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.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

highwaymen repro listed H Newton eBay

Just so you know, here's the newest misleading eBay listing. We'll see how long this lasts.

Here's the link.:

It is what it is, depending on what your definition of "is" is.

With apologies to President Clinton. (and we know what he's getting probably right about now, don't we, gentle readers ?)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Highwaymen paintings info.....

I spend a lot of Internet time surfing around for highwaymen news. I figure I should know everything that's going on, after all, I work this market 24/7 and have since 1995.

I came upon this on Monroe's Gray Brewer website the other day. I'm sure you're aware that Monroe wrote the first book about the highwaymen, published in 2001, almost 10 years ago. Where does the time go ?

Here's a copy/paste for you :
Gary Monroe literally wrote the book on the Highwaymen (more than one book actually), and has become recognized as the leading expert on Highwaymen history and interpretation. His site has an excellent viewing gallery of Highwaymen paintings, information about his books on the Highwaymen and other South Florida subjects, as well as collections of his critically acclaimed photography.

History and interpretation of the highwaymen, I'll give him that.
As long as we know, gentle readers, who is recognized as the the leading expert on evaluation and interpretation of the highwaymen art MARKET. We DO know who that is, do we not ?

Here's another from Monroe's other website:
Gary Monroe has given 200 public and private lectures about the Highwaymen and self-taught Floridian art throughout the state and beyond, having earned the decisive voice in interpreting these interesting and often challenging artworks.

Impressive, however..............................
Yours truly had given literally hundreds upon hundreds of public and private lectures about the highwaymen from 1995 to 2001. In those six years, before the publication of that first book, I estimate my antique show presence at 216 shows, 3 different shows a month times 6 years. Did almost every monthly Piccadilly, Mt. Dora, Scott's in Atlanta and many more throughout Florida. At those 216 shows, most of them 3 days long, showing newspaper and magazine clippings written by Fitch and Klinkenberg stapled on a cork-board as proof, I have told the highwaymen story, as we knew it at the time, at least five times per day. Over a thousand mini seminars, informing the public of the history, the interpretation, and the fair market value of whatever I had for sale in inventory at the time.
The motive was (and still is) an attempt at actual commerce. Buy or sell one of these interesting paintings, right ? Try to create commerce.
In the last ten years, the mini seminar count is easily in the thousands. I've averaged the same approximately 3 shows a month for a total of 360 more shows.
Add them all up, we got about 600 shows. Reality could be higher. I'm too lazy to go through all my stuff and actually count them, so I estimate. 600 shows, 5 lectures a show, YOU do the math. That's a lot of lectures.
And still, I meet 2 or 3 people each show who have never heard of the highwaymen. Not surprising when one considers the size of the population, but it shows you how we still have a long way to go to reach the public with the story.
Even with the publication currently standing at 3 Backus books (Peterson, Firestone, Peterson), 3 highwaymen books (Monroe, Beatty, Enns), 2 Harold Newton books (Monroe, Humphries), the Buckner brothers book (Ellis Jr.), and the Al Black Prison Pictures (Monroe).
Even with three video documentaries sold to National Public Broadcasting, which, by the way, should be airing on local PBS stations this month for Black History Month.
Even with color articles in the NY Times, LA Times, Boston Globe and even People Magazine (2003) this market has only scratched the surface.

Investment potential in these vintage paintings that can be so beautiful in your home while we out-wait this pathetic economy ?

Here's a copy/paste from some self-help wise man at AOL aimed at entrepreneurs. I think of myself as an entrepreneur, so I read things like this. It couldn't hurt.

Find ways to charge a premium

Get the vision

Use long-term thinking

Invest. In the recession, there has been too much emphasis on saving money, which can often be short-sighted. Instead, you need to make investments to make your offering standout. True, this is far from easy in a tough economy. However, if done right, the payoff can be huge.

I have damn near forty years as an entrepreneur in a buy and sell market. Supply and demand, basic economics, learned and earned on the street dealing with the public. I agree with all that insight.

The better works by the deceased artists are certainly worth a premium.

The vision is finding new customers to replace those with no wall space.

Long term means believing the values will improve when the economy cycles upward.

The investment (for me) is time, money and effort.

The investment for you, gentle reader, should be clear.
Demand is down, now is a great buying opportunity.