  28. Joe is definitely a Jo 🙂 and as I scrolled down all the portrait vignettes, I was pleasantly surprised by yours. The colors have a weathered softness, like her face. I wonder if you'll like it even more as you age gracefully. Keeper!

  29. Very nice Sherry, I like it very much. =)

    Also, thank you so much for your comments on my blog posts. I have been so busy that I have been terrible responding…blush! 😉

    Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xoxo ~Liz

  30. You are a Kindred Spirit…I would have done the exact same thing. I do believe it is a painting of a woman…European. So typical of older women…healthy complexion, minus make-up. You saved her from being dumped. It's a beautiful keeper.


  31. Hi Sherry, I love it, but agree that it's likely a painting of a woman. This will make a great story when you take it to the Antique's Road Show one day and find out it's worth millions!

    Kat 🙂

  32. I agree with some of the others. My instant thought was that it was of a woman. I think its the mouth, hairstyle and the way she is looking back over her shoulder. It is a great painting though. Good find!

  33. Your husband must have no taste…Well, he married you so he must have HAD some, once! lol. Anyway, Joe is definately a keeper well worth $3. GREAT FIND!!

  34. Sherry, I love it!!! I would have asked if he was selling it too. I had one on ebay that I was watching, but did not purchase it.It was a portrait of an old man and there was just something mesmerizing about it. I wish I had not let it go.

  35. Keep her and ditch him if need be :j/k:

    Really, it's a sweet portrait 😀

    Visiting form Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style tonight,
    Suzanne in NW Illinois

  36. Your he is a she. I sell vintage portraits online, lots of them. This one is ok, eyes are soft and kind, but not so well done. Worth 3.00 no doubt. I personally woulnd'nt hang her in the dining room, but it is up to you completely. Fun find, Ginahttp://stores.ebay.com/Antique-ART-Garden

  37. It does draw you in. You never know you may find out more about the portrait.

    I am having a giveaway. It is a wonderful book by James Farmer recently on the
    Today Show. Come by and register.

  38. Sherry thanx for bringing Joe to the party. He is um interesting. A definite conversation piece. I say if ya like um who cares what everybody else says! Keep him!

  39. Hi Sherry, I love this painting and the story behind it. I love the name Joe because relative Joe can be male or female. Joe is a lovely person with warm eyes. Besides, the artist gave you a $297.00 discount. I would love for you to link this fabulous post to our newly launched linky party. Hope you can join us.


  40. That's definitely a woman….love the emotions portrayed. I love art and you got a great buy…it calls for a special place…not really in the mainstream of the house At least for me. Craft room?

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