Beth Meadows

The Preserves Series: Paintings of Mason Jars on Wood

"art business", "art", "pop culture"B5 Comments
So I've been meaning to write about a little business venture I've been pursuing, and it is that of painting mason jars on pieces of salvaged wood.

I realize to the trained eye, these paintings are kitschy. (Don't think I don't know this. I know!)

But this is kind of the point.

This is the first one I ever did!

I have mentioned this before. I'm the Architectural Salvage Coordinator for Knox Heritage which means I head up a program where people like yourself can donate old building materials instead of throwing them away. We don't salvage out of houses that are going to be torn down because we are anti-tearing down historic houses/buildings, but we do take items here and there that people have laying around after home-improvement/updating projects, and even some things from larger commercial renovations.

It all began at work. I was drawing in a staff meeting at Knox Heritage last year (They knew this, by the way) I was trying to think of a symbol that I could paint on pieces of old wood that had the theme of preservation, something people could relate to, something that could help spread the word about our program, and a light bulb went on: a Mason Jar! It was the kind of idea that you know someone else has thought of, but I decided not to care. Lots of thought to come to the idea, and once the idea came, lots of doing, and less thought (This method is an art in itself).

It's been pretty interesting to make so many of one thing. I paint them in between painting larger, more thoughtful works on canvas. It is nice to have a side project that I enjoy, that is repetitive, sort of mindless.

The first one I sold was at the Riverdale County Fair out in East Knox County.

Now I sell them via Etsy and at the Market Square Farmers' Market every first and third Saturday of the month. I have mailed them to Colorado, Maryland, Chicago, NYC... I'm a dork; It is so much fun to mail these paintings!

I have plans to make at least 100; I am on number 40, I think. After that, I have a feeling I won't want to paint another mason jar ever again. I don't know yet, but I have to think of another good idea to pick up before number 100. I kind of like this idea of doing editions of 100- more marketable, smaller, folksier art that I can do alongside the other work I am making. I'm trusting I'll get a new idea while making Mason Jar No. 99.