A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 10, 2019
“You can’t spell paint without pain”

"You can’t spell paint without pain” is a saying that has been printed on many images. The saying means that a painter’s struggles are produced in a painting. Also, painting can be physically (as well as mentally) demanding.

The art saying has been cited in print since at least 2001 and is of unknown authorship. “You can’t spell paint without pain” probably derived from the saying “You can’t spell painting without pain,” said on the American television sitcom 3rd Rock from the Sun on March 19, 1996.


13 June 2001, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), “Mutombo laughs off a few licks” by Steve Aschburner, pg. C1, col. 1:
To lapse into the jargon, you can’t spell “the paint” without p-a-i-n.
("The paint” is a basketball term meaning around the basket.—ed.)

Twitter
Pete Prodoehl
@raster
you can’t spell “paint” without “pain”
8:45 PM - 11 Dec 2006

Google Groups: alt.slack
Before i fuck this all up
Reverend Susie the Floozie
6/2/09
(...)
You can’t spell “paint” without PAIN.

Twitter
Killy Kilford
@KillyKilford
back from great shoot.about to go and remove a tonne of paint from my upper body.this is why they say “you cant spell paint without pain” kx
3:57 PM - 1 Aug 2009

Twitter
x
@lipstickletters
You can’t spell paint without pain, and heart without art - youarewhatyoulove: http://tumblr.com/xv82s0k75
2:56 AM - 21 Aug 2009

Twitter
Chaotic Good
@eemahnee
“You can’t spell paint without pain, and heart without art.”
8:15 PM - 22 Dec 2009

15 December 2010, Honolulu (HI) Star-Advertiser, “In any language, they’re Hawaii’s bash brothers” by Brian McInnis, pg. C3, col. 6:
You can’t spell paint without pain, especially when Kurtz comes in.

Twitter
Baked
@Bakeddeer
you can’t spell paint without pain
6:08 PM - 18 Jul 2017

Goblin @ DOG!DOG!DOG! Zine
@MaximumMAU5
18 Jul 2017
Replying to @Bakeddeer @Gilly_thesilly
Artists must suffer for the art.
That’s why it’s called painting.

YouTube
You Can’t Spell Paint Without Pain
GamingFrancis
Published on Oct 11, 2018
Welcome to your worst nightmare. This boy we meet at the museum isn’t as sweet as we think he is.

Twitter
lehck !!
@cb97cult
MAYBE art is so hard bc u cant spell paint without pain and i think thats saying something πŸ˜₯
9:41 PM - 16 Jan 2019

Twitter
T.A.O.
@Angry_Optimist_
Got suckered into going with my friend and his wife to pick β€œa new great room color.”
Now I know why you can’t spell paint without pain.
#WhereIsDeathWhenYouNeedHim πŸ˜‰
10:22 PM - 27 Jun 2019

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityArt/Sculpture • Wednesday, July 10, 2019 • Permalink