Painters on Reddit


Cindi Decker had no idea her painting would attract so much attention on social media

It sounds like the beginning of a children’s nursery rhyme: “I painted the woman who painted the guy who painted the lady who painted the swan.”

That is how one social media user described her picture, in the latest “paintception” phenomenon which is taking Reddit by storm.

The craze has produced dozens of mind-bending pictures, depicting paintings within paintings.

And it all started with a picture of an egret, painted by Cindi Decker, which was then posted to Reddit by her son.

“I am just a very ordinary mum who has had an extraordinary few days” Cindi, a 55-year-old teacher from Jacksonville, Florida said.

Cindi Decker with her painting of an egret


Reddit user Gaddafo posted this picture of his mum on Reddit

‘Simply a regular mum’

Cindi, who must now be one of the most popular mothers on Reddit, painted her egret, dubbed a “swan” by social media users, at an art class she attended with a friend one evening.

She had no idea what her son had in mind. “I honestly thought he was just showing his friends on Snapchat,” she admitted. “I don’t even know what an upvote is.”

The picture of Cindi holding her painting has now recieved 75,000 upvotes on Reddit and is proving popular on other social media sites, including Imgur where it has been viewed 1.14 million times.

“I am not an artist, simply a regular mum” she added.

While Cindi was the original artist, this latest trend to paint a picture of a picture started with Kristoffer Zetterstrand, a 45-year-old artist from Sweden who said he was browsing Reddit and saw several photos of mothers showing off their paintings.

“I thought it was cute, and had the idea that I would paint one of those photos just for fun,” he told the BBC.

Kristoffer Zetterstrand with his painting of Cindi Decker and her painting


Kristoffer Zetterstrand started this latest craze with his painting of a painting

“It’s really weird,” he said, describing the craze he has instigated. “Last I counted there were over 40 paintings. I keep getting smaller and smaller.

“It’s been very surprising,” he added.

As a result he’s had hundreds of positive comments about his artwork, and 120,000 upvotes in five days for his Reddit post.

“I’ve spoken to the original artist and she’s very happy about the whole thing. I’m going to send her my painting.”

And then Reddit user lillyofthenight spotted Kristoffer’s painting and decided to immortalise him and Cindi – her picture has received 112,000 upvotes in 72 hours.

'Took a while and not perfect, but I painted the guy who painted the other guy's mum' said Reddit user lillyofthenight


Took a while and not perfect, but I painted the guy who painted the other guy’s mum’ said Reddit user lillyofthenight

And so it continues with other artists adding to the mix.

Artist DanielDManiel posts a picture of two paintings on Reddit


‘How could I choose? It’s multiplying’: Artist DanielDManiel

“Eventually, there will be one painting to rule them all” wrote inthesandtrap.

Reddit user My-Internet_Voice posted his own homage to the trend in a gif – his post has gained more than 100,000 upvotes in 48 hours.

Reddit users, includin zcuhdee and Nubleh, help show the extent to which this painting phenomenon has escalated.

All the people who painted the original painting of the egret in a family tree-style picture


Image captionzcuhdee on Reddit: ‘This seems necessary…’