Itinerant Artists/Screen Painters

I know that most of you know that my partner, look Carole, cialis and I had a wonderful little business that we started back in 1999. We had the most fun! We painted Rufus Porter style murals in private homes throughout Delaware and Pennsylvania. I guess you could call us itinerant artists, pharm although we didn’t travel state to state. Rufus Porter was an itinerant painter from the 18th century. He painted in private homes, for those that couldn’t afford expensive imported wallpaper, and he did it for room and board. Well, in my paper this morning, I read an article about other itinerant painters from the Baltimore, MD. area. These artists painted on screens.


Yes, screens, the kind we have in our windows and doors. I have never heart of this before and thought you might like hearing about it too.


Screen art got it’s start around 1913, in Baltimore, MD., when an immigrant grocer, William Oktavec, decorated the screen door of his store, with images of the produce and meats that were sold inside. A neighbor asked if he could paint on her screen door to prevent people peeping inside. Soon this idea spread. The heyday was in 1920-1930, when neighborhoods of row homes, had its own screen painter. This is Betty Piscor, 80 years young, and she owns a few original Oktavec painted screens. They’re seasonal art, she says. People used to display them only in the Spring and Summer, when they had their doors and windows flung open. Most all of the screens in her collection, like the majority in Baltimore, have the same quaint country scene, a little cottage with a red roof, trees, mountains and swans. I love this idea for the beach area. In Rehoboth Beach, DE., there are lots of the original cottages from the 19th century. What a great idea to have their screens painted. At the beach, people are always trying to see inside these sweet little cottages. Did I mention that although you can’t see in, you CAN SEE OUT. Anyone out there interested in starting this charming artform?
Happy day

6 Responses to “Itinerant Artists/Screen Painters”

  1. tj Says:

    …Well I can’t think of anyone else who should take this artform and run with it other than YOU Miss Carole! ;o) Who better one might ask than a Rufus Porter painter such as yourself?! Maybe become a “featured artisan” in ones own Artisan Store? Hmmm?

    …Love this concept. I wonder how it is done and how is it that one can see out but others cannot see in?

    …Thanks for sharing!

    …Enjoy your weekend and blessings too… :o )

  2. Judy Says:

    How interesting….I never knew this bit of history…however at The Mill Property in Morgantown, PA I just purchased an olde screen….hubby took it apart and put an olde handle on each of the wooden sides to hang ( looks like a sign) – I was going to stencil something on it…like the olde screen doors that were on country grocery stores advertising such things as “Wonder Bread”….remember those?? You always have the most interesting knowledge….glad I visit your blog…and hopefully I will be able to do something “interesting” with our olde screens….Judy

  3. Carole Says:

    hi tj, if only I had more time and the days were twice as long, i could do everything i wanted. right?

    hi there, Judy. thank you. i am so glad you found it interesting. i sure did. yes, i do remember the screen doors to the little markets, but i remember Bond Bread. i thought of that when i read the article. it gave me a good feeling. why not try painting your screen. sorry it rained on you “herb day”. it looks like it was fun. are you close to morgantown?

  4. Lisa Says:

    I sure didn’t know people used to do this. I to remember the old bread advertisements. We have a quaint little grocery in Bevier, a very small town near ours. It had an old bread screen door for many, many moons. It would be fun to paint on an old screen, thanks for the idea.

  5. Dolly Says:

    Painted screens are wonderful!
    I did it many years ago to an old screen door!
    It turned out soooo cute and you really can’t see in….but from the inside you cannot see the painting!
    Its easy too ladies!

    Hugz, Dolly

  6. Carole Says:

    Hi Dolly. It’s so nice to have you visit. I don’t think I remember hearing from you before, so welcome to my blog, and thanks so much for leaving a comment. hope you come again soon.

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