To: hwymnbnb <email@example.com>
> Sent: Sun, May 20, 2012 5:03 am
> Subject: signed al black
> do you know why there are paintings on your website listed under an
> artist’s name, but underneath it says “signed al black.
> I am curious if there is a back story to this. thank you, sincerely,
> anonymous. ps...I found your website VERY informative!
> Date: Sun, 20 May 2012 07:36:02 -0400
> anonymous, thanks for the kind words.
> Al Black has a website now, if it's still up and running. I haven't
> checked for a month or two.
> Before he started painting along with his buddies and relatives in the
> 1970's, he was their silver tongued salesman. He had that knack, the
> gift of gab, so to speak.
> He would take a dozen or so unsigned paintings from the actual artists,
> mostly Willie Daniels, and haul them off to his favorite selling spots.
> He'd spread them out and when someone picked one out and asked, "How
> much is this one?" he'd then say, "Oh, yes ma'am, you have very good
> taste. That's my most valuable painting. Would you like me to sign it
> for you?"
> He'd whip out his ball point pen and scratch his own sig onto the dry
> I've sold paintings with Black's signature on Hezekiah Baker's, Ike
> Knight's and Roy McLendon's work.
> In fact, at the first Safety Harbor Museum Highwaymen Symposium about a
> dozen years ago, a lady brought a gorgeous McL sunset pine tree
> portrait to the show to get an idea of the value.
> As a dealer, I spotted it from across the crowd, approached the lady
> and said, "What a beautiful McLendon, (as it was one of Roy's better
> quality ones, just drop dead gorgeous), you're lucky to have found such
> a nice one by Mr McLendon."
> In her naivety, she got very upset, gave me a look like "who's this
> know-nothing jerk" and scolded me, "It's NOT a McLendon, you're wrong,
> it's by Al Black", and pointed out the signature on the lower right.
> See, she didn't know me. If she did, she'd realize that I'm NEVER wrong.
> Roy's usual pine trees have a green foreground like most highwaymen
> paintings do. This one had more of a brownish color to it. The lower
> right corner had a bright green triangle painted over the brown color
> where Roy would usually sign, and sure enough, it had Al's classic ball
> point scratched on that little spot.
> I told her that I knew what I was talking about and called over Gary
> Monroe for confirmation. You probably know who he is. He's the guy who
> got the first book published about these guys in 2001. We were friendly
> at the time, but despite all the help I gave him as he was doing his
> research, he never acknowledged me in his book. As I grew to know him
> better, and discussed him with others who had worked closely with him,
> decided to simply eliminate him from my consciousness. We happily
> totally ignore each other to this day.
> But, I digress. He served my purpose that February day, came over and
> confirmed that it was one of Roy's.
> For the finest book on this art, I strongly recommend Catherine Enns'
> "Journey of the Highwaymen".
> Since I turned your simple question into something long and possibly
> boring and snarky, with your permission I will post your question and
> my response in one of my blogs.
> So please let me know if you and your email address would like to be
> cell 727 809 1691