Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Thrifty Acres - wall art and Mary Randolph Carter

Hello! I purchased this pretty oil painting at Goodwill last year for two dollars:

I liked the colors and the way the flowers were arranged. The painting was signed by a Hank Jagt. Just for fun, I googled the name and learned that there's a professional by that name who makes Ontario, Canada his home. Same artist? Judging by the paintings I saw online, his style has evolved a lot, but then again, it was mentioned that he's been painting for some 40 years. I would say that's given him plenty of time to evolve!

There was a time when I would have thought that a picture would have to be framed, but then I saw otherwise in the Mary Randolph Carter Junk book series. There are four, in order of publication: American Junk, Garden Junk, Kitchen Junk and Big City Junk. They came out between 1994 to 2001 and are very fun to read. I should say "very fun to look at", because Ms. Carter's books are loaded with photos of her "junk" finds - including many painted canvases similar in flavor to the one I showed in this post. Of course, there's a  lot of other items to be seen as well - Ms. Carter glories in the rough-hewn, the kitschy, the chipped tableware - in short, the stuff others may have passed by. And by looking through her books, I was inspired to veer away from the rather stuffy and starched Victorian style I had been following up to that point. Instead, I began to adopt a more relaxed style of decorating (sometimes a little too relaxed!).

I own these books, but they may be available at your local library - I have seen at least one of them in the stacks at mine. Or you may get lucky and find them at a used book sale or thrift store somewhere! Any thrifter is sure to enjoy these volumes.


  1. Is that the painting Beauty knocked down that one time?

  2. This painting was done by my opa, I stumbled across your blog and showed this post to him. He remembers painting this when he was 16 at an art class - over 50 years ago! Awesome, thanks for sharing!

  3. Megan, that is just SO cool - thank you so much for letting me know! Please tell your opa that I like his painting very much. I have it hanging up in my bedroom, where I enjoy looking at it every day. I am most impressed that he painted it when he was only 16 - clearly, he demonstrated a lot of talent at a young age! I wonder how the painting ended up in Holland, MI?

  4. I will pass that on! And yes I really enjoy his work, he has also picked up woodcarving. Wish I got a bit of that artistic gene passed down to me! Sounds like the painting was passed down to different family members and must have crossed the border at some point. Pretty cool!