Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Mouth Painters (?) and the Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists

Who would think there is an organization called "The Mouth and Foot Painting Artists" and that they operate their own website? I guess as a former researcher familiar with the Encyclopedia of Associations, nothing should surprise me anymore. Two talented artists who would certainly meet the membership standards are represented by my modest collection. The first, painter of the postcard here with a floating lilly pad rendered in oil and water, is the astounding Nyla Thompson. Note this is an original painting, not a reproduction, though I have read some were reproduced as standard postcards. She obviously painted the title as well. There are hundreds of dots which outline the petals...Nyla leaned forward many, many times to complete this painting. The second artist is Grace Layton, shown in a 1952 photograph by Warner Clapp.

Original hand (whoops...) MOUTH painted postcard, c. 1955 and Original Press Photo, 1952
Collection Jim Linderman


  1. I remember for awhile an organization used to send out packets of cards hoping you'd contribute money. All of the art was painted by people holding the brush by their feet or mouth. I think they put out a calendar too. There was some really amazing work, especially when you considered the coordination involved. Some of it just looked stilted, but other work was really stunning.

    Very nice card.

  2. that painted postcard is incredible!

    many many moons ago i did a painting called "mouthpiece (for eric dolphy)" which i painted with the brush in my mouth for about a week... an odd exercise for one with hands, but i wanted to make a work for him using the same body part that he used to generate his own work, hence the mouth. a lot of contemporary artists have used left hands, or attached brushes to long sticks, etc., to try to let go of control and shake predictability, and the brush in the mouth seemed like a good way to bring chance and accident into the work. the one thing i remember more than the painting being any good is that after an hour or so my jaw hurt like hell from clamping down on the brush...

  3. The more one thinks about it, them more incredible it seems. The artist had to position her head and brush with great precision in order to make those dots around the petals. Both of your comments have put the accomplishment in context well. Thanks!

  4. Greetings!
    I knew an artist in Italy who worked like this. Thanks for sharing the postcard.
    I happened on your site while doing some research for the next issue of A Festival of Postcards for which the theme is "water". May I think my Festival readers would enjoy the postcard and your writing style. May I link to this post for the August issue, please!
    FYI - the July issue is here:

  5. I am a student member of AMFPA . It is a wonderful organization with many exceptional artists. You would not know they are disabled by looking at their artwork.
    I have met many inspirationalpeople who are members of the Association and feel honored and fortunate to be a member.