Pearle Northrop

Artist Statement
It wasn’t until I was in my twenties that I started taking what I do seriously and it took even longer to consider myself an artist. I love to paint whatever I can get my hands on from things as small as a Scrabble® piece to as big as a dresser and hopefully even bigger someday. Whatever it is I will paint it. I love transforming trash into treasure literally. Imagine that a chair that came from a dumpster (2006) made it into a museum (2009). It blows me away to think that something I did creates a sense of awe in a viewer’s eye.
I was talking to a friend a few years back about my love for furniture, my relationship with chairs in particular. There was a chair that I found discarded and ultimately forgotten. I came upon this chair accidentally. I wasn't looking for a relationship. Anyway, the chair was a very handsome chair with so many things to look at. His back was decorative; his arms were long and lean. His legs...I have never seen such beautiful legs. But he was beaten down. His self-esteem had long been worn out. His seat, which was repeatedly upholstered over years, was torn and faded. His stuffing was busting out revealing his age and loss of pride. Me, being a care taker and rescuer of sorts....picked up the chair and brought it home. He sat at the top of the stairs for a few weeks in a corner. My friends however saw this chair and commented on how ugly he was. They wondered why I had him in my home commenting on how dirty he was and how unattractive he was due to the years of neglect. I ignored them and kept him around. Finally one day I decided to put him on my coffee table and take the layers of cloth and wool stuffing off of his seat. Then I cleaned him, primed him and painted him black. Three months later I sat back and looked at him and this is what I saw.....A chair, a man restored...but not only restored but given a whole new purpose. He was beautiful again. He was unique and wonderful....The same chair that my friends were grossed out now a chair that they ask permission to touch. Amazing.....One thing is for certain...NOTHING STAYS THE SAME! Change is inevitable and what is ugly or dirty or discarded as trash can be saved, can be rescued and can be made shinier than new!
Taking discarded forgotten pieces and giving them their self-esteem back is a passion for me. Living in a world where we discard things so easily I’d like to think I am making an itty bitty difference.
Pearle Northrop

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Yard Sale Find: $5.00 Nichols & Stone Windsor Chair

One day I was driving my Subaru Outback around. I was looking for yard sales and would do a slow drive by just to see if anything catches my eye. I was in Framingham, MA. driving along in one of the hidden neighborhoods on the North side. As I was passing this one yard sale that seemed to be full of junk I saw a glimmer of red. It looked like a wooded chair. So I shifted into reverse and backed my car up. I walked up and I saw it. Hidden behind junk for sale was this magnificent chair. It was a seriously neglected chair. The barn red paint was cracked and chipped and in some areas worn down right to the wood. I asked the man how much he wanted for the chair and he simply said $5.00. That was a perfect price for me.
I took the chair home where I lived with it for a while until one day it spoke to me. The idea came. I sanded and stripped all the cracked paint off. It was when I was cleaning up the bottom of the seat that I noticed a label, a certificate of sorts, It read: Nichols & Stone. It gave the chair number and the color it was. It was also branded with a N&S. I had never heard of this brand before but figured it must be important so I looked it up on Google. Man, I got a history lesson on Chairs and the history of Gardner Massachusetts which happens to be something like the chair manufacturing capital. I have always had a bit of a passion for chairs but I never read about them until this chair entered my life.
It took me 5 weeks to finish the chair once I started. The seat of the chair and the back head rest are completely filled with dots. I put a bead of paint on my itty bitty paint brush tip and do each dot one at a time. I love the way that the dots seem to breathe. How if you look at them they seem to be alive. This chair is full of color and surprise. I have not had it in my home for over a year now. It was at the Five Crows for months where it attracted many an eye. I took it out in November to make room for the holidays. It is currently in the window of Debsan Paint in Downtown Natick, MA.
After reading up on the chair I discovered that they resell for $100-$150. It was a true find for me to get it for $5.00. I got to paint in my groovy way a very fine hand made/carved chair. This is one of my favorites and every time I see it I rediscover it all over again. I love the vibrant colors and classic style of this amazing Windsor chair.


  1. Thank you! It is one of my absolute favorites!

  2. You are so lucky !!!!

  3. It should have never been painted this way...this is a classic rocker. I love the paint don't get me wrong, but classics should be respected.