Tag: painting

White-Tailed Tropicbird Dec 1975

There is nothing I love more than finding an original piece of art. This is a 5 x 7 “Bradshaw Originals” oil painting, done by Ann Bradshaw in December of 1975 – just a little over 44 years ago. At that time, it had a starting price of $12.00…so obviously it HAS to be worth over a million dollars today, right? Lol.

On that back, Ann wrote: “White-Tailed Tropicbird” (so that’s what I’m calling it). I paid $1.99 for it. Total bargain for an Ann Bradshaw original, if you ask me.

I tried to Google Ann but haven’t been able to find anything about her art online. Pretty sure that makes it even more rare!

Regardless of what it’s worth, it’s priceless to me. That’s the point of this blog. Art is whatever you want it to be. I hope you find something special out there soon, too!

If you like it, you should buy it.

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you probably already know there isn’t much rhyme or reason to what I buy…or why I buy it. And I can’t speak for anyone else, but I would say that if you wanted to start your own art collection you *could* hit up an art show or hope to get lucky and find an original in a thrift shop (as those are both viable options). Or you might try looking around places like OfferUp or LetGo. You’d be surprised how many artists put their own pieces on sites like that.

Take this piece, for instance:

When I saw it, I fell in love. The artist listed it on LetGo for $100 and said it was an acrylic and mixed media piece. I offered him $75 and he was like, “sure.”

In my last few posts, I’ve written things like “even though this isn’t necessarily my aesthetic, I still bought it” or “doesn’t really fit my style, but I liked it anyway.” With this, those statements do not apply. I was beyond obsessed with it. It’s big, bold, bright, urban, street, has attitude and personality…everything I like.

I’m calling it “Flamingo King” and I bought it from a guy named Genaro Rivas in Tacoma, WA. I’m actually thinking about reaching back out to him to commission another piece…something similar, but perhaps with a political perspective? Haven’t decided yet. The point is, I liked it and I bought it. It is, to date, my most-prized acquisition. So go look around – on Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, apps, etc. – because you never know when you just might find your favorite piece of all time.



Place Where the Gods Come and Go…

If you’re like me, you may have never heard of Navajo sandpaintings but now that you’ve seen one you gotta admit…they’re pretty incredible, huh?

The Navajo word for sandpaintings means “place where the gods come and go.

Sandpaintings’ use four principal colors: white, blue, yellow, and black. They remind Navajos of the Four Sacred Mountains bordering their traditional homeland. These mountains and some of their associations are:

White Shell Mountain (Sierra Blanca Peak, Colorado): white-east-dawn
Turquoise Mountain (Mount Taylor, New Mexico): blue-south-day
Abalone Shell Mountain (Mount Humphreys, Arizona): yellow-west-twilight
Coal Mountain (Hesperus Peak, Colorado): black-north-darkness

http://www.collectorsguide.com/fa/fa083.shtml

The sandpainting has been used for centuries in religious rituals, including healing ceremonies performed by Navajo medicine men. A sandpainting for a ceremony is made on the ground in the ceremonial hogan and destroyed at the end of the ritual.

In order to preserve this long-standing tradition, in the late 1940’s Navajos began to create permanent sandpaintings, changing the design slightly to protect the religious significance when these paintings were shown publicly. Pictorial sandpaintings which reflect the Navajo environment and lifestyle are also made. Today sandpaintings are made by slowly trickling sand through the hand onto epoxy-covered particle boards, using sand made from naturally colored crushed rock, stone, and minerals for the different shades and colors.

http://www.penfieldgallery.com/sandPaintings/sandPaintings.html

While I don’t know the story behind this exact piece, I’m happy that I now  know more about the rituals performed and history behind the Navajo sanpaintings.

The Birthplace of Beethoven…

Admittedly, I only bought this because it was small and cute; a little piece that could fill in an awkward space on a gallery wall. At just 4″ x 4″ total, the actual print probably only measures half of that.

On the back, it appears this was purchased in 2001 to commemorate Steve Andy’s visit to Bonn…

I’m embarrassed to admit that I thought Bonn was in France. It’s not. Turns out, Bonn is actually in Germany and is known as the birthplace of Beethoven. Also, fun fact, no one really knows when Beethoven was born. It was sometime in December of 1770, but the date of his birth is not recorded. However, since it was customary for baptisms to take place within 24 hours of birth, it’s likely he was born on December 16th.

Anyways, I hope Steve Andy or Steve and Andy (if that’s meant to be two different people) enjoyed his/their trip to Bonn. And I’m glad, 17 years later, this little souvenir found its way to a store shelf in Seattle.

The Ancient Kingdom of Mithila…

Besides pieces that are fun, bold and bright…I’m also drawn to travel-themed art and/or anything that comes with a really good story. I bought these two together because, while they don’t necessarily fit my aesthetic, I love what they represent.

These were hand made in India using fingers, twigs, nib-pens and paint brushes. They are identified with the Madhubani District, and are (therefore) referred to as Madhubani paintings.

Because they are devotional in theme, they depict scenes from the ancient epics and legends…and are rich with Vedic and Tantrik symbolism. They are simplistic manifestations of the philosophical heights achieved by Indian civilization.

The point is, you can be inspired by anything you see at any time. I got these both for less than $8 and I think they are worth WAY MORE than that…

Dear Kelsey…

Dear Kelsey,

You and I have never met but yesterday I saw your incredible artwork at a thrift shop in downtown Seattle. I loved your use of color and, of course, I’m a big fan of any painting that includes a dog! But I was in a bit of a hurry and left the store without buying anything.

Then, last night as I was lying in bed scrolling through Twitter I saw a Tweet from Lin-Manual Miranda:

Instantly, your pieces came back to mind and I wished I had purchased them.

This morning I thought, “Hmmm…maybe after I run my errands I’ll swing back by and see if they are still there.” But as I had feared, I completed three full laps around the store and couldn’t find them anywhere. I was about to give up and surrender to the golden rule of thrift shopping: If you don’t buy it when you see it, someone else will. But just as I was about to leave, I decided to check the front corner one last time – perhaps the guy who had been blocking the bottom shelf while looking at the assortment of vinyl’s had finally moved on and I could make sure they weren’t accidentally mixed in with the stacks of records. 

YAHTZEE!

I couldn’t believe it, there they were…

I grabbed them and triumphantly marched up to the register where I learned that all pictures were 50% off – which meant I got both of your pieces for $3.30. Should you ever stumble upon this blog post and decide you want them back, let me know and maybe we can cut a deal 🙂

I have no idea when you did these, how old you were then, or are now…but I sincerely hope you are still painting because they are fantastic and I think you are extremely talented. I am a big fan of your work, Kelsey!

Sincerely,

Megan

Once Upon a Time in Barcelona…

In 2017 I left North America for the first time. With the exception of Canada and Mexico, I had never been anywhere outside of the United States. I was long overdue to get lost in a foreign city, wandering down unfamiliar streets and imagining what my life would be like if I lived there. I had set-up a few “fare alerts” through various travel sites and when a cheap flight to Barcelona popped up late night, I booked it on a whim.

Upon learning that I was FINALLY taking the trip I had been talking about for years, my best friend from high school bought a ticket as well. (Side note: nothing can test a 20-year friendship quite like spending a week together in a foreign country…but don’t worry, we made it).

Barcelona was everything I had dreamed of and more. As this isn’t a travel blog I will spare you the details of experiencing the sights, sounds and tastes of La Boqueria or enumerating our afternoon at the mountainside monastery of Montserrat but I will say that I definitely left a piece of my heart in that city.

Before I left, I bought this little painting off an artist on Las Rambla.

For about $15 U.S. dollars, I brought back my own little slice of Spain and every time I look at this painting I am right back in Barcelona.