Friday, June 21, 2013

Velvet Paintings

If you would have asked me a few years ago how I felt about velvet paintings I probably would have likely responded saying they were tacky and cheap.  Well as I've grown older I've realized how talented people are that have any ability to draw, paint, create in general.  I do come from a line of artists in my family however I sadly do not own an ounce of that talent myself.

The picture below is the earliest memory I have of a velvet painting.  This hung in my grandmother's living room for all the years she lived in that house.  Thank you to my parents who dug up this photo for the blog.  They said that they think they either sold it for basically nothing at my grandmother's estate sale or it was thrown into the trash.  They said that it smelled of smoke which was provided by all the years my grandmother smoked in her house.  I have fond memories of gazing up at it as a child.  I believe it was actually blue velvet versus the more commonly used black velvet canvas'. 

Dave and I were out weeks ago up to our usual thrifting antics and I came across this velvet work of art. 

My very first reaction was I love the moonlighted cherry blossom tree.  I'm guessing this is Vietnamese rice fielding scene.  A family busy at work, even into the night.  This was likely made in Mexico and sold as a souvenir anywhere between the 1950's and 1990's.  Well for $4.00 it was going to be my thrifting souvenir. 

I threw myself into research mode, which is pretty normal for me, when I got home wanting to know more about this painting and I came across this awesome video of this couple that once owned  the "Velveteria" which was private collection of thousands of velvet masterpieces. 
The museum was located in Portland, Oregon.  I read that the couple closed the museum a few years back to relocate to Los Angeles and I haven't been able to find anything more about where they may have now opened shop.  I would love to add that to my field trip wish list.  Do you own any velvet masterpieces?  How many do you own?  What are they of?
Till' Next Time,


  1. Love this post! I really wish I could have visited the Velveteria, and I haven't heard anything on their relocation either. :(

    I have a small collection of matador themed ones at my dad's which I'm stock-piling for my tacky Mexican/Cowboy sewing room I wish to have one day.


  2. A friend and I went drinking in TJ to celebrate the fact that my fiend was soon turning 21, and no longer would need to cross the border to drink. (This was pre 9/11, back when it was easy peasy to cross). After a long night of..... Well, honestly I remember nothing but tequila and tacos, we decided it was time to come home. My poor husband was doing his duty as the sober guy/designated driver, by shepherding us across the border to get home.

    But no. Us dunks decided, at like 2 am no less, that we wanted a velvet Elvis. What better place to get one then TJ?! (Right?! Drink a few too many margaritas and you suddenly become a genius I tell ya!) So we stumble around, and lo and behold, score a velvet Elvis.

    Well, to wrap it all up in a pretty velvet bow, "Elvis", looked more like a Klingon then the King. And that, is my only velvet painting story. I wonder if my friend still has him?

  3. I've definitely grown to love velvet paintings. It's funny, because back a million years ago when I was a full-time artist, people used to occasionally comment that my paintings reminded them of paintings on velvet. At first I was horrified, but then I realized that they truly meant it as a compliment. I think it was something to do with the vivid colors...honestly I still don't really see it! But I appreciate the velvet paintings a lot more now!

  4. Love the painting you scored! I have 9 velvet matador paintings and I love them! Right now, they hang in my classroom. I teach high school and the school's mascot is a matador so I have them up for cheesy school spirit. I'm sure they will eventually end up in my house!