Karen Barton

Do You Need Some?, 2020
14 x 11 x 1.62 in
My paintings usually represent popular food items that are associated with the era we live in. However this painting “Do You Need Some?” was created based on events that occurred in March of 2020.

I could not have guessed what was to unfold but this painting represents a story to be told in many households across the nation. It all began as a typical day shopping. My husband needed some items from Home Depot and I decided to go along. On our way to the cash register, we took a detour to pick up some shop towels and I spotted the Charmin toilet paper. It was wonderfully bright with cute bears on the packaging. Although not my usual subject matter I couldn’t resist and took a photo of it sitting on the vibrant orange shelf.

I asked my husband if we needed to buy a package and told him that I had heard that there “might be a run on toilet paper”. We decided it wasn’t necessary since we had a big Costco size package at home. Little did we know! It was as if the very next day the US ran out of toilet paper. There was absolutely none to be found! Needless to say, I caught myself saying that we should have bought it when it was still available. “Should have” seem to be words uttered too many times since March 2020 when America realized it had a COVID-19 pandemic on its hands.

I decided to paint the Charmin toilet paper for its delightful packaging and because of the COVID-19 toilet paper shortage. As I painted this fun subject I often thought we “should have” bought it that day.