Jacksonville 'Painting Mom,' Afraid The Internet Would Be Mean, Instead Found Viral Fame

Feb 8, 2019

A Jacksonville woman recently became a global internet sensation, thanks to her amateur oil painting of an egret.

When Cindi Decker brought home her work from Painting with a Twist, her 18-year-old son Matthew posted a photo of her holding it on Reddit, with the caption “My mom painted this and said no one would like it. It’s her 2nd painting.”

More than 24,000 people “upvoted” the photo within a few hours. That was just the beginning, as a chain reaction of paintings of Cindi holding her painting  - and paintings of those paintings - quickly followed.

Cindi Decker was on WJCT’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross Friday.

“It was cool. Maybe for artists, it was a challenge, and they wanted to get in on it….it was just that, it was fun,” said Cindi Decker.

To date, more than a million people have seen and commented on the photo. A museum in Stockholm even set up a digital exhibit on the story.

You can watch a video of Cindi unwrapping the first painting of her photo, by artist Kristoffer Zetterstrand, here: