Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Day of the Dead

Today I was at Crossings at Carnegie,  a wonderful little art center in Zumbrota where I sell some of my paintings, and as I was leaving I caught these two figures out of the corner of my eye.  I just love them and had to purchase them--fortunately I had just sold a couple paintings so could sort of justify spending some money.

The figures are ceramic, red earthenware, and fairly large - about 2 1/2 feet tall.  They are very heavy.  Their heads are on long nails inserted into the top of the necks, so the heads can swivel. I am sure they must have been created in Mexico. So much personality --they  give me much delight.

This pair will be perfect to preside over our upcoming Day of the Dead feast! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Fine Art Action Figure!

This morning's thrift store find was a   "Fine Arts Action Figure" --is that an oxymoron?  I was so tickled--artists are not usually portrayed in toys and collectibles!

This action figure is Vincent Van Gogh - still enclosed in the original, very yellowed packaging.  He comes equipped with an easel, his work-in-progress, paints, brush and palette. I examined him closely but both of his ears are intact --seems like he would have been significantly more authentic with just one ear. Plus, he might have appealed to G.I.Joe-loving boys more.

I did an Internet search to see what other artists are immortalized as action figures--I would love a crevice-faced Georgia O'Keefe or exotic Frida Kahlo figure, but no, I could not find evidence that any other artist action figures exist, not even Picasso or Savador Dali.  Too bad this idea did not take off--these artists would all make awesome action figures!  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Whistling Barefoot Boy with Apples

While  scouting cool stuff for my farm store, I found this classic vintage framed photo of a boy in overalls with a basket of apples. His lips are pursed - I guess he is whistling. It looks to me like a hand-colored  photograph.  In tiny white letters on the bottom left it says "Copyright 1901, Campbell Art Co, Elizabethtown NJ.  In the right-hand corner  it says 276, G.W. Wacce, Phila.  Perhaps Wacce is the photographer.

In an Internet search  I found a site devoted to the Campbell Art Co, and have sent them an inquiry; I'd love to know more about this image.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Enamored by Enamel

Sometimes my eye is magnetically drawn to some object at the thrift store and I know it is a great find, not just my quirky aesthetic, and I cannot fathom why somebody else hasn't already snatched it up. Like this large plate.

It is enameled copper, signed by the artist. The airbrushed, kaleidoscopic flower design says 70's to me, but then I grew up in a town where the 60's didn't probably arrive until the 70's.

I made out the first name of the signature as Miguel, and after a web search, found a Mexican enamel artist named Miguel Angel Pineda. Yes! The signatures matched! And one of the enamel bowls pictured in this article has the same stenciled design. Pineda is a Mexican artist who fostered the art of enameling in Mexico, has created many well-known religious works (including 36 enamel doors for the famous Shrine of the Virgin of Guadelupe in Mexico City that took him 3 years to create) and has exhibited all over the world. What a treasure I found!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Peaceful Pagoda

Today's sweet thrift store find was a Chinese artwork,a peaceful pagoda scene carved in intricate dimensional detail from cork. It is 9 inches by 21 inches. The deep beveled mat is wrapped in silk. I did a bit of web research and now think this piece is from the early 1900's. It is in amazingly good shape, with just a few small crumbs of cork that have broken off. This crummy photo with reflections on the glass does not do it justice.
In this close-up you can see the detailed carving and the background painting in blue ink.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine Cat

Just in time for Valentines Day, I found this whimsical wooden cat decoration at Goodwill. When you pull on the string, hearts and a kitten pop up from behind. It was handmade; it is signed on the back and dated 1983, but I haven't been able to find any information about the artist.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Brass Creamer & Sugarbowl

I'm trying to think if I know anybody else who ever uses a creamer and sugar bowl...can't think of anyone. But I bet if they had a pretty brass set like this, they would. What is it that makes art nouveau design so appealing? This set practically screamed from the shelf that it was far too elegant and special to be at the thrift store.