This is not quite Tole painting, but it has a similar vibe. The writing is my own. I didn't want a very formal look, so I just freehanded it; I didn't even give myself lines to follow.
The dove and the idea for the post decoration are taken mainly from a book called Country Painting Projects by Emma Hunk, which I picked up at a a secondhand shop. The sunflower started of as her idea, but turned instead into an original, based on a sunflower I once worked into a needlepoint pillow (based in turn on a real flower). The apples are my own.
I made it out of leftover bits of wood from the basement (the post is the end bit that I cut off a banister rail in order to move it to a shorter staircase) that I cut, sanded and screwed together with spare wood screws. I even hack-sawed off the points where they poked through the back, so as not to injure anyone.
The paint is just dollar-store acrylic, but I find it mixes nicely into new colours. I expect it will last about three summers (we should take it inside over the winter). After that, I suspect the elements will take their toll on it.
I'm in the process of making six standing posts to match. Each one will have one of our market "values" written on it: Nourishment, Integrity, Inclusivity, Celebration, Education, Growth. I've already done four. They're fun to make!
Photo by Sandra Brunner