Singer - SOLD

I had this magnificent old Singer forever. So long that I don’t even remember where it came from. I think I found it in the basement of the house I bought 20 years ago, but i can’t be certain. The house is long sold and forgotten, but I kept the sewing machine – what an amazing piece of design! They literally don’t make them like this any more.

This particular Singer numbered G9848954 – Model 127 “vibrating shuttle”(long bobbin) – was built in USA between 1921 and 1923 according to the records meticulously kept by Singer Manufacturing Co. Probably closer to the end of the range judging by its number. The machine still works, but I have a new contemporary electric Singer for what little sewing I do these days. This one is to admire and paint.  A piece of history.

6″ x 6″ (15 x 15 cm) oil on gessobord panel.


29 thoughts on “Singer

  1. At first glance I thought it was a photo. As I was reading the history behind your Singer, my eyes kept panning back and forth from your painting to your description, for your work is to amazing to keep my eyes off of it. I kept thinking, “is this really a painting?!” Your painting abilities will never cease to amaze me, Alex.

    • With this one my intent was to try a hyper-realistic painting, Debbie! It is getting there! There are still some small things that give it away as a painting – my edges mainly, not straight enough, not blurred evenly. Still I appreciate your compliment!

  2. Awesome!!.. It reminded me of the Singer sewing machine with almost exact design that I remember my grand mother using, and me sitting in front and give the wheel a spin ..looking from almost the same angle, maybe some 30 or more summers ago!!

    Yes.. it looks like a photograph, but I did not have a doubt this was a painting, simply because this is Alex’s blog 🙂

    • Hi Ganapathy! Thank you for visiting! Yes, it is a painting, an attempt for hyper-realism, Trompe L’Oeil. I like your story about watching your grandma sew. I myself had a chance to use a similar Singer for sewing back long time ago, they work beautifully. My new modern Singer is a great piece of equipment, it does its job well… but it is plastic, boxy and off-white – how boring…

  3. There is a great deal to be said for the workmanship that went into making this machine and many others of that era. Not only was it built for functionality and durability but it is in and of itself a work of art. Your rendering of it is exquisite!

    • We think exactly alike in this instance, eldy! This machine in its design and build is a work of art. This is why I felt the need to paint it as close to real as I could manage. Thank you for seeing it this way and sharing your thought!

  4. Are you kidding me? This is beyond amazing. I love the warmth of the rich colors and the design, those old Singer sewing machines were beautiful. Do I see your reflection in one of the knobs. This is an absolute beauty Alex.

    A belated l’shana tova to you and your family. (I hope I got that right!)

    • We talked about this machine once on your blog, remember? The topic was disposing of old objects… I am glad I did not toss this one. Are you going to paint that old phone?

      Glad to see you visit! L’shana tova to you too (I know you are not Jewish, but who cares… I hear in NYC everybody is a little bit Jewish, just like in Chicago everyone is a little Irish :lol:)

      • yes, I remember the conversation about the phone. I’ll paint it one of these days. And yes, it’s true that everyone in NY is a little bit Jewish. I believe it’s 5772. How time flies.

  5. oh my word Alex. when I think I can’t be any more blown away by your work you go and produce this! I feel like I could actually reach out and spin that wheel (not sure of the technical term so wheel will do!) this is incredible and I love old equipment like this and typewriters and phones. objects were so much more aesthetically (spelling?) pleasing way back when than the mass produced stuff nowadays.

    • Thank you, Nicola! I think “wheel” is correct, what else would you call it if it is round and turns for living :lol:? I love old objects too. Funny that you mentioned a typewriter, I am hoping to paint one in the near future. They used to design utilitarian object to be so beautiful, and of course the nostalgia of the times bygone adds to the mood of the painting.

  6. Wow! This actually brings tears to my eyes! It looks exactly like my Granny’s sewing machine and she made my sister’s doll clothes on it and made me little horse blankets to fit my Breyer horses. Love the warmth coming in on the lower right quadrant. Beautiful, Alex. Just beautiful. Tissue please!
    Oh, by the way, she lived in Wilmette so her machine was probably in the same “big city” if you lived in Chicago at the time. Chills.

    • It was wonderful to read your special personal comment, Leslie! These Singers were very popular, so it is not a surprise to hear your Granny had one, but the mention of what she made for you and your sister is heartwarming. Thank you for sharing that! Seeing that her Singer lived in Wilmette, it is probably related to my Singer – cousins they must be. Though I was not anywhere near Chicago at that time :).

  7. This is possibly one of the most realistic paintings I’ve ever seen; part of me still refuses to accept it’s not a photograph. My mother had a Singer machine in the house when I was young, and I used to pretend to make clothes on it. I adore old Singers, they’re beautiful machines, and this is a beautiful picture.

    As someone who can’t draw a stickman, let alone paint… I’m impressed.

    • Thank you for visiting and commenting, queen.twitch! These old Singers are wonderful, truly! I too once thought I couldn’t draw a stickman… I no longer think that. In fact, now I think just the opposite: I think anyone with enough persistence and determination can learn to draw and paint reasonably well. It is a skill after all that a person can acquire with practice. Some of just need a longer time. It is known on the arts that 90 percent of this is work. With enough hours devoted to the task we reach the 90th percentile – not too bad, it is an A. Where we go from there is up to us as artists.

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