Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A Couple New Acquisitions

As promised in my last post, here are a couple of shots of the paintings I bought at the auction last Saturday at my beloved Degre Auction House in Westfield, just a few miles south of the Last House. I don't drink, smoke or gamble, but I have a weakness for auctions and for pictures - especially landscapes and almost any kind of print that looks like it dates from the 1920s or '30s. My taste is, I realize, arguably bad. I like a lot of contemporary art, but when it comes to things I actually buy for myself, I tend to the "chocolate box" end of the spectrum. I don't like the girly stuff - fields of flowers or turn of the century ladies in white dresses, shading their eyes against the glare of the sun. I like for my subjects animals, houses, buildings (e.g., churches,schools) boats, trees, occasionally kids, and an overall package (frame and picture) that looks old. These are my downfall. Total cost for these two paintings, both oil on board and unsigned as near as I can tell, was $50; I liked the one with the deer best but I bid $25 for choice and took the pair. The colors are very slightly garish. The blue of twilight tends to turquoise. I found a label, very old looking, on one frame identifying Kaufmann's Art Department. Kaufmann's started in 1877 in Pittsburgh but expanded throughout the northeast and eventually became part of the behemoth May Company. I got them home and hung them immediately. I was happy with the result. I bought another little watercolor of a house, very naive, but also dark with age and in uglyish frame and mat. I would like to get it cleaned someday. It has glass in front of it and wouldn't photograph well but if there is a mass clamor I'll try. In other news, there is the weather, toujours the weather. March went sunny and smiling for about 5 hours yesterday. We managed to get out into it with our friends who have a beautiful farm in Derby, Vermont. One must count one's blessings. Unfortunately, that changed overnight and it is as grim as grim can be right now - rain and wind and snow and sleet. Will this winter ever end? Spring, according to the calendar, arrives overnight tonight - along with six to 12 inches of snow. I am going to try and post a little video of our Derby farm visit yesterday. I have had mixed luck with the video function but, here goes.