Friday, December 24, 2010

Florida highwayman art

Merry Christmas everyone.

And happy birthday to my wife Carol.

She's old.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2010 art market

Just goes to show you, once again, art is a good investment.

Here's who made money in 2010.

Auction houses and multi-millionaires.

What about us penny-ante thousandaires ?

We had to sit and watch. C'est la vie.

Here's the story.

And here's the music.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Florida's highwaymen.

I don't think that this was one of our guys. They don't fool around in Pakistan, right ?

Highwayman killed by friendly fire Pakistan News Blog
Dec 16, 2010 ... Police said the highwaymen blocking the road near Dhudial were looting the passengers for two hours.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Vintage highwaymen vs. current works

Maynor vs. Lewis

These are OK looking and are original highwaymen paintings.

Are prices like these watering down the market in general ?
You be the judge.

John Maynor, highwayman, current work 10 x 8 (on the left)
Winning bid:
US $68.00

R. L. Lewis, highwayman, current work 10 x 8 (on the right)
Winning bid:
US $152.50
Does this mean every Robert Lewis painting is worth twice what a John Maynor painting of the same size is worth ?
Au contraire, mon frere.
Some people think that's how this market works.
Strictly by the numbers, like Wall St.
Some of these people are highly advertised accredited appraisers who have purchased memberships in various organizations with impressive initials.
Caveat emptor, boys and girls.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Lemuel and Harold Newton Poinciana

Scrounging around, looking at some old files, I came across an old communication I had with Rosetta Newton Humphries regarding her two highwaymen artist brothers. Lem and Harold Newton.

I didn't intentionally save it, I found it in some magical cyber scrap-heap of a half a dozen saved emails that AOL seems to show me at random times. Don't know why that happens.

(As you may know, the third artist brother, Sam Newton, wishes to be disassociated from the group, despite the benefits he receives from being included. I don't believe he declined the Florida Artists' Hall of Fame inclusion, but I could be wrong. )

This is a copy/paste from September 9, 2004 regarding the picture above, a 24 x 36 oil on masonite, which I think was the first one she sold for Lem after his release from prison.

Hi, again
9/9/2004 9:30:55 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Reply To:

Hey, good for you, Rosetta. Lem is going to make a wonderful living this way. This painting is gorgeous.
Congratulations to Lem, especially for overcoming his ordeal.
I hope this was the first painting you sold, I would be quite proud to have been the first to help him get started in his new life. I've always thought his talent was comparable to both his brothers, but Harold was the best. Period.
If you would like to, see if Lem will paint me a half dozen various poincianas (not poinsettias, by the way) with shacks, maybe a few roads, in a smaller size, say 16 x 20, as a commission deal. I'll pay a flat deal price of $ 2,000.00 for the 6 paintings. It's about $ 350 apiece.........................Regards, BOB

Anyway, she got him to paint the six pieces, three were great, one was average and two were marginal. I sold them for $ 450 to $ 750 each within a month or two.
Good value for the quality, those of you who got one.
Lem seemed to lose focus shortly thereafter, moved back to Florida, had some other folks sell for him, but he didn't seem to be interested in quality, more in the quantity area. You know, like Alfred Hair, a true higwayman.
Someone told me he's back in prison now for some violation, I suppose it's true, but I won't swear to it.
I had forgotten that Rosetta confused poinsettia with poinciana.
The big one that's on the website took a little longer to sell, but it brought $ 2500.00 when the right customer got around to finding it in my booth at the West Palm Beach show.
At that time, in the dinosaur ages of the highwaymen market, I had four different Harolds depicting Indian River Drive scenes, including a 48" River Rd, also shown above, all with blue skies, white clouds, nicely matched, and I would line up the horizons and hang them in my living room between shows.

Made quite a panorama. Hard to believe it was six plus years ago.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

McLendon highwaymen

Roy, Roy Jr. and Ray.
R.A., R.A. Jr.
Confused ?
Look at the Florida Artists Hall of Fame list and see how many McLendons are on it.

The story I refer to is about a talented artist who is kind to children.

It's a nice story, too.


Any male who uses a highway is a what ?

What if his name was Johnson ?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Highwaymen art at Thanksgiving

This has nothing to do with highwaymen art.

If that offends you, or you feel you've been tricked into looking at this page....well, I don't care.

Anyway, it's Thanksgiving morning, albeit EARLY Thanksgiving morning, and on this day, annually most folks gather their family for a nice meal. In many cases, such as my family, it's a lot more than just a nice meal food-wise. It's an opportunity for my inner glutton to battle my inner common sense, God, do I love stuffing and gravy. With more gravy.

But, I digress, as is my want.

Most folks, I believe, at least think about God on this day, and thank Him for what they have been "blessed" with.

Having gone to l'ecole St. Pierre, a parochial school outside of Boston, grades K-6, certain things have literally been beaten into my conciousness by several nuns. One of those things is to capitalize God, Him, His etc. That's the Catholic way of doing things. I refuse to capitalize the word "nun", but that's my choice for various reasons.

Again, I digress, Jesus, it's disconcerting, isn't it ?

None of us KNOW if there's a God or a god or several gods or higher powers or superior intelligence from planet R31378 galaxy 888040282.

Maybe you, gentle reader, KNOW, but I don't. You can file me under, maybe.

But, I'm not going to go to court to try to punish you for your beliefs if they disagree with mine.

Just read the text, which I have copied and pasted for my vast readership. Often times I'm skeptical of the veracity of whatever I read from ANY source, so if this is true, I have a new hero. I kinda doubt it.

Happy Thanksgiving, ....................enjoy.

In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheist had no such recognized days.
The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, "Case dismissed!"

The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, "Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays."
The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, "But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant."
The lawyer said, "Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists"
The judge said, "The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, 'The fool says in his heart, there is no God' Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned."

Friday morning update:

And so, in the interest of accuracy, for which I am famous, here's the truth.

My cousin Leslie of Cheshire gets credit for the research.

Having exhausted herself feeding an army on Thanksgiving, she still found time and donated her services to this blog.

And remember, both Leslie and Oprah want you to invest in highwaymen art.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oprah and highwaymen art

Oprah wants you to buy highwaymen art.

She does ! She really really does !

Only she forgot to list it with this other stuff.

Poor thing, she has sooooooo many things to worry about, I don't blame her.

And she wants you to buy it from whomever has the most experience in dealing with this particular funky little market. She suggests a dealer who works on a small margin and has the eye to pick out nothing but the best.

That would be us !

Now is the time to invest in undervalued fine art.

Or, she also suggests a Ralph Lauren sweater for $500.00.
When I'm cold, I just get a $20 sweatshirt. Savings R Us.
That's one reason we can work on a smaller margin.

Friday, November 19, 2010

alfred hair on ebay

Here's a good one, boys and girls.

I'll copy paste what the seller claims.

Painting is in good condition, Alfred painted over a scratch in the board in the grass area.

Really ?

Oxymoron Define Oxymoron at
an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect,
as in “cruel kindness” or “to make haste slowly.” ... -

Monday, November 15, 2010

A E Backus and highwaymen sales Results

OK, I told you I couldn't wait, and I couldn't.

I called Rennick at 9am and asked how his Backuses did.

They did not sell and it's NOT because there is no demand.
Above are posted the 6 footer to the left, the 25x30 to the right.
These are high quality pieces by a listed artist, the "Dean of Florida landscape artists" as he is known. The three I'm going to discuss were painted in the 1940's, his heavy palette knife period which many consider his finest era, pre-1970. The Backus Gallery itself, has historically consistently priced his early pieces higher than the later ones.
That ought to serve as a pretty reasonable barometer.
(Interestingly as an aside, they no longer publish prices on the internet.
...................................................... Now you have to call them.)

These three.
The "Bigun", 6 foot by 10 foot north Indian River view from the hotel.
The "Little sister of the Bigun", a 25x30, Beanie's favorite size, same north Indian River view. Close to identical.
And the vertical "Gates of Heaven", Beanie's fantasy.
All three are worth buying. So where does that leave us ?
There's a very simple reason that they did not sell. It's called a reserve price.
In this case, the reserve was undoubtedly the "opening bid", which the house did not get.
The owners of these paintings have only BEGUN to negotiate the selling prices by starting these pieces at "too high" levels the market would not bear. The owners were fishing. The auction house is their publicity.
They are now "out there, available in the marketplace" if you feel like getting involved.
Now, it's the buyer market's turn to fish back at them and try to decipher what they will really take for these. They are willing to listen to offers below the published starting auction prices of $35,000.00, $35,000.00, and $150,000.00.
So, if you have the proper mix of balls, brains, and cash, you might be able to buy one or two or even three. I could even help you, you know ? I'm only missing the cash.

There is no better place, in my opinion, to invest, than in this type of product in a sluggish market which could turn around at any moment.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A E Backus and highwaymen sales

Today's the day Rennick's auction in Vero gives the world a shot at a six foot by ten foot Backus.

Will it bring six figures ? We'll soon find out.

I sure hope so. By the way, it's NOT this one.

The auction includes a bunch of so-so highwaymen paintings, including a BUNCH of McLendon newer canvases. Many of the paintings are nice, but nothing really walks and talks.

(which is as usual , considering how many paintings are "out there".)

The auction is only slightly tainted by the inclusion of a Norman Wright and a Tracy Newton. I have to admit, I don't know what to make of the J. E. Roberts. Unfamiliar style.

I had a Livingston Roberts once, a nice four foot sunset that was signed (scratched-in) E. Roberts, on upson, in an original whitewashed crown molding frame. I assumed Livingston painted it, but was too drunk to remember his first initial. Yup, sometimes I assume things.

There is a sleeper in the group today and I can't wait to see how it does.

Backus painted this as a commission for some church and allowed prints to be made for charitable purposes.

Personally, I've always loved this image, AEB's idea of the entry gates to Heaven. I guess Saint Peter was still in charge of them when this was painted. Maybe he still is, or maybe Mother Theresa has taken over. I'll probably never find out, but anyway..............

(listen to this while you look at it, it becomes even better)

I had a print of it once, found the right frame, and sold it for a few hundred several years ago.

Like I said, can't wait.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


"I could have done things better" George W. Bush (quote of the day)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

slashing Highwaymen prices like Walmart

From AOL small business this morning.

Q> I was wondering if it might be a good idea to slash my prices right now? Business is so darn slow. The problem is that I don't know if I will be able to make up for my lower profit with more business. How do I figure that one out?

This is a pretty interesting article from my side of the negotiating table, where supply meets demand and prices are already forced downward. yet still I have to force something to happen sales-wise in order to feed these damn cats and keep them cool in the Florida heat. Electricity ain't cheap anymore, boys and girls.

I began lowering expectations and attempts at high profit margins as sales volume began ever so relentlessly to shrink a few years ago. From my standpoint as a small business owner, it was not unusual 5 years ago in the Florida art market to expect a double your money on everything you purchased for inventory. And it was generally perceived as FAIR and justifiable. And the cash flowed, demand was strong.

Now, due to the lack of public confidence in spending, resulting in low sales volume, I no longer attempt to sell a 1000 purchase for 2000. Instead we go for 10 or 20 % profit margin, about half of an auction house's commission. Hopefully that makes my product more attractive. I think of my product as paintings by Harold Newton and Alfred Hair, Emmett Fritz and A E Backus. Anthony Thieme and Martin Johnson Heade.

This guy, Steve Strauss, Q & A guru apparently for AOL, is pretty clear about the cost to a small business of lowering prices from a psychological customer / client viewpoint. I couldn't agree with him more.

The quandry I face in dealing with my product is this : what about the hundreds of paintings I've sold to good people for much higher prices just a few years ago ? I'm helping to devalue their investments if they purchased average, run of the mill, plain, uninspiring, lack of effort Harold Newton paintings at rock bargain prices. If my customer had been savvy enough to pay a premium over perceived value at the time and acquire top of the line Harolds, they have held their value better than the former bargains.

And just for fun, there's a nice Harold and a plain Harold. Although every painting is unique, there is no question that there is a lot of repetition in Harold's work.

Friday, October 29, 2010


Found this poster by a very talented artist, googling around illustration websites.

It's ME, only younger.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

H Newton vs Newton

Harold Newton vs Lemuel Newton (or Sam).

Found a new website googling around this morning called Garage Sale Art.

Something to remember about the internet.
Anyone can write and post anything they want and appear to know what they are talking about. Appearances can be deceiving, as we all know.

When I see things of this nature, I understand it.

Harold's work is more valuable than the work of his two younger living brothers, so the owner of this painting would like for it to have beeen done by Harold.

I don't blame the owner. It makes perfect sense.

My opinion, it was done by Lemuel. (With an outside chance as a very early Sam).

So, I signed up and left a comment.

Here's the link:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fake Livingston Roberts on eBay

All the news that's fit to print is on my other blogspot website:

Go read it there.


727 809 1691

Fine Florida furniture

In case you forgot since I told you last month, go buy a couch, a table or at least a lamp from Jean and Ty in Micanopy. Ty makes this stuff in his barn.

And it's a nice big barn, too. Worth the trip just to see his workshop.

It's not just chairs and such, it's folk art, too. Weather resistant folk art.

And Jean might have some of her paintings around if they're not in some museum somewhere.
She'd probably sell you a couple. I bought three, but I only have one left.

Call them today. Do it now. Be the first in your neighborhood.

Print this page and present it to Ty or Jean as a coupon for a special 10 percent discount.

Tell them Bob sent you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A E BACKUS Moonlight Ocean

We are proud to note that we helped provide the appraisal paperwork necessary for The Orange County History Center for insurance purposes on the donation of the A E Backus Moonlight River scene, a gorgeous painting which is being exhibited for the first time.

Be sure to visit the exhibition in Orlando. It's running through the first of the year.
If you schedule certain days in November, you can meet six of the highwaymen artists themselves.

Here's the link:

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harold Newton appraisal via Google

Yup, I'm copying someone with a strong google presense.
Why not ?

Florida Highwaymen Painting. Sell Highwaymen art and paintings. Appraise Highwaymen painting and art. Buy Highwaymen paintings and art. - Florida dealer and appraiser of Florida Highwaymen paintings and art. Appraise Highwaymen - Our appraisers evaluate, appraise and value your Highwaymen painting. Appraisers of single Highwaymen paintings to complete Highwaymen art collections. We will purchase Highwaymen paintings outright or offer you the best consignment terms in the industry in the next fine art exhibition. Our marketing and West Palm Beach venue are unparalleled. Florida Highwaymen artists and works remain in strong collector demand. Contact us for appraisal consultation for your Florida Highwaymen paintings or other works of fine art. We travel Florida for fine art and collections.

Highwaymen collectors should contact us for our current offerings of Highwaymen paintings.

Harold Newton...H Newton....James Andrew (Harold) Newton....Sam Newton...Lem Newton

Just trying to keep up. It is what it is.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

highwaymen S M Wells

I'm not sure if I shared this story before, anyway here it is.

Brother Wells, when I last saw him a couple of years ago, could hardly see.

His vintage paintings are somewhat scarce in relation to the group in general.

Here's the link :

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Appraise Harold Newton painting

Here's pretty much how I do it.

This article was published in Antique Shoppe newspaper August 2010 issue.

Here it is:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fabulous Florida Furniture

This, people, is some really nice stuff.

Tell them Bob sent you. (or not).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

D L Rust, listed Florida artist

As many of you know, and as it has been reported in various antique / art publications, I buy, display and sell oil paintings of Florida wildlife by listed artist D L Rust.
Of particular interest, both to me and the public, are his gator paintings.

His paintings are so realistic that this actually happened to one of my customers.

I must have sold fifty of them over the years since my first trip to visit Rust in his studio.

I love his work and I am pleased to offer 6 or 7 pieces currently in stock.
Some are posted on the main website,
Look in my Other Florida Artists page.

These are offered with an asking price of $ 375.00, discounts available on multiple purchases.
The current sizes I have are all oils on stretched canvas, 20 x 24, a nice manageable size.

I dislike writing negative things of any sort, but these are not giclee prints, as one ignorant spiteful Fort Pierce "highwaymen" seller claims they are. They are original oils on stretched canvas.

D L Rust has a painting in the National Gallery in the Smithsonian. If his work is good enough for them, gentle readers, perhaps it is good enough for you ?

Especially at these reduced prices.

Just for fun and comparison purposes, here's a link to an eBay offering of similar work by another listed artist C. Ford Riley. The fact that the opening bid is posted as $ 9,995.00 is irrelevant.

Riley's listed auction record in is $ 650.00.

Rust's auction record in is $ 4,183.00.

I rest my case.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This is a good day to think of how horrible it was to be attacked on our own soil.

My prayers go out to all the souls directly affected by the collapse of the towers.

Special prayers for anyone who went into the towers rather than out.

My cousin Mike was there that day, in the hotel restaurant ( it was the Vista Hotel back when I stayed there many times) between the towers when the first plane hit.

He escaped by walking to New Jersey.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

highwaymen on ebay

Here's just another quick hit for you.
Especially you Florida panther collectors.
Fact : Johnnie's deceased and there may be no others like it.
Each one is unique in any case.
Good value at $ 45,000 ?
You be the judge.
Might as well try to get 45 million, in my arrogant opinion.

It's not that I don't WISH these were worth that kind of money, but Yeesh.

Monday, September 6, 2010

A E Bean on eBay, Good for a Laugh or two

Here it is, boys and girls.

I don't think I need to discuss it.


Well, I couldn't stop myself even though I figured it was a waste of time, and I sent her an email.

Here's that and her extremely intelligent response. copy/paste :

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, September 06, 2010 2:44 PM

Subject: a e bean

sassie, this should be simply embarrassing.

compare the quality of the work with easily found examples.

respectfully submitted,
BOB 727 809 1691

Sent: 9/6/2010 6:56:00 P.M. Eastern Daylight TimeSubj: Re: a e bean

Probably when he was losing his eyesight ??? How can you know ? I have looked at many of them

Yup, she's looked at many of them. Guess she told me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Not a highwaymen painting

Just a quickie for you this morning.

Here's another eBay seller added to the long list of people who either intentionally or unintentionally can't seem to understand the list of 26 names.

Monday, August 23, 2010

highwaymen art appraisals

I started a new blog, a sister blog, so to speak.

It deals with appraisals, but I imagine that's obvious..

I'll try to get our "Official Policy" posted this week, working on it now.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Harold Newton's work

Sometimes the unexpected comes out of hiding.

Here's an example of that, posted on eBay just this morning.
Usually when I write about eBay, I point out forgeries and alterations, as they do exist.

This time, I can see that this is absolutely genuine and I know, although the seller has no feedback as of yet, that he is a legitimate seller ......... well as an appreciative collector of Harold Newton's work.

I make it my business to know who's who and what's what in this market.
Roger is a guy you can trust, gentle readers.

Here's what I wrote to him just now:
Dear floridaartauctionsinc2010,

Roger, this is very cool. Of all the HN's I've seen, this is my first time for this scene in these colors and such brightness. Nice rare size, too.

This piece must have kicked Willie Daniels off and running. I've seen his virtually exact copy of it hundreds of times.

I'm going to post it in my blog. regards, BOB

Rare 24"x30" vertical H. Newton
Item Id: End time: Aug-29-10 19:55:16 PDT


100.0% Positive Feedback (that's me)
Member since Nov-26-01 in United States
Location: FL, United States

Listing Status: This message was sent while the listing was active

Now I'm not going to give you advice on other people's merchandise very often.
After all, Roger and I are competing for your available dollars, but I was struck by the similarities and I just couldn't let it go unnoticed.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A E Backus

The Backus Gallery and Museum is undertaking a renovation and expansion project.

This is a good thing for the kind of art that we like to fool around with.
The kind on my website

You know which artists we like, all three of you who read this blog.
Newton, Hair and Backus. Along with the occasional McLendon or Buckner.

The fresh new look should draw more public interest and perhaps spawn a few new collectors. More interest will result in more demand.

Excellent. Most excellent.

read about it here:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Highwaymen consumers.

Whoever wrote this has a keen sense of the obvious.

It's kinda sorta clumsily written, but you get the idea. People won't spend.
Decorative things for the home ? Don't need em right now.

What a great time to invest in art. Demand is low for collectible art in affordable ranges.
In the non-affordable art market, Picasso still brings 100 million +.......

Here's the link from AOL.

After years of conspicuous consumption when it came to our homes and what we put in them, Americans are rethinking their priorities in the recession-induced Age of Austerity and paring down their possessions and what they spend.

A minute later, I saw this related story on AOL.

Consumers Still Not Spending
More Americans are cutting corners on the little things, according to Harris Interactive. Where are they saving?
Nearly two-thirds are buying generic brands more often.
48 percent are brown-bagging lunch.
31 percent have canceled magazine subscriptions.
24 percent are cutting back on dry cleaning.
22 percent have canceled cable television.
22 percent no longer buy coffee in the morning.
15 percent have canceled their landline phone service and changed or canceled their cell phone service.
All these figures are up slightly since the last Harris poll in February, showing that despite some signs of economic recovery, people are still reluctant to go back to their free-spending ways.
Are these changes temporary or a permanent shift in consumer behavior? Businesses may need to give their customers incentives to come back and start spending with them again.

The incentive I give you gentle readers, is lower prices.

And, I'll buy you a coffee. Promise.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

highwaymen on ebay

Nineteen more so-called works of art went up on the highwaymen page the last two days.

If anyone considers these worthy of investment, you ought to have your head examined.

The true investment market is about the vintage works by the important artists in the group.

Is that clear enough ?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Highwayman I. Knight

Issac Knight is one of the good guys, one of the nicest men you will ever meet
(if you are lucky enough to meet him).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Little Orphan Annie

From NPR: Little Orphan Annie is retiring on June 13th after 85 years in the comics. To read the story, go to:

I never read this comic strip when newspapers were in vogue, although it was always right there with all the other strips in any newspaper you could find..

I just couldn't get past her white eyes with no pupils. Too weird.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Hair, H Newton paintings in Mayport Fishing Village

As kind of a last-minute trip, we'll be exhibiting at the historic Presbyterian church in Mayport Village tomorrow in conjunction with the Capt. John Ribault Festival.

They have an annual exhibit by about thirty local artists and have kindly invited us to attend and show the Florida art that we specialize in.

I'm pretty excited about seeing a new place.

Of course, my motivation is to meet some new potential customers.

I'm pretty transparent about that, gentle readers. Without a few sales, we'll be having peanut butter sandwiches for dinner a lot this month.

And remember, this is a good time to invest, demand is down and so are prices.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Harold Newton..?....Be Careful Out There.

Yup, be very very careful.

Especially if you THINK you know what you're doing. Watch out for forgeries.

My advice is stay away from this one, for sure....

*5/18/10 : Too bad, somebody didn't pay attention, now they're out $ 850.00.

There's another eBay special, a so-called A Hair that's bogus from the word "go".
When the sellers hide their bidders, I usually figure there's a sleazy reason for it.

In this case, the most likely reason is so no one will contact the unlucky winner, who has now thrown $1000 + down his toilet.

Too late for any help on this one. Somebody's flat out screwed.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Picasso brings $ 100 million plus

from Luxist

$106 Million Picasso Sale Sets New World Record for Most Expensive Work of Art

Now the results are in and the painting, Nude, Green Leaves, and Bust (above) dated 1932, from the Collection of Mrs. Sidney F. Brody, was sold for a staggering $106.5 million to an unidentified telephone bidder, breaking the previous world record for any work of art sold at auction.

Yup, and I'm having trouble selling $ 15.00 and $ 20.00 prints, along with Newtons and Hairs for a few thousand.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Alfred Hair painting

Well, here we go again. I feel like Rodney Dangerfield.

I don't get no respect.

This seems to happen when I give free appraisals, as I have blogged about this same situation last year sometime with an Al Black painting.

As I did the last time, I took a liking to this guy in a fifteen minute phone conversation. He was quite proud of himself for having sold some H Newtons five years ago at the peak of the market, when the economy was on the cusp of turning, but he kept his Alfred Hair.

When he decided I must be trying to tell him lies, I responded, as I always will.
I will respect his privacy by not showing you what his painting looks like. And, of course, I changed his email address and phone number. I may have changed his name, too.

It started out with some animosity, but I think I may have shown him some kind of light by the end. Maybe he believes me now ? Did he warm up ?

We'll probably never know, and that's OK, too.

Copy/pasted from my emails this early a.m. Scroll down and read them from the bottom up.

From: Hwymnbnb@aol.comTo: ajerk@prodigy.netSent: 5/6/2010 7:47:50 A.M. Eastern Daylight TimeSubj: Re: People Listing Hairs On Ebay.

Xyzxyz, you should know what a buy sell spread is. I thought you told me you were an attorney.

Buy 500 sell 1000

It's my spread. It's not buy 500 sell 500.

And it's certainly not buy 500 sell 3500

We can be friends, I don't mind that you disagree. It keeps things interesting, does it not ?

I believe your claim that someone offered 3500 for your piece. If they were on top of the market, they probably would not have done so.

You might even enjoy my blog.

I might sprinkle it with a little bullshit from time to time to try and keep it from being too dry.

regards, BOB

In a message dated 5/6/2010 7:36:36 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Hi. I hope we remain friends in the future. I want to start a fund to collect orphaned
Hairs. From those who can't stand to keep the ones they have. How many hairs do you think you can get me for $5000.00? At least 10?

If people are that broke in Florida maybe they need a bailout. I'm not the Federal Government but I know a good investment when I see it.

Sent: 5/6/2010 7:21:56 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: People Listing Hairs On Ebay.

I suggest the same to anyone who will listen. Load up on Hairs. The time is right.
I agree with that and I agree that Picasso sucks, but he brings 90 million.
However eBay IS reality. Money changes hands as proof.

My back gets up when people think I'm lying.
It's interesting that you put in writing you've never been wrong, Counselor, and especially after labeling yourself as humble. That will tell my readers something, eh ?

In a message dated 5/6/2010 6:56:04 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Anyone who does this is really not too smart. My humble opinion. With the economy as it is Ebay prices do not reflect reality. People are not waiting till any appropriate time to sell.

Hairs will one day well exceed Backus in value. Not because of quality (Picasso sucks) ,
but because of what it is.

Hair was who he was and did what he did. He died at age 29. Not much better a story can be told.

Its not that I'm used to being right. But over the years I've never been wrong. My suggestion is you buy as many Hairs as you can for 500/1000 and pack em away.

Sent: 5/6/2010 6:49:09 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: Re: Alfred Hair Painting

I'm not trying to buy it, I don't want it, it's too dark and dreary, AND you told me it's not for sale.
I'll post this repartee in my blog so folks can get a good laugh.
Now I can feel as though I HAVEN"T wasted my time.
If someone offered 3500, they are entitled to do so.
Your piece can be replaced at 1000 with an even better one in the current market, simple as that.

In a message dated 5/6/2010 6:40:09 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Don't WASTE my time. Find a sucker somewhere else. I've been offered $3500!
I guess that was a dream too.

--- On Thu, 5/6/10, wrote:

Subject: Re: Alfred Hair Painting
Date: Thursday, May 6, 2010, 6:36 AM

Live in your dream world, Xyzxyz. No bs from here.
Believe what makes you happy.
Put it in an auction and you'll find out.
I showed you the one that brought 1005 for proof.
Waste my time no more.

In a message dated 5/6/2010 6:26:01 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Save the bs for people who don't know art.

--- On Wed, 5/5/10, wrote:

Subject: Re: Alfred Hair Painting
Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2010, 9:46 PM

Hi, Xyzxyz.
Don't need the hundred.
It's just OK. No disrespect meant.
Current buy sell spread 500/1000.
Wish I had better news.
This one's gorgeous and only brought 1025 at auction last week.

(I attached an image of a 24 x 36 orange and purple cloudy sunset.)


In a message dated 5/5/2010 7:53:46 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Nice speaking with you, Here is a picture of the painting and one of the signature.

Take care, Xyzxyz (xyz) abc-jerk

Monday, April 26, 2010

Alfred Hair painting, could it be ?

Here's another eBay trap, that's not really a trap, but it's deceptive.

First they get your attention with the small image and the following description : well, you'll see it.

Pretty funny, the seller's not sure if it's by one of the group.
That elusive list of 26 artists, eh ? Hard to find.

DAMN, it just happens to sort of resemble an early Alfred Hair, I guess that causes the confusion.

I suppose it's hard to tell if you're not familiar with this market, and especially with Hair's work at various stages of his short career, but for many of us, the differences are plain as day between a genuine Hair and this copy.

Not braggin', just sayin'.

Be careful out there.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vintage highwaymen paintings

Current Florida Highwaymen news, the official list of the 26 artists in the group and research links can be found here.

Highwaymen books and resources can also be found at this informative site.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Highwaymen art in Jacksonville (and money)

Here's a story about money. Cash, babies, cash. See it, feel it, touch it.

Researchers at the University of Minnesota apparently have been hard at work to prove what Walt Disney showed us many years ago using Scrooge McDuck, Donald's wealthy uncle.

Much more importantly :

Time is growing short, come to Avonlea mall near Jax this Saturday April 24.

Along with Catherine Enns, who will be signing her most excellent book about the highwaymen and Backus, we will have some great examples of investment quality vintage Florida art available for study and / or purchase.

I'm talking Backus, Newton, Hair, McLendon. Rare pieces. All sizes and shapes.

If you want brand new R L Lewises, he'll be in Cedar Key. Go west, young man.

If you want brand new Willies, Maynors, Wheelers, that kind of highwaymen art, just back up your truck to eBay and buy all hundred and fifty of them that were listed in the last couple of days. Weed out all the Tracy Newtons, he's a relative, not a highwayman.

If you want hand-picked superb quality vintage works by deceased artists, come see us in Jax.

Here's the link with a map.

In addition, I will be giving free appraisals on whatever you bring for inspection.

This applies to Florida art.
In Gulfport a few months ago, some clown brought a Stradivarius for appraisal. (sigh)

You might win A BRAND NEW CADILLAC ! (scroll down for details)................

Just kidding, no free Cadillacs.

Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Alfred Hair (1941-1970)

I always use Google to look for stuff, but just for grins and giggles this morning I tried Yahoo to search for Alfred Hair.

That's exactly what I got, too, grins and giggles.

Here are the dominant links on Yahoo search. They might amuse you, too.

And here is just a wonderful youtube that has nothing to do with Alfred Hair or highwaymen or the economy.

The first scene absolutely knocked me out.
I HAVE to share it with my millions of readers.
( A special thanks to John Taylor who sent it to me today. )

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Highwaymen art market economy

Oh, I don't really know why, but I just felt like posting this.

It's not brand new, and it's country, but it's still apropos.

Here are the lyrics so you can sing along.

my daddy taught me in this country everyones the same
you work hard for your dollar and you never pass the blame
when it don't go your way
now i see all these big shots whining on my evenin' news
about how they're losin' billions and its up to me and you
to come runnin' to..
the rescue
well pardon me if i don't shed a tear
cause they"re sellin' make believe
and we don't buy that here

cause in the real world they're shuttin' detroit down
while the boss man takes his bonus pay and jets on out of town
and DC's bailin' out them bankers as the farmers auction ground
yeah while they're livin' it up on wall street in that new york city town
here in the real world they're shuttin' detroit down
here in the real world they're shuttin' detroit down

well that old man's been workin' in that plant most all his life
now his pension plan's been cut in half and he can't afford to die
and its a cryin' shame
'cause he ain't the one to blame
and when i look down and see his callused hands
well let me tell yah friend it gets me fightin' mad

yeah while they're livin' it up on wall street in that newyork city town
here in the real world they're shuttin' detroit down
here in the real world they're shuttin' detroit down
in the real world they're shuttin' detroit down
they're shuttin' detroit down..

But, then again, I may be a city boy, but I can relate to this song.
I know, more country, but Hank Jr. knows we'll get through this, eh ?

Cycles. We're in one always.
Good times followed by bad times followed by good times and on and on...
on and on, on and on.............

Got the sun on my shoulders.............

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Just go there.

Infomative historical links, if you scroll down.

Spend some time. Read some stuff.

Look at Harold Newton paintings for sale and comparison. Most of them are pretty nice, although we have bought and sold our fair share of rather plain uninspiring ones, too.

Lately we've been doing a lot of appraisals and certificates of authenticity.

No, it's not a free service, but it's an accurate one.

"If it's free, it's for me", you say ?

I say, "Hah, free appraisals are worth exactly what you pay for them."

You'e heard of the Low Country in South Carolina ?

A free appraisal is your portal to Low-BALL Country.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter everyone

News of the morning.

It's not a pretty story, it's brutal and it's racial, but it made me feel like justice has been served. I don't mind at all that this happened.

from AOL

JOHANNESBURG (April 3) -- South Africa's white supremacist leader Eugene Terreblanche was bludgeoned to death by two of his farm workers Saturday in an apparent dispute over wages, police said, amid growing racial tensions in the once white-led country.

Terreblanche, 69, was leader of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging movement, better known as the AWB, that wanted to create three all-white republics within South Africa in which blacks would be allowed only as guest workers.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I'm whining, I'm just another damn whiner

Yeah, I was just lying when I started this blog and said I wouldn't whine.

Well, no, that statement is a lie.

Let's just say I've changed my mind over the course of the last couple of years since I started writing this blog. Now I can whine in good conscience.

So, here you go (always remembering that it's not required reading.)

this from part of an email I sent to a customer:

Also, since you asked and I forgot, no, the "young man" you spoke with in my booth at WPB who had 2 HN's never got back to me. They usually don't, they just want quick free appraisals.

I get several inquiries a week like that. Had three emails in a row the other day, Harolds and Willies and more, oh my. When they find out there's a fee, that's usually the end of it. It was for those three.

I have to use my knowledge and experience to put bread on my table, right ?

I'm not completely heartless, though, I try to help and educate complete strangers sometimes.

For example, a guy from up north, seller "a", put a listing on eBay a couple of weeks ago with a buy-it-now of $10,000.00. I emailed him politely that he might not want to waste fees because he had a one hundred dollar item. We emailed back and forth several times, as I explained in detail what exactly he had as compared to what he thought he had. Told him how he could tell the difference and did what I could to explain my experience in studying handling so many these items in the course of the last 15 years.

So, as a concession, he revised his listing to have a buy-it-now of $ 1,000.00.
Again, it's worth $ 100.00 not $ 1000.00.

So, as further proof, I sent him a link showing another eBay seller "b", who had a similar item with a buy-it-now of $ 75.00 with no bidders or any interest for several weeks. Listed and re-listed a couple or three times. Along with everybody else, I didn't want seller "b"s item, either.

At that point, I offered seller "a" $ 50.00 for his hundred dollar item. I thought that was fair.

So what does he do ? Turns down my 50 and re-lists it again, starting at 75.

I guess he likes giving eBay their fees.

And I felt like I gave him a pretty nice education, worth more than the extra 25 he hoped to squeeze from the public. Maybe someone will buy it, but it won't be me. I'm even out at 50 now, too.
I have completely lost interest in the item.

Is that wrong, you think ?

I ask you, gentle readers, is seller "a" a good businessman "with his own money and paintings" like Mr. anonymous who sent me hate mail last month or two calling me an "irrelevant know it all" ?

((Anonymous said...
What year was it that you were last relevant?Also when was it that you actually owned one of these with your own money,and didnt have to beg paintings from others that are actually good business people with their own money and paintings?
Dinosaurs come to mind.....))

Or is seller "a" a jerk ?

Or am I the jerk for wasting so much time ?

Or for whining ?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Florida economy, no bullshit...........

.........Nope, it's dog shit.

Surprising ( me, duh ) information is hidden in this story about dogshit and the trials and tribulations of dealing with it.

As you know, I like to copy and paste stuff from AOL.

Here you go:

When the housing market finally improves in this country, is all we really have to look forward to is a lot more poo in the streets?

That particular reward came along with a booming housing market in downtown Tampa, Florida. Buyers have snatched up condos and rental units in recent months, after prices were pummeled by the housing market collapse. The area's population has zipped from almost zero to some 3,000 residents, Paul Ayres, the director of marketing for the Tampa Downtown Partnership, tells a local website.

It turns out that a lot of these new downtown residents have brought their pets with them -- along with a pretty inconsiderate attitude toward their new neighbors. Now, Tampa is grappling with a virtual explosion of dog poo.

It's a nuisance for residents who mush dodge errant dog poo like landmines. But it's also a health issue, since the feces can end up being washed down storm sewers and into water systems without being treated.

To combat the problem, new Pooch Stations are being set up in downtown Tampa, plastic bag dispensers and bins where pet owners can dispose of the package. Postcards are also being handed out to remind folks to pick up after their animals. "When your pet has finished its business, do yours by cleaning it up! It's the law!" scold the cards.

Of course, there are fines of $150 for not cleaning up after your pet, but they are rarely enforced.

In some cases, downtown property managers have started issuing fines to to tenants in the their buildings who refuse to pick up their dog's droppings, according to a recent Tampa Tribune article.

Lynda Remund, director of district operations at the Tampa Downtown Partnership, told the paper, "We've have guides who have witnessed this happening and told the owner to clean it up, only to be told that, 'It's your job to clean it up!'"

"Well," replies Remund, "guess what? It's not!"

Somehow, as the nation struggles to heal its housing markets, I find it difficult to think that the folks at Treasury or FHA or the too-big-to-fail banks are giving much thought to the potential poo problem that has arisen in downtown Tampa. Maybe they should. Who better than our government officials and esteemed CEOs to deal with poo?

Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and co-author of the book, "No Time To Think-The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle." He has written about real -estate related issues for several years. This is his very first post about poo!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Livingston Roberts painting

Sometimes I'm moved to give a quick and easy free appraisal on things. I don't know why, but I do.

Here's an example, one of the trials and tribulations faced by dealers and collectors in general. People think we are all liars.

I'll just post the 3 or 4 emails from XYZ this morning.

In a message dated 3/30/2010 5:18:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

I have, in my home, a pair of Livingston Roberts paintings. I am looking to
sell them to the right home. Can you give me some advice on doing so?

Thank You,


On Mar 31, 2010, at 7:51 AM, wrote:

Hi. The right home is very hard to find right now due to the economy.

I need advice myself, and I work this market 24/7 !

If you can find an auction house, or use eBay, they should bring 200-300 each.

I, too, wish it were more. You should wait to sell them.


In a message dated 3/31/2010 10:09:34 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

Oh my! Thank you for the info.
Things must be really bad right now, since less than 2 months ago Al Black told us we were looking at 5K per painting! I guess Things change fast. Thanks again for your time.

No, XYZ, nothing has changed.

I could just say "Most of the market knows he's a "scoundrel", and leave it at that.

Instead you get this:

Al Black went to prison for several years for some kind of financial deceit.
Now he's out and he's putting out a public image as an angel. Facts.

You get straight plain English from here. Some people call me a know-it-all.

Al was using the theory of "strategic prevarication", a course they teach at Harvard Law School. Or maybe someone misinformed him. Period.

I have nothing against Al Black. I find him to be a likable aggressive businessman.

He didn't know his work was printed in full color in the NY Times until I personally showed it to him last February in The Safety Harbor Museum. No one had thought to inform him for eight years. So, I too, have met and spoken with Al Black.

It theoretically psychologically makes his paintings worth more to whomever may be listening if he embellishes market values.

At the absolute peak of the market 4-5 years ago, your two were worth about 1250.00 apiece, closer to 1000, but never even close to 5000.
I have bought and sold several pairs just like them, and seen maybe a hundred similar, so I know peak market results for a fact.

Al Black wasn't there at that time, he was busy.

Al would like you to believe that his own paintings are certainly worth many thousands as well, his old ones, but especially the ones he painted yesterday. Any amateur who knows how to spell Google can find auction records for any of these paintings with very little trouble, by any of the highwaymen.

The truth lies there, in public records, as well as in what I'm telling you.

I don't really blame Al for it, in a way, because it makes good greedy business sense to try to sell high. File that under sales approach in your business file. Embellishing would be a legal term for it.

Don't hold it against me for telling you the truth. Your paintings are very nice, obviously original, and they appeal to my eye. We couldn't call them masterpieces by Livingston Roberts, however.
I only wish (harder than even you, maybe) that your beloved paintings were worth closer to 5000 apiece.

And things are really bad right now, you're right about that.

I appreciate your thanks, and I have given you even more personal free time out of that appreciation.

I'll make you famous, too.
I am going to post a form of our emails in my blog, but I won't use your name or address.

You can be XYZ.

I try to stay away from the negative parts of this market when I post stuff, but I'm not afraid to call a silver-tongued devil a silver-tongued devil.

And, as you found out, sometimes I give free appraisals.



XYZ was very respectful and sent the following response the next day.
I appreciate that and thank her publicly. Here it is:

I love getting the truth even if it hurts (since hubby has been out of
work for one year this very day). Integrity is very important to me so
I apprecate your information. My husband has a computer repair
business that we are trying to grow in these hard times. So I
understand fully and apprecate your giving me a free appraisal. We are
inexperinced with this stuff so your help was takin with open ears. ;-)
I will keep on plugging and you have a blessed rest of the week.
Thanks again for your time.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Harold Newton's work

Ah, gentle readers, here's a pretty one. You know how almost everybody loves "them red trees, them Poinsettias, that what you call 'em ? "

Well, almost.......

Gaze upon a classic Harold masonite Indian River Flamboyant while I think about how to arrange my arrogant classic know-it-all comments.

Stay tuned, Smitty..........

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Highwaymen art in West Palm

Yup, heading over there today for set-up.

There's a map on my website for the Fairgrounds on Southern.

click on show schedule.


Bring me stuff, too, if you're coming.

Avonlea Antique Mall
Apr. 24 - Highwaymen Art Show
Apr. 24 - Highwaymen Art Show
Join us Saturday, April 24 from 11 am to 5:00 pm for the First Annual Avonlea Antique Mall Highwaymen and Florida Art Show. Admission is FREE.
The show will feature Bob LeBlanc, Florida Art Connoisseur & Specialist, who will provide us with FREE oral evaluations on Florida Art.
Also, Catherine Enns, author of the book "The Journey of the Highwaymen" will join us for a book signing from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm.
In addition, we will have an extensive variety of Florida Art and Memorabilia on display and for sale throughout the mall.
This event is a MUST for all collectors. See you there!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Joe Biden speaks in real terms.

He showed the proper respect by calling him Mr. President.
He could have called him something else, eh ?
After all, they're buddies.

Someone on TV just said he's in hot water. Grow up, America.
He didn't mean for it to go public.

There is not a more powerful adjective in the English language. It gets your attention.

From AOL (because that's the easiest to cut/paste).

Biden Drops F-Bomb at Health Care Bill Signing

(March 23) -- Few Americans would argue that today's signing of health care reform legislation into law wasn't a big deal. The choice of adjectives used to describe the passage of the new law, however, is a matter of fierce dispute.Unfortunately for Joe Biden, an open mic at the White House signing ceremony captured the vice president's chosen adjective loud and clear. In an aside to President Barack Obama after introducing him to the cheering audience assembled in the East Room, Biden let fly with a characteristic, off-the-cuff assessment of the moment:"Mr. President, this is a big f---ing deal," Biden said.

I'll leave it at that in case it offends some of you more sensitive folks, silly as that seems to me.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Davy Crockett had to deal with highwaymen, didn't he ?

So, rest in peace, Fess Parker.

You younger folks don't even know what I'm talking about, but when I was seven years old, the brightest stars in the sky came diectly from Walt Disney and his new television program. Can you even imagine TV in black and white ?

Didn't matter, our imaginations made all the fireworks at the beginning of the show seem like they were in living color.

"When you wish upon a star,
makes no difference who you are,
when you wish upon a star,
your dreams come true."

Followed by, (after the inevitable commercial),

" Born on a mountain top in Tennessee,
greenest state in the land of the free,
raised in the woods so's he knew every tree,
kilt him a b'ar,
when he was only three.
Davy Crockett,
king of the wild frontier."

Stupid Tennessee people calling a bear a bar, but I got past that.

And I knew a three year old couldn't kill a puppy, let alone a bear.

Lies, but whatever. Disney showing us what we better get used to here in good old America..

From Wikipedia:
“The Ballad of Davy Crockett” was introduced on the very first episode of “Disneyland” on Oct. 27, 1954, and was dashed together in about 20 minutes by Tom Blackburn, the script writer for the series, who had never written a song before, and George Bruns, the head staff composer for the Disney organization. Mr. Disney himself suggested that the words of the song be used to move the plot along. “The lyrics will pick it up for the kids,” he said. “It’s what I call a comic-book approach.”

The greatest program of all time was the Legend of Davy Crockett, presented by Disney, and starring Fess Parker as Davy Crockett and Buddy Ebson as his sidekick, Georgie Russell and premiered the day before my seventh birthday.
It was probably sponsored by Chevrolet.

"See the U S A,
in your Chev-ro-lay,
America's the greatest land of all.."

I wanted a coon-skin cap, but my folks wouldn't allow it. At least they let me spend the earnings that I got bicycling around Waltham picking up and redeeming two cent bottles and cans on Davy Crockett bubblegum cards. See, I've always been an entrepreneur. Looking back, and tying this dribble into business, that was when I learned about diversification in a collectible market. Before that I only collected baseball cards. But I digress.

Anyway, Davy could kick anyone's ass, and Georgie had his back. Sweet relationship. Man love. Yeah, I went for that at the age of seven. There were no stinky girls in this program.

Only truth, justice, and the American way........... Wait.. .....That was Superman.

I loved these two characters as though they were real. I lived outside of Boston, but these guys made me want to move to Tennessee, but back a hundred years, and be their third sidekick. Just give me a knife and a long rifle, I could live in the woods.

Maybe I should do just that right now, eat squirrels and birds and stop worrying about sales and money.

Again I digress. Call it stream of consciousness. Whatever, no one reads this anyway.

It was truly a great show, Sunday nights, and I was nothing less than ecstatic when I lay down on the floor in front of the TV to see it every week.

Those damn bloodthirsty Indians (they were evil in the 1950's, not nice like today when we need them for legal gambling) couldn't beat Davy and his crew. Mike Fink and his semi-amusing, but cut throat river pirate guys couldn't beat them in a fight or a race, even when the bad guys cheated, like we all knew they would. I drew endless pictures of those crazy looking boats and their crews poling it down the river.

Alas, finally Davy was overrun by Mexicans, but it took thousands of them, attacking the Alamo.
He had his chance to escape, but, by God, he stuck it out and fought for what was RIGHT.

Anyone see any parallels there to life on our southwest borders today ?

Fess Parker re-appeared a few years later as Daniel Boone in a new TV series, but I totally rejected it, refused to watch. How could Davy Crockett also be Dan'l Boone ? Ridiculous.

So, rest in peace, Fess Parker, my earliest childhood hero,

and say hello to my adult hero, George Carlin for me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Breaking news.....the rich get richer.

Copy/paste from AOL this morning.

Sometimes I just can't help it, posting this kind of stuff, as I struggle along, trying to keep up with monthly bills.

I am writing this for the regular people, the non-millionaires, a group in which I am solidly ensconced. I am one of you.

Here's a real shocker (he sarcastically wrote). The rich have gotten richer.

(March 10) -- As America's economy starts to recover, membership in the millionaires' club is also rising again. After taking a dive in 2008, the number of U.S. households with a net worth of at least $1 million (not including the primary residence) grew 16 percent last year to 7.8 million, according to Spectrem Group. That number peaked in 2007 at 9.2 million, then fell to 6.7 million the next year as stock prices and real estate values tumbled.The super-rich got richer last year too. The number of households worth $5 million or more increased 17 percent to 980,000.Spectrem Group President George H. Walper Jr. called the growth in America's population of millionaires "welcome news for an economy still working to recover."Wall Street's rebound was a key to driving the ranks of millionaires higher, said Tom Taulli on Blogging Stocks. He predicted that wealthy investors will eventually get more aggressive and spur greater economic growth.However, a rising tide might not lift all boats equally. In his analysis of the Spectrem report, The Atlantic's Daniel Indiviglio noted that "the recovery thus far has been better for wealthier than poorer Americans." Spectrem, a Chicago-based financial consulting firm, bases its report on its annual survey of 3,000 households, which has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

I hope it doesn't seem like I'm whining. I know everybody prefers a winner, that's just the way it is. The "Image is Everything" theory truly works for an entrepreneur.
I have done everything I can afford to do to put up a great image by dealing with the truth and nothing but the truth, (so help me God.)

Maybe I should explain just what it is that I actually do. Bare my soul, so to speak.
If it backfires, so be it. I mean, how much worse can it get than to invest (they are not free) in three consecutive shows in February and have a total of $ 250.00 in gross sales ?

I am a one man band. I pick the shows to do and the hotels to stay in. I load the van, drive it, unload it, set up the display, do the buying, the selling, the trading, load the van back up and drive home again. I'm not getting any younger and this hurts. I live on ibuprofin.

OK, that's whining. Cut me a little slack this one time.

First of all, every penny of income for me is derived from sales of the product or services I offer. My opportunity to sell comes from exposure on the internet and at these weekend shows around Florida where I display my inventory. I've been doing this since 1995. Prior to this, since 1973, I was involved in the rare coin market, where I did the same thing, with a slightly different collectible product, while flying to coin shows around the country.

We all know, or should know, that collectible markets are ruled by the basic tenets of supply and demand. The better items I deal in mostly have a fixed supply (deceased artists) and a variable demand. When demand increases, prices, or values increase. Likewise, when demand is down, values follow. Negative news, yes, and I've been begged to pretend otherwise, but I deal only in the truth. Demand is down for the type of art that formerly was in demand by "everyman", the more affordable works. With few exceptions, values are down for both better and affordable works of art.

Define "affordable". It's only my opinion, but for a point of reference, I'm saying that these are items I offer for sale priced at less than $ 3,000.00. These include decorative framed prints and original paintings from $ 15.00 and up. They simply are not selling in today's economy. At a recent show in Tampa, a customer was attracted to an unsigned oil painting I had on display with a sticker price on it of $ 125.00. I mean, it's a NICE one, too. This customer was mesmerized, I quietly watched as she stared at it for 2 or 3 minutes, then I approached her. I initiated the conversation with something innocuous like, "Isn't that a pretty one ?" "Oh, yes", she said, "it matches my decor perfectly, I know just where I would put it." Putting on my "closer's cap", looking for another "yes", I said, "Well, never mind the sticker price, I would really love for you to have it to enjoy in your home, so if you'll agree to purchase it, I'll let you have it for
$ 75.00."

"I'll have to think about it," she said, and off she ran, never to return. She was "everyman". These are the items which we successfully sold 10 or 15 pieces at every show a few years ago.

This, gentle reader, is not exactly evidence of the economy starting to improve, eh ?

We are stuck in the doldrums, and until everyman begins to loosen up a bit, we're gonna stay there.

Again I say, demand is down, prices have followed, it's time to buy.

The opportunity is staring you in the face. The economy will improve when everyman begins to spend again. Prices will follow upwards and everyman will be rewarded along with the wealthy folks who ARE NOW buying art.

Meanwhile, unless there is a change in the general malaise, the rich will continue to get richer, and our blood will flow.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

H Newton paintings for sale

First two on my website's Harold Newton page are still available, colorful masonites, nice small sizes.

Click on this: .

or copy and paste this :

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Highwaymen Money

The headline story on The Onion today.

It should be self explanatory.

U.S. Economy Grinds To Halt As Nation Realizes Money Just A Symbolic,
Mutually Shared Illusion 02.16.10

WASHINGTON—"I've spent the last 24 years in this room yelling 'Buy, buy! Sell, sell!' but what have I actually accomplished? All I've done is move arbitrary designations of wealth from one column to another," said longtime stock trader Michael Palermo.

I've spent the last forty years doing the same damn thing, just not with stocks, but rather with hard assets........

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Highwaymen information 2010 update

Here's a you tube by a fairly credible appraiser, on TV in Palm Beach County. Looks like he knows what he's talking about.


As confident, credible and as knowledgeable as he seems, he has made some statements that need to be corrected if you're interested in accurate information.

There are sprinklings of MISINFORMATION in the video, although Mr. Lukes did get some things correct. Even though he comes across as an expert on highwaymen paintings, it's pretty sloppy over-all work at best.

Oh, God, I'm so judgmental.

These things he tells us :

1. "Most are signed on the front or on the back".
..................well...yeah, this is fairly accurate, most are signed on the front, though rarely on the back. Many unsigned ones, and there are many, have the artist's rubber stamp inked on the back. Hair, Baker, Carroll immediately come to mind as examples I've seen of this practice.

Exception : Lately, the last several years in particular, many of the artists have made themselves available at shows and "highwayman celebrations" around the state. A along with the craze for collecting highwayman autographs in some of the several books about this art, collectors have brought vintage signed pieces for the artists to sign AGAIN and they usually will sign on the back (the verso in art speak). Mary Ann Carroll will usually add a "God bless U" to her signature. I brought her one of her early unsigned ones to sign several years ago, when the Grant Mall was owned and operated honorably by the "Dynamic Duo" of Chris and Terry. She "God Blessed" me on the back. I liked it. We can all use a little blessing now and then, eh, gentle readers ?

2. " The highwaymen began in the forties and are still painting today."
......................well. ...........Most of the LIVING highwaymen are still painting today. But that's nit-picking, so I won't hammer him for that.. BUT how many articles and books have been written stating that they began in 1954 or 55 with Harold Newton and Alfred Hair meeting up with A E Backus ? A hundred ? Sloppy, sloppy research Mr Lukes. Unforgivable.

3. All are painted on board, and the board he uses for his example is a Gibson on upson board ( I assume judging from the front. )
..............well..............Most vintage pieces from the 60's to the early 80's were on upson, and most are found in crown molding frames, however early pieces by Hair and Newton were often on artists' canvasboard, or even stretched canvases. When the Upson Manufacturing Co. in NY discontinued the manufacture of their board, most of the artists switched to masonite.

Harold Newton, in particular, painted on anything. He would buy thrift store frames and paint his own painting right on top of whatever painting or print was already in that frame. I have bought, sold, and seen many of these, perhaps a dozen. Last year I sold one by Harold that was painted directly on the GLASS of a thrift store frame. The H Newton I sold to Geoff Cook in 2002 that graces the cover of the first highwaymen video documentary was painted on a thin piece of cardboard.

I met a woman at one of my shows whose husband was a used car dealer. He bartered with Harold for a car or a pick up truck, I forget which. He was allowed to make his payments with paintings. When the day came that he was several payments late, the dealer began to look for him with the idea of re-possessing the vehicle, and eventually found him. The vehicle had been painted with beach scenes filled with naked girls running around in the sand. "Girls Gone Wild" decades ahead of its time. The lady seemed credible to me, there would be no reason for her to make that up, but I always forget to ask Harold's contemporaries if they remember that.

4. Mr.Lukes appraised the painting shown at about $ 750.00 and he is amazingly accurate. I don't know what year this video was shot, but in the year 2010, he is right on the money, which is all anyone cares about anyway, right ? What is my painting worth TODAY ?

Update 02/18/10

Be sure to click on the comments. I got hate-mail.

I absolutely LOVE hate-mail. It seems to come from people who....
1. can't handle the truth.
2. can't construct a proper sentence.
3. don't realize that they are exposing their own inadequacies.
4. rely on spell check to spell anonymous.

Please, sir, may I have another ?
.......................................sincerely, Scruffy LeBlog.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Highwaymen videos, found while surfing you tube

While the reason I have a blog, or even a website
( )
is to generate purchases or sales of vintage highwaymen art, I try to continue educating the public with links to informative highwaymen stuff.

This morning, before I head up to Inverness to set up the show this weekend, I found a story about the opening reception of the exhibition I attended last Thursday at Nova University in Davie. There was a little song, a little dance, but not a lttle seltzer down your pants. Remember the eulogy at the funeral for the clown on the Mary Tyler Moore show, anyone ?

The reception was well attended, standing room only, by over a hundred new faces.

I loved that part. New faces.

I didn't mind a couple of glasses of red wine, either. Made me feel sophisticated.

So here's a brief write-up in the Sun Sentinal which also has a link to the President of Nova getting some face time.,0,7637732.story

If you go see the exhibition, the first painting on the left is an early canvasboard Harold Newton that I bought and sold last year. So many Harolds I sold that I wish I could have afforded to keep, this is one of them.

Then, surfing around you-tube, I found a nice little interview with Mary Ann Carroll.

And a pretty cool one featuring Robert Butler.

Then a longer one ( 7 minutes ) with both of them featured.

Enjoy them, gentle readers, I did.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Highwaymen, NOT.....Just learned this today.......

.......and it relates to my opinion stated on Dec 3, which follows :

Tiger's in Florida, right ? And in the news, right?
And I imagine most everyone has been inundated with the story of the Thanksgiving evening car crash, on private property, in Windmere Florida. If you follow sports news, as I do, you can't escape it. Personally, I'm mostly disgusted by the "enquiring minds want to know" atmosphere that seems to be permeating our society. I don't watch Inside Edition, or TMZ, or any of that other crap that glorifies celebrity gossip and scandal. I'm big on personal privacy. Real big.

Here's what I learned this morning, I imagine it's true, I didn't check :

Did you know that Tiger made the front page of the New York Post for 20 consecutive days after Thanksgiving? The previous record was 19 consecutive days dedicated to the 9/11 attacks.

The Big Rotten Apple. High society, eh ?

Hey, wait, I glorifying celebrity gossip and scandal ?

Nah...I'm just sayin', it ain't right.