While many of the above paintings might be considered by too "folksy" to include in the Thrift Store Art galleries, there are so many wonderful pieces in Ms. Downey's collection that I felt a small degree of latitude should be granted. As Marsha herself states,
"I try to buy paintings with a folk art quality. I stick to the really naive paintings of every-day things. Some of my portraits would overlap into the bizarre genre - a face only a mother could love. I have a rogues gallery of these portraits. When you put them all together, they're downright scary!"
"I have been collecting thrift store paintings for about three years. I spend hours analyzing my paintings. When I started out my intention was to collect only portraits. This turned out to be too limiting, as I started to see masterpieces at every yard sale, covering every theme imaginable. I now have a hallway of about 40 paintings."
"I am very careful to buy only authentic primitives. I wade through hundreds of contrived "Outsider" and "folk" paintings before finding a gem. I only buy works of unknown artists, preferably done between 1930-1975. I use the following guidelines: no paint-by-numbers (unless very poorly executed, so as to take on a life of its own), no paintings on velvet, no clowns, no poodles, no Elvie."
In addition to her "Rogues Gallery" of portraits, Marsha also collected and displayed a number of Chinese Checkers boards for many years until she "ran out of wall space". While I can certainly sympathize with this problem, it has been the requests of the many admirers of Marsha's collection who would love to see her paintings online that has led to the creation of the web gallery you see here. As Marsha states, "I feel, as you do, that my paintings should be shared with the rest of the world. In some way I feel as though I have 'adopted' them after they were discarded by family members". Of course it didn't take much arm-twisting for her to convince me that a collaborative effort bringing these masterpieces to the public would be in everyone's best interest.