DFFA3B15-94FA-4D44-B215-23A77F245C84Yes, this is a paint by number painting…I think it is a stunner and not what we think about when thinking of this craft.  I saw it at last months Randolph Street Market (the March RSM is Saturday and Sunday, March 30 and 31 from 10 to 5 each day) and thought about doing a story….of course I did!!!!  It immediately brought to mind two of my friends who collect the art. Photo taken with my iPhone.

One collects ballet pieces, here are some…the photos below were taken by me with my iPhone.D4441945-67C8-433C-8727-1C088D1E8908C8615D84-5A21-45BE-B0E8-C0E9BC6DA3A23EEF587B-1F4A-46BF-991E-C9BA62ABA24D

The other has over 400 pieces….I first met, worked with and became friends with Robert Groos, when he was one of the multi-talented Visual Merchandising team at Saks Fifth Avenue, Chicago and then in charge of Visual in the Highland Park store….his charm and extraordinary creativity would make him a friend to all and his passion for Paint by Number Art was unparalleled. Some of his pieces formed the background across the Store’s Michigan Avenue windows.


59F7F3A2-128A-46B1-A091-FCDB0D71B271Aren’t they awesome….the art of window display at its finest.

Rob’s first purchase…what a handsome lad….



Two of his favorites, Roy and Dale…(a Nena’s note…I adored Roy Rogers as a child and dressed as Dale Evans for years at Halloween…all in white with gold studs and fringe, Mom made my outfit, and we got handtooled white leather cowgirl boots when we summered each year in Midland, Texas…yes, you heard that correctly!  Keep following nenasnotes and there won’t be too much you don’t know about me!  Just saying….)

Let me have Rob tell you about his collections in his own words….


“In 1995 I met a couple who owned an antique store in Chicago.  They had a beautiful, well edited assortment of objects in their store.  One evening they hosted a Gallery Openingthat featured a selection of old Paint By Number paintings theyd collected.   I attended and purchased three beautiful dog paintings from them.  I fell in love with the paintings and decided to start collecting more to compliment them.   Before I knew it I ws searching thrift stores and antique stores all over the midwest to locate PBNs.   I soon discovered that you could bid on PBNs through Ebay and I became passionate about purchasing them there.”



“Over the years I built a sizable collection which now stands at over 400.  The categories Ive focused on are Dogs, Clowns, Ballet/Ballerinas, Religious, Landscape, Flowers and Birds.  Ive several extremely old paintings that were painted on canvas.  Some are proudly signed and dated by the artists that painted them.  Canvas is the material the original paint by numbers were sold back when Craftmaster first launched them to the market.”


“In addition to the painted PBNs I have several metal Toleware Paint By Number items:  Two waste cans, a magazine rack, a desk organizer and a small vase.  These are pretty rare and not seen as much as the flat paintings.”


“In 1997 my Paint By Number collection was featured in Collectibles Magazine along with an article on my apartment and artwork.”


 “In 2000, I used many of the paintings to create a massive salon style backdrop in the Saks Fifth Avenue, Michigan Avenue windows that featured Marc by Marc Jacobs denim pieces.   Ive also had the pleasure of meeting Dan Robbins who created the Paint By Numbers for Palmer Paint Company in 1950.  


“Ive stopped collecting the paintings now and have all but two stored safely away.  Id like to sell the collection to someone but would want to sell it intact and not item by item.  It would make an impressive presentation in a very large loft home, or in a restaurant or kitschy business somewhere.”

A million thanks to Rob for sharing his story and his photos with nenasnotes.  As you can see it is a superb and unique collection and if interested in purchasing the artwork in its entirety get in touch with Robert Groos at

This art form is being revived, if you are in need of a new craft project and want to try your hand at this art or want further information, I suggest you go to My Paint By Numbers


  1. Marcia March 21, 2019 / 12:08 pm

    Nena, Interesting concept revived again!

    • nenasnotes March 21, 2019 / 3:35 pm

      And the new ones are extraordinary.

  2. candacejordan March 21, 2019 / 3:10 pm

    So interesting Nena! Love the Saks display, omg! Miss creativity like this….thank goodness for Bergdorf’s windows.

    • nenasnotes March 21, 2019 / 3:34 pm

      Thanks Candace…we had amazing windows in the “old” store. FYI Saks is celebrating 90 years in Chicago and the Mag Mile this May!!!!

  3. Doug Moss March 21, 2019 / 3:16 pm

    Nena, what a fun post! Makes me want to stop working and go find a paint by number project! Thanks for the smile!

    • nenasnotes March 21, 2019 / 3:35 pm

      Thanks it was great fun to do…the new PBN are glorious not the primitive look of yore!!!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.