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.