The Art of Garage Sale-ing

by Lisa 


I am very excited. I checked the local neighborhood paper, and there are MANY garage sales listed for tomorrow. I go ‘saleing’ every chance I get on Saturdays because that is where I find my treasure trove of props for my still lifes. You find things you cannot possibly buy in stores–things that would be outrageously expensive in antique stores. It is the most fun a still life painter can ever hope to have. See the little piece of cloth in the painting above? That was one of my finds. It is just a piece of cloth that looks like something from the Middle East. I paid 25 cents for it. It has a beautiful texture and I feel as if I had ROBBED those poor unknowing people who sold it to me. The pot also came from another garage sale.

It becomes an addiction once you get into saleing.  You get your map planned out the night before based on the ads. You know which ads are bogus and which are not. Believe it or not there are hidden clues. Sometimes you take a chance. You find your heart rate increase as you get near a sale. I am very good at maneuvering for a parking space. I am totally down with parallel parking. That is once you have made the initial pass to see if it is a sale worthy of you. I can scan a load of crap way fast. You ALWAYS dicker over price no matter what. That cloth above started at 35 cents. It makes you feel like a heroin addict who got her fix but will have enough for the next fix too. God fobid you should walk away from an entire Saturday with nothing. That just cannot happen. You end up buying a token souvenir just for the principal of the matter at the last sale you go to.

Ooooh I can’t wait. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sleep tonight.

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6 Responses to The Art of Garage Sale-ing

  1. 100swallows says:

    That’s a very nice still-life, Lisa. Sleep well tonight. Maybe tomorrow you will pick up a stuffed alligator or a shrunken head. Here at the Madrid flea market I once decided not to buy a real Romanesque relief that was also very pretty except that its subject was the beheading of St. Barbara or somebody. Where would I have exhibited it? You could have painted it, maybe putting a flower in front of the executioner’s sword.

  2. Carol King says:

    Beautiful painting! good luck with your sale-ing. Here in Brooklyn we have stoop sales instead of garage or yard sales. (We have no garages or yards.) Sometimes we have multiple family stoop sales where a number of families in a building or some neighbors in the attached brownstones all agree to have a sale to bring in more people. But then you have to agree to not buy each other’s crap. We have no room in our apartments which is why we are having a stoop sale in the first place. But I did break my own rule once when my neighbors, a young couple who are both illustrators were getting rid of some art supplies. I ran home (actually walked the few steps to my stoop) and hit the stuff so my husband wouldn’t find them. No sense in getting him going when I won’t let him buy any more exercise equipment. I guess now I’m ranting. I’ll stop. Have fun.

  3. You’re leaving something out here. I doubt the 25cent cloth or copper pot looked that good sitting on the garage sale table. You are an alchemist.

  4. So, … tell us what treasures you found! Better yet, show us (kinda like before and after photos).

  5. lbtowers says:

    Yesterday was a big disappointment, mainly because of the wacky weather here. It was drizzling and cold, which spells death to garage sales. I did score one wooden TV tray which has a nice middle value to it. I like to use them at the Art Institute as palettes for the students. So that was my only real find yesterday. I feel depressed and lonely today, and in need of a bigger fix.

  6. wrjones says:

    Lisa, I feel you. I need a fix as well. Get this. I push my wife down the stairs to create a minor back injury so that I can score (via my wife) some vicodin and what do I get, nada. Instead they give her a cortisone shot in the back. I pleaded with the hospital staff on behalf of my wife for a vicodin prescription. It is like they thought I was a loady. I told them how much pain we were in, but those people are cold.

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