Artist Wayne White’s 5 Tips for Flea Market Shopping

artist wayne white with paintings in studioArtist Wayne White, who will be featured on the Independent Lens film Beauty is Embarrassing, is beloved in the fine arts world for his “word paintings.”

He buys big landscape paintings at flea markets and transforms them into unique works of art by painting block-letter phrases and words across them. You can see a few in the photo above and many more on our Wayne White Pinterest page.

We asked Wayne for some of this tips for shopping at flea markets. He was happy to humor us. Literally.

1. Don’t buy landscape reproductions and paint words on it.
2. If you recognize me in a thrift store don’t tell the proprietor about my gazillion dollar markup.
3. I don’t paint on Thomas Kinkade. Hasn’t he suffered enough?
4. You’ll never get the cigarette smell off those pictures and don’t try. It’s part of the provenance.
5. Always be nice to the lady with the matted wig and three hats. She means well.

Beauty is Embarrassing will be broadcast 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21. Check local listings.

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  • Laura Comeau

    thank you so MUCH for airing this program into Canada – purely inspirational for us over 50 yrs of age artists who have been at it a life time already! never give up what you love doing !! Bravo times 100 !

  • Julie Camino

    I absolutely love your f&^% it attitude (even thou you do) but most of all i love your art work ALL OF IT!! I really hope that you come down to Fort Lauderdale, FL I would love to meet you.

    PS. PBS please keep putting shows like this one in the air, it really made my day and inspired me to keep on fallowing my dream.

  • Jolie Baetzel

    there is a tv god – thank you pbs & ww …

  • David Schnur

    A remarkable film about a remarkable and creative man. I am grateful that the
    inspiration is still offered to all of us to be creative and express ourselves.
    We seem to be living in a bleak time (not like the 70’s) All creative people
    need to realize the purpose we serve to balance the creative blight of our time
    and not hide the creative gifts we have been given. It can’t help but make the
    world a better place. Wayne White, this film maker, and everyone involved are
    great examples for us. Be a maker not a taker!

    The zen carpenter

  • Sharon Dorsey

    Thank you to everyone who made this amazing film!

  • WilliamPatrickPond

    There’s that “doo nanny” guy Butch Anthony who has been using the idea of painting on thrift store paintings. I’ll bet he got it from you!