Monday, March 15, 2010

Painting Thyme Needfuls

Many of you know I was an editor for the free online craft magazine Primitive Times Magazine and my articles consisted of Featured Artisans.  The Featured Artisan for the March issue is / was Lynn Barbadora of Painting Thyme Needfuls.  Unfortunately, the magazine won't be issued this month and the owner has decided not to pursue this venture any longer.  So.... I would still like to feature Lynn on my blog.  Lynn, thank you very much for this interview.
Painting Thyme Needfuls
Lynn Barbadora

Lynn was born in Worcester, MA and lived in Grafton, MA until the age of 10 when her family moved to Auburn, MA where she lived until she married.  She now resides in Northbridge, MA with her husband of  33 years, Peter.

" We have 3 children:  Christopher 30 who is married and has 2 children Emma 2 years & Maeve 2 months. Andrew is 25 and our daughter Julie 21.  Julie is a chef at the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta GA. Both of our sons live close to us and are in the engineering/construction management field.  I was a SAHM while my children were growing up. I worked only weekends when my husband was home. I worked for 25 years as a Diet Technician at a hospital.  I also have my hairdressing license but no longer work in that field with the exception of a few people I still do in my home. Presently I 'work' full time at home with my painting business Painting Thyme Needfuls. I sell my painted items in a local shop called Country Plus in Hopkinton MA
I have always loved to create with my hands for as long as I can remember….I can never sit and just 'do nothing'. I love to do just about any craft there is painting, sewing, flower arranging, needlepoint, knitting.  I am pretty much a 'self taught' crafter.  But my greatest passion is my painting
I love to travel, garden, go antiquing and junking!!!
Most importantly I love spending time with my family and friends
I have a shih-tzu Colby who is my constant companion in my office/studio"
How long have you been painting?
I have been painting since I was a small child….always loved it!
Did you take classes or are you self taught?
A little of both!  I took a 2 year Commercial Art Course after High School thinking I wanted to go into fashion design. Being young ….. I never pursued it at the time as a career and went to work for an Insurance Company. But then… life happened I got married at 21 had 3 chidren.  Anyone who has children knows that raising them takes up a good deal of your time ..LOL. But I did always continue to draw and paint…I would look at a painting or technique and try to figure out how to do it…I’m a perfectionist to say the least so I would spend hours paying attention to details and trying to learn. About 10 years ago I decided to finally take classes again. I took tole and decorative painting classes for several years from many different teachers. I was completely hooked and loved it……there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t paint.  Decorative painting is not really hard to learn it just demands that you practice , practice, practice to master the techniques.
Has another painter been your inspiration?
I have always loved Norman Rockwell.  He was a brilliant artist.
Do you design your own work or do you use designs by other artists?
Both, I do design some of my own patterns, which in itself can be a lot of work….so I don’t do a lot of designing as I’d rather be painting.  I do a lot of special order requests for customers…..where they might want something for a certain season, room etc and ask me for ideas ……and then I come up with something for them.  I guess you can say I have a talent for looking at things and imagining them as something else. Even if I do use a pattern….I always change it in some way by adding my own personal touches.
Do you have a favorite artist's work you prefer to use on a regular basis?
I actually have several that I like Terrye French, John Sliney, Monika Brint, Maxine Thomas, Renee Mullins, Kim Klassen to name a few 'favorites'.
How long might it take you to complete one project?
It depends of course on the project……but I never work on one thing at a time…….if I were to take a quick glance around my studio now…I have about 10 pieces  in the works!
What is your own personal favorite work of 'art' you've completed?
That’s just so hard to say as I have been painting all my life. I only paint the things I love.  I consider each piece I do a challenge and I look at each new piece as yet another chance to improve my skills, techniques and to learn something new.
What kinds of items do you enjoy painting  on? ( shovels, doors, buckets, furniture,  etc).
All of those!! You didn’t mention painting on boots, ice skates.. I’ve painted on those to!   LOL My motto is “if it doesn’t move I can paint it!”   Trust me I have just about done that !!!!!  I love to go to thrift stores, yard sales etc to find unusual things to paint on.
How many hours per day or week would you say you spend painting?
My painting is really like a full time job to produce the amount of stock I produce for the store I paint for….I paint every day….usually at least 4-5 hours day plus weekends!!!!! But I don’t consider it a 'job'!
What items are your best sellers?
For every season I do very large primitive pieces for an outside door ie: heart, shamrock, pumpkin, large tulip, rabbit. These are huge sellers for me.  I also do them in a medium and small size. My signs are very popular.  Other pieces that I paint on are 'found' items and are very popular as they are 'one of a kind'.
With the exception of the large door pieces mentioned above I don’t 'mass produce' any of my pieces because my customers are looking for something unique and one of a kind……so with every season I am always looking for new ideas, patterns so I can continue to offer my customers something new and unusual.
Do you do other types of crafts?
I love to do all crafts, I used to do a lot of doll crafting along with needlepoint, knitting…..I still do some of that now and then but I mainly focus on my painting
Do you own a web store?
Do you sell from your blog? 
My blog isn’t set up as a selling blog right now but some bloggers have e-mailed me about items and I have sold them if they are available.
Do you sell on eBay, Etsy, or at craft shows?
 This year I did the Folk Art Festival of New England 
I did it with the owner of Country Plus ( the store I paint for) along with a few other Artisans.
Do you sell at a retail store? 
Yes, I do.  This is the address.
Country Plus 
20 Main Street
Hopkinton Ma 01748
Owner: Judy Coffey
Have you ever considered giving e-lessons on painting?
I had never thought of e-lessons but I have thought of teaching.

Visit Lynn's blog at
Here is a sampling of some of Lynn's beautiful work.


  1. I visit Lynn's blog just about every day, she is so talented and inspirational! I just love everything she does :) Great interview, I'm sorry that Primitive Times mag isn't going to be published anymore. I really enjoyed it!