Help Wanted!

Posted by Posted in Antique Related, Artists & Painters, Biographical Scrapbooking Posted on 18-01-2010

I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a prolific antiques collector but I do have three or four items that belonged to my grandparents. That fact coupled with my age does insure at least one thing and that is that they are old. Old perhaps, but not necessarily of value, other than sentimental of course.

One of the items I have in my small collection is a 16” platter which appears to be hand-painted and signed. The fact that it is signed and has several identifying “maker’s marks” on the underside leads me to wonder if it actually is of some value as an antique.

Antique Plate 1(Click on photo to enlarge)

I have tried to decipher the signature and ‘Google’ my determinations but have found no information whatsoever so far. Here is a close-up of the signature…..

Antique Plate 2(Click on photo to enlarge)

If any of my visitors are so inclined, please feel free to offer an opinion as to what the name is if you will.

One of my interpretations has been Ren-o-iori Marin or Mariu. The two (2) similar but strange marks appearing in the first name are quite puzzling to me. I don’t have a clue as to whether they represent letters or some unique mark used by the artist for differentiating his signature from some other artist with a similar name. Again, any suggestions are welcome.

Also, here is a close-up photo of the marks on the bottom of the plate and again, feel free to offer any suggestions or observations.

Antique Plate 3(Click on photo to enlarge)

I don’t see a visit to the Antiques Roadshow anytime in my near future and given my lack of knowledge with respect to antiques, I tend to be leery of dealers. Of course, I suppose that if your not of a mind to sell, it is much less likely to be taken advantage of by a less than honest dealer.

Speaking of my niece….

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, Family & Friends, General Information, Photography Posted on 22-02-2009

As I mentioned in my comment to Bryant of “My Free Time” in my last post titled “Take Me Out To The Ballgame“, there was another fruit that fell from the tree of my photo session with my niece, Lori, and her mom.

Back in the mid-eighties I had become acquainted with a local artist and teacher, Mrs. Gerri Kisner, who owned an art store that I use to frequent from time to time when I needed framing mats or mat board. And….from time to time I would share some of the photographs I had taken with her and it was during one of these ‘show and tell’ moments that she saw the photo below of Lori sitting on the old barrel shown below and immediately asked if I would consider releasing it, giving her the rights for painting it. Well of course I was flattered and immediately agreed.

Lori - Black and White Original(Lori – Original Photograph)

The finished painting itself was exhibited for a time in an art museum located in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mrs. Kisner also had a quantity of large 24″x30″ ‘numbered’ prints made of the piece which sold locally at various retail outlets. I have posted a photograph of that print below. As you can easily note, she used the photograph subject as a baseline and added her own touches to compliment her painting, given the setting.

Lori - Gerri Kisner Painting(Lori – Painting by Gerri Kisner)

This has been my only experience with having one of my photographs used in the development and/or reference of an artist’s painting but as previously mentioned, certainly to this day remain flattered by the experience.

Photographing With A Scanner….

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, General Information, News & Current Events, Photography Posted on 21-01-2009

A little over a year ago while jettisoning myself through Cyberspace I happened upon some artistic work by Marsha Tudor. It was quite striking and unusual in origin. I thought initially that I was looking at photographs that surely must have been taken with quite an expensive camera and accessories. But to my ultimate amazement I found that these photographic creations were made with the use of a scanner similar somewhat to those you and I might use with our computers. I should also mention that this technique is also referred to as ‘”Scanography“.

Unlike any of Marsha’s artistic work, I actually tried the technique on a few personal things for myself, just out of curiosity. Featured below is a scan of the inside of my grandfather’s old pocket watch. The detail is quite striking. I really liked it because using the scanner you could get a very large image which allowed me to read some of the engraved printing that I would have had difficulty with otherwise. Be sure and click on the image to see it in a much enlarged version.

Grandfathers Watch - 01aInside of Grandfather’s Pocket Watch (click to enlarge image)

I also tried scanning a couple of other smaller items to include a small lapel ’service pin’ from a former employer.

Simplex Longtivity Pen - 2 YearSimplex 2-Year Longtivity Pin

My scanned items are, of course, nothing in comparison to the artistic works created by Marsha to say the least. But it helped educate me to a very small degree as to how this technique might work. And if you have some items that you would like good “photos” of you might try this technique yourself. But a WARNING! Be careful “not to scratch the glass on your scanner” or the scratch will then appear in anything you scan in the future. I just make sure I don’t let the top of my scanner touch what I am scanning if it is of a material such as metal that could scratch the glass.

A link to Marsha’s gallery has been located on my sidebar of this blog and you really need to drop by and spend some time looking at her creations. You won’t be disappointed. And while you are there be sure to read her featured biography to learn more about her creations.

PS….I would like to thank Mary Miller for dropping by and leaving her comment in the comment’s section of this post. I visited her site, Scanner Magic , and found it extremely informative on the subject of scanography so I wanted to make note of that in this post in case this technique strikes a fancy with anyone. She certainly provides an abundance of information and tutorials for anyone possibly interested in trying their hand at some scanography.

A Guido Daniele Update….

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, General Information, Nature & Wildlife, News & Current Events, Photography Posted on 03-03-2008

I recently received an email from Guido sharing a link where some of his latest hand-paintings referred to as “Handimals” were featured in the UK’s Daily Mail Newspaper & Blog. Below is the main cover for the feature article as appeared in the newspaper.

Guido Daniele - Daily Mail 2008mail

I have also included some of my favorite “Handimals” featured in the referenced article….

Guido Daniele - Daily Mail 2008mail10“The Brooding Mare”

Guido Daniele - Daily Mail 2008mail50“The Eagle Has Landed”

Guido Daniele - Daily Mail 2008mail40“The Elegant Flamingo”

Guido Daniele - Daily Mail 2008mail30“The Parrot”

Guido Daniele - Daily Mail 2008mail20“The Slithering Snake”

Also of note from the email, twenty (20) of Guido’s works have been printed on Fine Art Cotton Paper in large sizes

(100 x 140 cm) and are being offered for sale at Harrods in London from early February through the end of March.

All photos shown with permission of Guido Daniele © Guido Daniele

Congratulations Guido…

Guido Daniele HandPaintings….

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, General Information, Nature & Wildlife, News & Current Events, Photography Posted on 12-02-2008

I was quite anxious to get a response from Guido Daniele with regard to posting some of his photos of the unique “hand paintings” for which he has become well known. And having accomplished that, I would like to share just a few of my personal favorites. On his website Guido refers to these artistic creations as “Handimals”.





All photos shown with permission of Guido Daniele
© Guido Daniele

You can learn much more about Guido and see considerably more of his work by visiting his website “Guido Daniele”. I would like to thank Guido for allowing me to post these images and am sure I will share more of his work with my visitors in the near future.

Why Hugh Grant Must Surely Love Liz Taylor….

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, Celebrities & Politicians, General Information, News & Current Events Posted on 16-11-2007

Having purchased the famed Andy Warhol’s “Turquoise Liz” back in 2001 from auction at Sotheby’s New York for $3.6 million, one might think the actor “Hugh Grant” somewhat extravagant. Perhaps, however, one might rethink such an assumption after finding out that last night he offered up the subject painting at auction through Christie’s New York where it sold for a measly $23, 561, 000 and that was somewhat below the pre-sale estimate.

Turquoise Liz - 1963Turquoise Liz

The top seller at the night’s event however was a Mark Rothko from 1955 which was Untitled (Red, Blue, Orange) and sold for a whopping $34, 201, 000 which was about four-million over the pre-sale estimate.

Mark Rothko - Untitled Red-Blue-Orange 1955Untitled Rothko (Red, Blue, Orange)

It is certainly instances such as that which would lead one to assume that art is investment worthy. You can read more about the event, the subject art work I featured here and additional offerings at ArtNet Magazine by clicking “here”.


Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, General Information, News & Current Events Posted on 14-11-2007

It’s always worth noting when another piece of art gives out with a resounding “ka-ching” and catches my attention. The latest auction at Christie’s in New York City this past Tuesday sent several pieces of contemporary art through their registers at good prices.

Notable for me is the 1970 Wayne Thiebaud painting titled “Seven Suckers” which is shown below. Went out the door for a whopping $4,512,000.

Wayne Thiebaud - Seven Suckers 4 million-521 thousande“Seven Suckers”

Christie’s pre-sale estimate for the subject painting was $1.4 to $1.8 million. The actual sale price was a new record for Thiebaud paintings. You can read more about this auction and additional offerings by clicking “here”.

This one’s for you Andy… wherever you are!

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, Essays & Commentary, General Information, Graphic & Photo Manipulation, Photography Posted on 02-01-2007

A few months ago I had, at best, only heard of Andy Warhol from time to time and even at that, it seemed to always be with regard to some rather strange or alien form of so-called art being aired in some matter of media. And then this past July Cowtown Pattie of Texas Trifles published a post which addressed a few unbelievable, if not outrageous, prices being paid for some particular pieces of art. Nothing however that I had not been exposed to before, with the exception of one item in particular. A rather simple drawing/painting of a Campbells soup can which had been rendered on paper as all but destroyed. It sold for almost a measly 11.8 million dollars at an auction held by Christie’s in New York City. And the artist….? Well it was the infamous, if not notorious by some opinions, Andy Warhol.

And what of the piece of art that all the fuss is about….here you go!

Warhol Pepper Pot Soup(Selling Price – $11,776,000)

Very quickly….here are a couple of links regarding the auction and subsequent sale that will bring you up to speed on this matter if you have any interest.

Art Auction Catalogue Excerpts: “Christie’s Contemporary Art Auction of May 9, 2006”

Bloomburg Cultural News and Commentary: “Eli Broad Buys Warhol ‘Soup Can’ in 143 Million Christie’s Auction”

Continuing… took at least a few days for me to render myself to a reasonable conscious state after dealing with the shock of such a price….for such a piece of art. But the more I kept looking at this apparently ridiculous artistic impression, the more and more intrigued I became. And then I began reading and researching more and more on the life and times of Mr. Warhol. After all….he was the cause of this agony I was putting myself through.

It was during this research and subsequent self-imposed contemplative thinking that I began to have deep concern as to why Andy chose the Campbells soup can as his subject. I mean if I were going to pick some innocent can to paint why not the infamous “SPAM can”. Nothing has taken such abuse over the years as has the American delicacy of Spam. But then as I proceeded through the educational process of getting to know more about Andy I found that his endeavors were actually directed toward something he was endeared to in a sense. He actually really liked Campbells soup and often ate it for lunch as a child. He did many varying renditions of this favorite subject of his.

By this time, and I can not under any reason of logic tell you why, I had been totally captivated by this whole thing. It began to remind me of that scene from “As Good As It Gets” where Jack Nicholson’s gay neighbor has returned from the hospital from his injuries suffered in his apartment robbery and Jack has to return the little dog whom he had been forced to watch after and at one point he hated and now he is totally in love with. As he sits at his piano and softly plays the keys tears begin to swell in his eyes from the loss of his little canine friend and he utters those famous words with a subdued grimace among the tears….”I don’t even like dogs”!

Holy soup cans Batman….I had been transformed and could actually relate to this form of art and the paintings and drawings of Andy Warhol. In fact, thoughts began to race through my mind that if I were indeed a wealthy man, would I have actually tried to out bid the billionaire who actually purchased this painting. Seriously, I am now thinking I might have given it a go.

I had become determined to somehow put forth a rendition now of a Spam Can by the fire within started by Mr. Warhol. But I can not paint but wait….I do have some measure of abilities when it comes to creating artistic graphics. But first I need a reasonably good camera to supply a base for my project. I do want to do justice to my inspiration. And as many of you know, I did purchase a new camera. What you had no way of knowing was the specific reason behind that decision. Yes, I know this is perhaps the point where you think I am expecting you to chuckle perhaps and then me tell you I was only joking but I kid you not. The primary reason behind the purchase of the camera was to do the Spam Can. Actually, it is now going to be a “Spam Can Series” but that will all come later as my project proceeds.

In between other photographic endeavors that I have previously subjected my visitors to, I have been totally obsessed to a degree with my new passion. And yes, passion would adequately describe my feelings. First, I wanted to try and capture my impression of Andy’s favorite subject so the following is my completed impression of my Campbells soup can I have simply titled “The Chicken Noodle Doodle”.

Chicken Noodle Doodle(Click to Enlarge)

(Click to Enlarge)Secondly, I wanted to do a soup can impression that I would hope would in some manner please the artistic nature of Mr. Warhol. This one is titled “My Andy Warhol Tribute”.

An Andy Warhol Tribute(Click to Enlarge)

And then of course there comes the infamous ‘Spam Can’ impression. So below is the first in what I hope is an extended series of Spam cans. This one is simply titled “The Spam Can”.

The Spam Can(Click to Enlarge)

I have continued to expand my realm of interest and applications to include cars and houses. The photo below shows some completed prints ready to pack, crate and ship to New York City at a moments notification should Christie’s ever call. That is assuming that you think I continue to jest. As to the seriousness of all this….I leave it to you to decide.

Processed & Enlarged PhotographsClick to Enlarge)

There you have it. There is a new passion in my life – for better or worse. So for my frequent visitors, your greatest fear should be that if I disappear from my blog for days on end that I have embarked on yet another project which in the end will probably return to these pages to punish you for your daring to return for a visit.

Some final words in closing…..I wrote Cowtown Pattie a personal email informing her last week that I was about to use her name in vain on my blog but one of the things I said to her with regard to the subject matter that I would like to share is the following:

“I suppose this may all sound a bit strange but we never know what affect, either directly or indirectly, little unassuming things we do or say on our blogs may inspire in others. In the end I surely won’t be seeing any of my artistic endeavors being offered at Christies but my life has been more fulfilled, enjoyable and fun since then for whatever reason.”

So Pattie… Thank you for your inspirational posts on your blog. And if and when I have my first show and sell my first Spam Can print for some large sum of money which is surely inevitable, please know that I do not forget those like yourself who have been so inspirational in my life. Immediately after said sale and auction I will be sending you and your entire family free tickets to “Six Flags Over Texas”. That’s right….you can believe it! I don’t kid about things like this. Especially if my “Spam Can” sells for $11.8 million.

For more links and information on Andy Warhol check out the following if interested:

Wikipedia: “Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Cans”

With regard to the following links the associated audio is very insightful biographically speaking….

National Public Radio: “Warhol Signed Soup Can – Art or Memento?”

National Public Radio: “I Bought Andy Warhol”

National Public Radio: “A Warhol Retrospective”

National Public Radio: “Illustrator and Writer James Warhola”

Mike’s Birding & Digiscoping….

Posted by Posted in Artists & Painters, General Information, Nature & Wildlife, Photography Posted on 09-06-2006

Although I have been frequenting Mike’s website/blog for a period of time now, I wanted to take the opportunity today to specifically bring it to the attention of my visitors. Especially if you enjoy excellent photography and more specifically, outstanding bird photography. The sharpness and depth of field qualities of his photos are far above average, especially given the fleeting nature of his primary subjects.

Yellow Warbler - Mike’s Digiscoping(Dendroica petechia) – © 2006 Michael McDowell\r\n(CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE)

I ran across Mike’s blog by pure chance some weeks back and was immediately attracted to his photography work. But….I was completely unfamiliar with the particular technique that Mike used to capture his subjects. The technique I refer to is known as “Digiscoping”. In a nutshell, Digiscoping is a method of bird photography that involves taking telephoto images with a digital camera and spotting scope. And what made it even more impressive to me is that his results equaled, if not surpassing in many cases, photographs taken with equipment costing four or even five times more. I will leave it to the interest of my reader to read more at Mike’s blog about the techniques and equipment involved. The fact that the camera being used in the equipment setup is digital and relatively inexpensive continues to blow my mind. Here is a link to a diagram of his equipment setup for those of you interested.

Dickcissel - Mike’s Digiscoping(Spiza americana) – © 2006 Michael McDowell\r\n(CLICK ON PHOTO FOR LARGER IMAGE)

I have included a couple of Mike’s photos in my post here but these don’t even scratch the surface with regard to some of his work. Whether he can be accused of being a perfectionist or not I can not say, but his work can only lead me in that direction. Here is a link to Mike’s gallery page. And Mike is also an advocate for the environmental protection and well-being of the birds he photographs. I think that admirable as well.

In closing, I would like to thank Mike for allowing me to post a couple of his photographs in this blog entry. I certainly wish him the best in all his interests and efforts in his photography work, environmental projects, and journalistic ventures as well and hope he keeps the photos coming for years to come. Do go and visit his blog and look through his blog’s archive. I think you will enjoy the visit and it will be time well spent.