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 :