Kevin's Art Collection
copyright 2007-2020

    I like a lot of different styles of painting. I have had an active interest in art for the past few years, and my tastes are still evolving as I learn and live with my growing collection. I do not collect as an investment but for the fun of it and to feed my enjoyment for doing research and learning. Here are some of my favorites. By the way, I am NOT the wildlife artist of the same name.

California Artists   Illinois Artists  Indiana Artists  New York Artists   Ohio Artists

Pennsylvania Artists      Texas Artists     New England Artists    
Other Artists

UK Artists    Canadian Artists    South American Artists    Asian Artists  European Artists

Unknown Artists
    Unknown Artists 1    Unknown Artists 2    Unknown Artists 3


California Artists

(Amy?) by Dorothy Cutter

unnamed, Dorothy Cutter, 5" x 7", acrylic on board, ca 1964

    Dorothy Cutter resides in Morro Bay, California. She studied at the Maryland Art Institute, Corcoran Museum School, American University and California College of Arts and Crafts. She has a web site. This painting possibly depicts her daughter, Amy, who was one of her early, favorite subjects.

Dorothy Cutter signature

unnamed watercolor by Joe Polzer

unnamed, Joe Polzer, 9" x 15", watercolor on paper

    Joseph J Polzer Jr. was born on 18 September 1890 in Omaha,Nebraska, son of Austrian immigrants Joseph and Mary Weiss Polzer, and died on 7 September 1966 in San Gabriel, CA. Joseph Polzer Sr. was working as a barber in Omaha during the 1900 and 1910 Federal censuses. Joseph J. Polzer Jr. was working as a painter in 1910 in Omaha. He was married to Ruth Irene Roth on 6 February 1917.  According to his WWI Draft Registration card, Polzer was working as a self-employed rancher in Bennett County, South Dakota in May 1917. Joseph and Ruth were living in Rapid City, SD in 1920 where he was employed as an interior decorator. They were in Los Angeles by 1930 where Joseph was working as foreman, telephone company during the 1930 and 1940 censuses. They had children Louis Anthony and Jo Ann.  Joe was an active member of Telephone Pioneers and participated in local area art shows, especially during the early sixties around Alhambra, Temple City and San Gabriel, CA. He was active as a painter in oils and watercolors for most of his life, often selling paintings. He is buried in the Resurrection Cemetery in San Gabriel. According to his granddaughter, his signature changed over time. My painting was done early in his career.

early Joseph Polzer signature

Early example of Polzer's signature

inscription, verso

Inscription, verso

    Along with some framing notes, this inscription is on the back of the painting. It is thought that this painting was a gift to his in-laws. The painting is in a Mission-style oak frame and probably dates to around 1920.

Polzer, early photograph    Polzer
          later photograph

Joseph Polzer

unnamed by Addison Irwin Johnson

unnamed, Addison Johnson, 16" x 25", watercolor on paper

    Addison Irwin Johnson was born on 2 September 1892 in Kansas City, Missouri, a son of Hector Lewis Johnson and Maria Elston Quigley. Johnson is listed in California Watercolors 1850-1970 by McClelland, (in progress...)

Addison Johnson signature

Addison Johnson signature

Mildred Waters
          oil painting

unnamed, Mildred Ames Waters, 9" x 12", oil on canvas

    Mildred Winifred Ames was born on 22 January 1898 in New Sharon, Franklin County, Maine, a daughter of Charles Theodore Ames and Leora A. Willard. Charles was employed as "shoe shop laster" in the 1900 census. The Ames were apparently divorced and Leora was remarried to Williams W. Slover by 1910 when they were listed in the census of Portland, Maine. Williams was employed as a "Motorman, Electric RR". The Slovers were back in New Sharon during the 1920 census, where Williams was employed as a "farmer, general". Mildred was still living at home, employed as a "teacher, grammar school". Edan Hughes published a biography of Mildred in his work on California artists that is widely cited on the Internet and in other sources. Hughes states that Mildred moved to Riverside, CA in 1919, but this is obviously an error. He also states that Mildred married Benjamin F. Waters shortly afterward, but that is also an error as the 1930 census of Riverside, CA shows that Benjamin and Mildred were married about 1926. Another source claims their marriage date to be 21 August 1927, but does not offer any documentation to support this claim. Mildred Ames is listed in the 1921, 1923 and 1925 Riverside City Directories, employed as a teacher. The 1927 Riverside City Directory lists Benjamin and wife Mildred W., and his employment a "agt, Los Angeles Times". Benjamin was employed as a "commercial salesman, electric refrigerators" during the 1930 census. He was nine years Mildred's senior, a widower and father of two children. The Waters had a new child, Audrey L. Waters, in 1930. Mildred is listed as "Mildred A." in the 1931 Riverside City Directory. The Waters are listed in the Riverside city directories several times in the 1930s and Mildred is listed as either "Mildred" or "Mildred A.". Mildred is listed as "Mrs. Mildred A. Waters" at 4256 Almond Avenue and her two step children at another address in the 1941 Riverside City Directory, but Benjamin is absent. Mildred was still listed at the Almond Avenue address in 1942, but "Ben" Waters is also listed at the same address. Benjamin and Mildred are listed at 451 Hawthorne Road, Laguna Beach in 1951. Mildred was listed as a Republican in the 1958 voter registration of Laguna Beach, CA. Benjamin is not listed. Her address was 451 Hawthorne Road. She was at 1130 N. Coast Highway during the 1960 and 1962 voter registrations. She had moved to 802 Manzanita Drive by 1964.
    Mildred is listed in Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, Who Was Who in American Art by Falk and California Artists by Edan Hughes. She was reportedly primarily are watercolorist who studied with Rex Brandt and Phil Dike, though this is not confirmed. Much of the work by her sold at recent auctions were oil paintings. She supposedly had her own gallery in Laguna Beach, but no records have been found to support this. According to Hughes she exhibited at the Riverside Art Association, LA City Hall, 1941, the Laguna Beach Artists Association in the 1940s and the Laguna Festival of the Arts, 1951-65.

    Mildred died on 2 February 1990 in Portland, Oregon.

Waters signature

Mildred Ames Waters signature

unnamed oil by
          Oliver Morse Merrill

unnamed, O. M. Merrill, 14" x 18", oil on artist board

    Oliver Morse Merrill was born on 13 April 1907 in Newburyport, MA, a son of George P. and Mary E. Morse Merrill. George was born in Adrian, MI and Mary in Cleveland, OH, according to the record of Oliver's birth and the record of their marriage on 18 May 1899 in Cleveland. Mary died before 1910, according to the 1910 census. George, and sons Dwight and Oliver, were living in Minneapolis, MN in 1910, where George was employed as a Minister. George's father, George R. Merrill, was also a minister. The Merrills relocated to Atlanta, GA by 1920, where George was employed as a Pastor. He had remarried by this time to a woman named Blanche Y. Oliver was living in Long Beach, CA in 1930 where he was employed as a truck driver for a paint company. There are several records in passenger lists of Oliver's travels from California to Hawaii in the 1930s and his Social Security number was issued there. He traveled alone in 1935-1936 and was accompanied by his wife, Mary Olga, in 1937. Mary Olga was the daughter of H. Ray and Olga Holm McClintock. The Merrills were listed in 1938 in the Bay Cities City Directory (CA), where Oliver was employed as an advertising man. The Merrills are listed in the 1941, 1943 and 1945 La Jolla, CA city directories. His occupation was given as clerk in 1943. There are few mentions of the Merrills in records after 1945, but Oliver later had an art studio in Spanish Village in Balboa Park in San Diego which is proved by the stamp that he applied to the back of his paintings.

Merrill signature

O. M. Merrill signature

    Little is recorded about Merrill's work as an artist. The period he was active as an artist and the source of his training as an artist are not known.

Merrill framed


    This painting was sold on ebay three times in about three weeks, losing its frame in the process. It also lost some paint on the edges where the frame was removed or else it was missing from some earlier incident.
    Oliver Morse Merrill died on 11 June 1979 in San Diego, CA. Mary Olga Merrill died on 16 January 1992 in Collin County, TX. The Merrills are buried in Oak Hill Memorial Park Cemetery, Escondido, San Diego County, CA.

unnamed by

unnamed, Mike Rivero, 24" x 18", acrylic on board

    Mike Rivero was born in Cuba in 1959. He studied with Michael Dancer, but is largely self-taught. He has a web site which appears to be pretty out of date, but has some nice examples of his work. I will get better images of the paintings in my collection, when I get a chance to.

unnamed by
          Rivero    unnamed by Rivero

unnamed, Mike Rivero, 8" x 10", acrylic on board

              Rivero signature

Rivero signature

unnamed by Ron

"A peaceful wall", Ron Grauer, 8" x 10", oil on board, 1995

    Ronald Gene Grauer was born on 2 November 1927 in St. Joseph, Missouri, a son of Lyle S. G. and Erma F. Grauer. Lyle was working as a "musician, Mgr. Orchestra" in St. Joseph in 1930. Ron grew up in Topeka, Kansas where his father operated a bowling alley. He later studied art at Washburn University, Kansas City Institute of Art and the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota, Florida. He later took the Famous Artists correspondence course and studied at the Art Center in Los Angeles as well as Chouinard School of Art and at UCLA. He then opened a graphics studio and did illustration work for several years before moving to Carmel, California and becoming a full time fine artist. Grauer is listed in Who's Who in the West (1999). He is a member of the Carmel Art Association.
    I purchased this painting from a seller who could not read the signature, but years of doing genealogical research in the 1600-1900s period has given me a talent for reading signatures and this one was easy. I quickly determined what the name was and a short time later found several examples of Mr. Grauer's signature and his web site. I contacted him to confirm that this his work and received a very gracious and informative reply:

"It's like seeing an old friend after along time. Yes, that is one my pieces. Its title was "A peaceful wall". The location is on the north side of the water on the south part of El Estero in Monterey. That's a little confusing, huh? The estuary has two fingers pointing east, away from the sea and I was on the left (northern) bank of the south finger. That didn't help a lot either. Sorry.
   There is a cemetery in between those two fingers and this wall is the southern edge of the cemetery property, facing a parking area right on the water of the south finger. Bet, after all that, you'd still never find it.
   You probably got a good price because according to my records that piece was sold at a fundraiser for the Art Association in Carmel. It was originally listed at $1200. Did you buy it there or was it resold to you?
   Of course you may show it on your website. It would be appreciated if you did link it to our website, which is at the bottom of this reply. I hope you've enjoyed the work. I remember, it was a beautiful warm day in the late spring (like almost every day in Monterey). At last I have"el estero" monterey cemetery a name to put before the title in my little book of painting records. Thanks, Kevin."

Ron Grauer

Ron Grauer signature

unnamed by Conrad
          Adolph Mecheski

unnamed, Conrad Adolph Mecheski, 18" x 24", acrylic on paper laid on board

    Conrad Adolph Mecheski was born in Larne, Northern Ireland. He is a 1986 graduate of American International High School in Vienna. He attended the Art Institute of Boston. Mecheski has been a resident of San Diego since 1991.

unnamed by Conrad
          Adolph Mecheski

unnamed, Conrad Adolph Mecheski, 18" x 24", acrylic on paper laid on board

unnamed by Gerard

unnamed, Gerard Martin (attributed), 11" x 14", oil on board

    Gerard B. Martin was born Pebble Beach, California about 1963. Martin graduated from the University of the Pacific with a degree in Studio Arts and studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 1991.  He studied under Dan McGaw and Richard Bunkle at the Art Center. He later studied with Ovanes Berberian. Martin is a member of the Carmel Art Association. He teaches art at the York School in Monterey, California. This painting is not signed, but the seller purchased it with a lot of paintings, all of which were signed by Martin and were in a similar style and color palette.

unnamed by Thomas

unnamed, Thomas Davies, 11" x 14", oil on board

    Thomas Davies was born in 1949 in England is a self taught painter in oils who lives in Carmel, CA.

Thomas Davies signature

Thomas Davies signature

James Hartman
          "Model in Studio"

"Model in Studio", James Hartman, 12" x 10", oil on foam board, 2010

    James Hartman was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950. He studied art at Meramec College. Hartman was later employed for fourteen years as the Art Director for a publishing company. He assisted in the design and graphics of a range of publications. Before moving to California in 1983, Hartman lived in Holland for over a year. He then worked in the San Francisco Bay Area and his work included murals and specialty paint finishes for a variety of clients. While living in the Bay Area, Hartman pursued further studies in fine arts at the San Francisco Art Institute and Stanford University.  Hartman has participated in numerous shows throughout the Bay Area. Hartman completed numerous of these figurative studies of women around 2010/2011. He has a web site and more of these figurative works are available, though not listed on his web site. He may be contacted via his email address if you are interested in his figurative works. 

James Hartman signature

Signature, verso "Model in Studio"

    The two figurative works below are painted on the same masonite panel. The first painting shown above was painted on a piece of foam backing board.

unnamed nude by James Hartman

unnamed, James Hartman, 12" x 10", oil on masonite panel, 2011

    It is interesting to note that these three works were painted about the same time, but are each signed differently and on different materials using differing configurations. Identifying this artist's work in the future may be problematic. I like these small figurative works. They are typically very colorful and well composed.

unnamed nude by James Hartman

unnamed, James Hartman, 12" x 10", oil on masonite panel

"Model in Studio" by James Hartman

"Model in Studio", James Hartmant, 10" x 12", oil on poplar panel

"Model in Studio" by James Hartman

"Model in Studio", James Hartman, 10" x 12", oil on poplar panel

Winehaven by James Hartman

"Winehaven", James Hartman, 12" x 14", stretched linen, 2013

    This was a preliminary painting for a much larger work.

          Beach" by Betty Pope

"Mazatlan Beach", Betty Carney Pope, 23" x 29", oil on board

    Elizabeth "Betty" Jeanette Carney Pope was born on 25 March 1912 in Montana, a daughter of Charles A. and Alma Blumenstiel Carney. Charles was a real estate agent. Betty was an educator, painter and print maker. Pope studied at the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts and at the Fontainebleau School of Fine Arts (France) where she was awarded a diploma in Fresco. Pope exhibited several gouaches and lithographs in the Minnesota State Fair Arts Competition in 1939, where she won a prize. Two of these works, "Italian Fishermen" and "Lonely Station", were exhibited later that year at the Seventh International Exhibit of Lithography and Wood Engraving held at the Art Institute of Chicago. She also exhibited at the Minnesota State fair in 1940, winning a prize, and at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. She was a participant in the Treasury Department’s Section of Fine Arts, a New Deal program that placed murals in public buildings. She painted a mural for the Chisholm, Minnesota Post Office titled "Discovery of Ore” which was installed in 1941. She signed both as Elizabeth Carney Pope and as Betty Carney Pope.
    Betty was married to photographer Ken Pope. W. Kenneth Pope was an instructor in Commercial Photography at the Minneapolis School of Art. Betty Pope is mentioned in Minnesota Prints and Print Makers, 1900-1945 by Robert Crump. Pope was mentioned in "Art Forum" magazine in 1963. She is also mentioned in the catalog "Fifty Years of Crocker-Kingsley: fiftieth annual exhibition, work of North California Artists" in 1975. She exhibited several works at this exhibition and received an honorable mention for an oil titled "Where is tomorrow".
    Elizabeth Jeanette Pope died on 22 August 1995 in Sacramento, CA. Pope's dates are generally given as 1910-1991, but the California Death Index clearly identifies the correct dates. A man named William Kenneth Pope was born on 12 July 1913 in Kansas and died on 21 February 1979 in Sacramento.


Forrest Hibbits unnamed watercolor

unnamed, Forrest Hibbits, 7" x 9", watercolor, 1955

    Forrest Silsby Hibbits was born in Lompoc, CA on 9 October 1905, a son of Guy and Jennie Silsby Hibbits. Jennie was perhaps related to well known artist Wilson Eugene Silsby. Forrest's middle initial is given as "Q" in the California birth index. Hibbits studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts. He worked in San Francisco as a commercial illustrator during the 1930s. Hibbits departed Cherbourg, France on 12 June 1937, returning to the US. Hibbits enlisted in the US Army in February 1942, noting that he was a commercial artist with three years of college. During WWII he was an illustrator for the U.S. Air Force. After WWII, he taught at the Santa Barbara Art Institute. Hibbits departed Rotterdam, Netherlands on 1 October 1947 to return to the US. He was accompanied by Marie Hibbits, born ca 1895, who became a naturalized US citizen in 1932 in San Francisco. Hibbits' fine art includes representational landscapes and abstracts. Hibbits exhibited in many western art museums including the San Francisco Museum of Art, the De Young Museum, Oakland Museum of Art, and Palace of Legion of Honor. He exhibited at the San Francisco Art Association in 1935 and 1941 and at the California Watercolor Society, 1948-53. He received numerous awards including at the California State Fair in 1966 and the Orange County National Water Color Show in 1967. Hibbits was a member of the California National Water Color Society, Ventura Art Association, Santa Barbara Art Association and an Honorary Member of the Oxnard Art Club. He was president of the Santa Barbara Art Association in 1963. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Long Beach Museum of Art. Hibbits wife, Marie Jaans, was also an artist and they exhibited their work together and separately. She may be the Marie Jaans who arrived at Ellis Island on the ship Belgenland from Antwerp, Belgium on 6 July 1923. She gave her nationality as French German and residence as Brussels, Belgium. She exhibited as Marie Jaans and as Marie Hibbits. Forrest Hibbits is listed Artists in California by Hughes and Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide.
    Forrest Hibbits died in Lompoc on 6 July 1996. Marie Jaans Hibbits was born on 8 January 1895 and died on 12 April 1984 in Buellton, Santa Barbara, CA. Marie Jaans Hibbits was born in France. She studied at the Labaudt School of San Francisco. Her work is included in the Long Beach Museum of Art.

Forrest Hibbits

"Up For
          Repairs" Al Stetter

"Up For Repairs", Al Stetter, 14" x 18", oil on canvas

    Albert Alvin Stetter was born on 21 May 1907 in York County, Pennsylvania, a son of Albert Stetter. He was married to Nadine E. Menges on 11 February 1928 in York County. His early art training included a correspondence course from the International Correspondence School of Cartooning.  He became a free lance artist for Sport, and other cartoons, before relocating to L.A. where he was employed by the Disney Studios as a cartoonist.  He retired from Disney in the 1970s. He was an animator on all Disney features except for Snow White, when he took a two year break to animate the "Beanie" series. Stetter is mentioned on and and listed in "Artists of California 1786-1940 by Hughes. A large number of paintings and memorabilia from his career with Disney appeared on ebay in early 2011. Little information is available about Stetter's work as a fine artist.

"Off Line
          Street" Al Stetter

"Off Line Street", Al Stetter, 9" x 12", oil on canvas

    This painting bears the location "Bishop, California" verso. The first painting is inscribed "New Brunswick, CAD" verso. Albert Stetter died on 27 January 2008 in Burbank, CA. "Off Line Street" is actually a very lush and colorful painting which this image does not convey. I was very pleasantly surprised when I received it.

Dennis Westerling
          "Amador County, California"

"Amador County, California", Dennis Westerling, 9" x 12", oil on board

    Dennis Westerling was born in 1944 in the San Joaquin Valley, California. He attended The Baum School of Art in Allentown, PA and studied with Michael Dancer after moving to Los Angeles, CA. He was a member of the Beverly Hills Art League, the Los Angeles Businessman's Art Institute, and is a Painting Patron Member of the California Art Club.

Robert Cox

unnamed, Robert Cox, 18" x 14", oil on canvas

    I found several paintings by this artist at a local thrift shop. I also found the biography below on several sites. I think this may be some sort of a scam or perhaps similar to the many "Burnett" paintings from Mexico. All of the paintings in the local shop bore the stamp of "Creative Interiors" and "Hecho en Mexico". I could not find Robert Cox with the birth and death dates given below in either the Social Security Death Index or in the California Death Index. I could find no mention of a company called "Mayhew Peakes". There is a Katherine Gibbs School, but it appears to be a 2 year college. The Art Workers Coalition was founded in New York City in 1969, seven years after Cox supposedly moved to California, and only existed until 1971. The only mention I can find for the Brown Hammerson Medal of Honour (or Honor) is in this biography.

"Born on July 14th, 1934 in Mt Holly, New Jersey, he studied at the Katharine Gibbs School of Art from 1953 until 1956 before joining Mayhew Peakes Inc. as a graphic designer. Dissatisfied with his progress he resigned in 1962 and moved to California where he married Marjorie in 1966. The new Californian environment gave him unrestricted floral subjects for his painting and he painted furiously to make up for the lost time he felt he had spent in Philadelphia. It was important to him that art was available to the general public. He appreciated that most people could not afford thousands of Dollars for original works and, often to his own financial detriment, he strived to keep his sale prices low.

Although generally shy and unassuming, he was a founder member of the Art Workers Coalition and very active in promoting the rights of artists. He was awarded the Brown Hammerson Medal of Honour for services to art in 1986.

One of the most prolific painters of the 1970s and 1980s, Robert Cox established a huge reputation in the United States for his almost neo-Victorian style and his early adoption of the pallet knife in creating stylised flowers. His work is represented in many American museums, galleries and private collections as well as having been frequently exported to Europe and Australia and has been auctioned at Christies, Bonhams and Cheffins.

Robert Cox died on June 18th, 2001 in Escondido, California after a long illness. His wife, Marjorie, and his daughters, Kate and Ginny, survived him."

Cox signature

Maggie Wintle

"Freddie", Maggie Wintle, 8" x 10", oil on canvas,  2003

    Margaret A. "Maggie" Wintle was a born about 1936 and is a Costa Mesa, California artist. She married David Tretheway Wintle. Her work is much reproduced as prints and greeting cards and a web site is devoted to this work. Her other work included pet portraits, and the painting in my collection is likely an example of  her work in this area.

Wintle inscription

Janet Ament De La
          Roche    Victor Di Gesu

unnamed works, Janet Ament de la Roche (left) and Victor Di Gesu (right), 16" x 20", oils on board

    Janet Ament de la Roche and Victor Di Gesu were husband and wife artists.

    Janet Ament De La Roche was born in Hollywood, CA on Dec. 31, 1916.  She studied in Los Angeles at the Chouinard Art Institute, Otis Art Institute and in Europe at the Academie de la Grande Chaumier in Paris, Academie de Andre L'Hote in Paris, Academia Di Bell Arte in Rome and Academie des Belles Artes de San Jorge in Barcelona. She was a member of the Carmel Art Association. She is not listed in any art reference work.
    Janet Ament de la Roche died 15 April 2000 in Pacific Grove, California.

"Girl with bike" by Janet
                Ament De La Roche

"girl with Bike", Janet de la Roche, 12" x 16", oil on board

    I was not particularly crazy about "girl with Bike" when I first saw it, but it was a bargain, and the only painting by de la Roche that I have seen that was titled and fully signed, verso. I noted the title exactly as the artist wrote it. It is very colorful. It also has a notation "price - " verso, so was de la Roche apparently considered it to be a serious work. It has grown on me but some of the dimensions still bug me.

unnamed, Asian woman by Victor

unnamed, Victor Digesu, 18" x 15", oil on artists board

    Victor Di Gesu was born on 2 July 1914 in Long Meadow, Massachusetts of Sicilian-born parents. He graduated from Pasadena High School and went on to attend college. After graduating from college, he won two art scholarships, first to Art Center School and then to Chouinard Art Institute, both in Los Angeles.  His intention was to become a commercial illustrator and for two years he worked as an animator for the Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles. Victor was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed in London during the bombings and later took part in the invasion of Germany. After the war, Di Gesu attended the Jepson Art Institute in L.A. on the GI Bill, with the intention of becoming a fine artist. Victor married Janet de la Roche while in Los Angeles. The couple then went to Europe where they stayed for four years. Victor studied at the Grand Chaumier and the Andre L'Hote Institute in Paris. He exhibited his work throughout the 1940's  in the galleries of Paris, Rome, London and Barcelona. Di Gesu was a member of the Carmel Art Association. Di Gesu is not listed in any art reference work.
    Victor Di Gesu died 28 December 1988 in Pacific Grove, California.

unnamed by De La Roche

unnamed, Janet Ament de la Roche, 16" x 12", oil on unstretched canvas panel

Violet Parkhurst

unnamed, Violet Parkhurst, 10" x 8", oil

    Violet Miriam Kinney Parkhurst was born on 26 April 1921 in Derby Line, Vermont. She attended the School of Practical Arts in Boston, Baylor College in Waco, Texas and the Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro.  Violet completed her formal training in the arts at Los Angeles City College. Parkhurst is mentioned in Who's Who in the World, Who's Who in International Art, Who's Who in the West, Noteworthy Americans, Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide and American Artists of Renown. Her works are in the collections of several museums.
    Violet Parkhurst died on 12 January 2008 in Rancho Palos Verdes, Los Angeles County, California.

            Parkhurst signature

Wilson Silsby working

title indecipherable, Wilson Silsby, 9.75" x 7.75", etching, working proof

    Wilson Eugene Silsby was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 7, 1883 a son of Eugene Weston and Mary J. Hubbard Silsby. For some reason, his mother's maiden name is given as "Redenbaugh" in the California Death Index, but his brother, Benjamin F. Silsby, swore that the mother of Wilson was Mary J. Hubbard in Wilson's passport application. Silsby was an etcher, lithographer and painter in oils and watercolors. He was the inventor of the no-ground etching plate process. He was well known for his stage-set designs for the theater and motion picture industry. This biography was complicated a bit by the fact there there were two men named Wilson Silsby living in the Los Angeles area about the same time. He apparently did not marry, but adopted a son, Clifford Silsby (AKA Isadore Friedman), who was also an artist.
Silsby attended high school in Chicago and later studied with private tutors in France and England. He studied art with William Merritt Chase and Abbott Thayer. Silsby moved to Los Angeles in 1913, where he worked as an art director for silent movies for Universal Pictures. He later worked with several other movie studios. Silsby began working with the etching process in the 1920s. He authored two books, Etching Methods and Materials and Dry-Points of Wilson Silsby in the 1940s. He had studios in Los Angeles, Paris and Nice. He is widely listed, including, Artists in California, 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes, Who's Who in American Art 1936-53, Southern California Artists by Nancy Moure, Who's Who in California 1942, Who's Who on the Pacific Coast 1949 and Artists of the American West by Doris Dawdy.
    Silsby exhibited widely, including the Ebell Salon (Los Angeles), 1934; various Paris Salons; the Golden Gate International Exposition, 1939. His work is part of the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum; the Library of Congress; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the Crocker Museum (Sacramento); the Museum of New Mexico; the Seattle Museum; the Denver Museum; the Toledo Museum; the New York Public Library; the Pennsylvania Museum; the Orange County (CA) Museum; the San Francisco Museum of Art; the De Young Museum; the Oakland Museum; the British Museum; the Paris Museum of Modern Art; Uffizi Galleries (Florence); the National Museum of Mexico and the Cleveland Museum.
    The etching above is an ebay find, marked "W.P." for working proof or working print, signed and illegibly titled. Artists typically don't preserve or sign their working proofs, so Silsby must have thought there was something special about this particular etching. It was purchased at an estate sale in October 2017 in Los Angeles. The images are the seller's so all of the colors and distortions are from the reflection of the seller in the glass. I will get better images when I take it apart to re-mat it, since the current matting obviously  is old and acidic. It is interesting that someone found it worth the effort of double matting, framing and displaying. The center of the image is very finely detailed but the rest is pretty loose and unfinished. It would be interesting to see what the finished etching looked like. I probably paid too much for it ($93) but it makes a nice complement to the work in my collection by Clifford Silsby. Quite a few of these etchings appeared on ebay from several Los Angeles sellers about the same time, apparently from an estate sale at Abell's Auction House in Commerce, CA, approximately between November 2015 and April 2016, according to the seller of this print.

              Silsby monogrammed etching

unnamed, Wilson Silsby, 4.5" x 6", etching

    Here is another example of Silsby's work from another seller that I bought on ebay on the same day. This seller had signed, monogrammed and unsigned works. This one is monogrammed "WS". None of the etchings offered by the various sellers were numbered or dated, so all may have been working prints or over runs.
    Wilson Spilsby died at his home in Sherman Oaks. CA on January 17, 1952 and is buried in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, CA. He had a very brief obituary in the Van Nuys News on 24 January 1952.

Wilson Silsby working proof mark and title

Wilson Sislby

Working Proof mark, title and signature from etching

Clifford F. Silby

"Chuck", Clifford Silsby, 9.25" x 5.5", charcoal drawing

    Clifford F. Silsby was born Isidore Friedman on 15 August 1896 at New Haven, Connecticut, a son of Hyman and Becky Friedman. The fact that Silsby applied for a passport to travel abroad in 1921 makes it possible to identify his birth family and determine facts about his early life. In his application, Clifford gave his date and place of birth, and his father's name as Hyman "Silsby", which is likely a typo. A typed notation at the top of his application says "Isidore Friedman now known as Clifford F. Silsby". Becky Friedman attested to the facts of Clifford/Isidore's birth in a deposition attached to his application, as his birth certificate could not be found at New Haven. She gave her Chicago street address in the deposition, which makes it possible to identify this family. Isidore Friedman was a surprisingly common name in the early 1900s, as was Becky or Rebecka Friedman. Wilson Silsby applied for a passport at the same time that Clifford did, and his application adjoins Becky Friedman's deposition. The purpose for their passport application was to travel to Italy, France and the British Isles "to study" and "travel". Clifford gave his occupation as "student and artist", and Wilson as "Art Director". J. Francis Smith witnessed each man's application. He was an accomplished artist and one of Clifford's teachers. Wilson Eugene Silsby was born in Chicago, Illinois so the two men may have met there.

Clifford Silsby passport photo        Wilson Silsby passport photo

Clifford (left) and Wilson (right) Silsby 1921 passport photos

    The Friedmans are not identifiable in the 1900 census but can be found in the 1910 Chicago census. Becky was a widow in 1910, unemployed, her oldest child was Isidore and youngest was Sophia, age 4. Her other children were Rose born 1898, Sadie born 1899 and David born 1902. Clifford's first identifiable appearance in records is his 1918 WWI draft registration. Though he was using his adoptive name, the form reported that his dependents were a widowed mother, a brother age 16 and sister age 12. The brother and sister, David age 19 and Laffie (Sophie?) age 14, were still living with his mother in Chicago in 1920, and their place of birth was given as Illinois. Becky gave her year of immigration as 1894, her nationality as Galicia (Poland), her parents nationality as Galicia (Austria), and native language as Yiddish.
The 1920 and 1930 censuses report that Clifford was the "son-foster" and "adopted son" of Wilson Silsby, which is a bit odd as Wilson Silsby was born in 1883, so was only 13 years older than Clifford.
    Clifford was living in Los Angeles in 1918, employed as painter for Universal Film co., Universal City, CA. He was living with Wilson Silsby in 1920 employed as a scene painter, motion pictures. Wilson Silsby was employed as an art director, motion pictures. They were still living in the same home in 1930 in Los Angeles, both employed as "artist, picture studio". Clifford was eventually married to female artist Murray Wilcox Silsby. A most confusing bunch.
    Clifford, Wilson, and Murray are all well listed artists. Clifford is listed in Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide, Artists of the American West by Dawdy, Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, various editions of Who's Who in American Art, Index of Artists by Mallett, and Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors and Engravers
by Fielding. According to Falk, Clifford Silsby studied at the Academie Julian, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and in Paris with Dechenaud, Royer, L. Simon, and J. Pages. He exhibited widely in Paris and in California. He did extensive work for motion picture studios.
    Clifford Wilson died in Los Angeles on 22 November 1986. Murray was born on 24 September 1901 and died on 2 February 1994 in Los Angeles. Wilson Eugene Silsby was born on 7 October 1883 and died on 17 January 1952 in Los Angeles.

Clifford Silsby signature

Clifford Silsby Signature

Thomas Fisk Goff

unnamed, Thos. F. Goff, 8" x 12", oil

    Thomas Fisk Goff was born on 15 August 1890 in Effingham, Surrey County, England. Some sources give his birthplace as London, England, but Goff, himself, gave his birthplace as Effingham in both his Naturalization Declaration of Intent and WWI draft registration card. Both were completed in 1917. This is further supported by FreeBMD, which shows Goff's birth in the district of Dorking, which is in Surrey County. The California Death Index gives the maiden name of Goff's mother as King. Goff's naturalization record shows that he was residing in Grimsky, Canada before entering the US at Detroit, Michigan on 25 November 1906. Goff was residing in Detroit in 1910, where he was employed as a "clerk, auto factory". He was living in Los Angeles in 1917 where he was employed as a sign painter at Dromgold & Schroeder Co. He was still in Los Angeles in 1920, employed as a "sign painter, sign factory". He had married Hazel Jane Cobb by that time, and her mother, Ida, was living with them. The Goffs were living in Beverly Hills, California in 1930 and Thomas was employed as "sign painter, own business". The census reports that Thomas was aged 27 when he married, which would have been about 1917. The Goffs did not have children by 1930, so may have been childless. They were living alone in 1930. Goff married Helen Blaume in 1975, after the death of his first wife.
    Goff is probably best known as the designer of the "Hollywoodland" sign, which later became the "Hollywood" sign. He is often credited as the designer of today's "Hollywood" sign, which is not true. His design included light bulbs on all of the letters so that the sign could be seen at night. He was the owner of the Crescent Sign Company at the time, in 1923, and his company constructed the sign. He was hired by developers Woodruff and Shoults. The sign was originally intended to be temporary and used to advertise a housing development, but later became synonymous with the film industry and the last four letters were removed. The sign probably survived because it would have been too expensive to tear it down.
    Goff was also apparently a prolific artist, generating over 5,000 works. His work as a painter is apparently not much respected
, possibly because he was so prolific. He is not mentioned in any major art reference book, except Artists in California by Hughes. He is mentioned on online sites like AskArt and ArtPrice. The number of his works may be an indication of it's general quality.  He was employed by the Federal Art Project in the 1930s. He was a field director for the American Red Cross for 25 years. It is not known where he received his training as an artist. All of the works that I have seen by him are small, brightly colored landscapes but, with 5,000 works to his credit, my guess would be that he painted a variety of subjects, styles and sizes. I do not know if he worked in mediums other than oil paints. The other works I have seen have been in a more realistic style than my painting, but are almost Fauvist in color.
    Thomas Fisk Goff died on 30 January 1984 in San Luis Obispo, California.

Thomas Fisk Goff signature

Nona W. Linneman
          "Sequoia Lake"

"Sequoia Lake", Nona Linneman, 11" x 14", oil

    Nona W. Linneman was born on 17 July 1899 in Pajaro Township, Santa Cruz County, California, a daughter of William A. and Maud C. Beck. William was working as a farmer in Santa Cruz County in 1900, a bookkeeper for a lumber company in Salinas, CA in 1910, and as an engineer in a pumping plant in Watsonville, CA in 1920. Nona was working as a bookkeeper for a gas company in 1920. Nona married Vincent J. Linneman about 1921 in Pajaro, Santa Cruz County, CA, and they moved to Los Angeles. Nona and Vincent were living in Denver, Colorado in 1930 where Vincent was employed as a photography salesman. The Linnemans settled in Watsonville, CA where they lived from 1932 until as least 1942, according to voter registration lists. Both were registered Democrats. The Linnemans eventually settled in Fresno, California.
    Nona Linneman studied art at Watsonville Junior College adult education classes under Mrs. F. J. Stirnaman, Shizue Matsuda, and Mrs. Elizabeth Baldwin, and also studied with Hatley Cox, a San Francisco artist. Nona painted in oils and watercolors. She exhibited with other artists from the Artists League of Fresno in 1952. The League later became the Fresno Art Museum. One of Nona's paintings was shown in the Fresno Bee on 2 November 1952. Nona served as secretary of the Artists League of Fresno in 1953. She was a member of the Art Prospectors of Fresno in 1964 and her work was shown with that of other members of that group. She was still a member of the Art Prospectors in July 1970 when, along with other members of that group, her work was shown at the Sierra Gallery and in 1971 at another gallery. Sequoia Lake, the subject of this painting is in Kings Canyon National Park in Fresno County, CA. A label on the back of this painting gives the Linneman's Fresno address.
    Nona Linneman died on 27 December 1999 in Oroville, Butte County, California. Vincent Linneman died on 18 April 1971 in Fresno.

Linneman label

Marinda Pitts

unnamed, Marinda Pitts, 8" x 10", oil

    Marinda V. Pitts was born on 17 May 1892 in Iowa, a daughter of Carl Frederick and Aleulia Agnese Agnew Huttenlocher. The Huttenlockers were living in Lee, Polk County, Iowa in 1900 and 1905. Carl was working as a "solicitor" in 1900. The Huttenlocher family was living in Pasadena, California in 1910. Aleulia's parents were living with them. Carl was employed as an "Agent, Ins and Real Estate". Marinda married John Everett Pitts about 1915. John was about 25 years older than Marinda. The Pitts were living in Los Angeles in 1920, where John was employed as a "salesman, traveling". They were still living in Los Angeles in 1930 and John was employed as a "commercial traveler, shoes".  John died in Los Angeles in 1942. Marinda was still living in Los Angeles in 1952 according to city directories. She was living in Santa Barbara by 1972.
    This painting is in its original, unique frame and the back was sealed when I received it. It was purchased from a Los Angeles art dealer, who purchased it in a local estate sale, so it seems likely this is the proper identification of the artist. I have found no record of Marinda's work as an artist. The complexity and quality of this painting would seem to indicate that Marinda was not a novice artist.
    Marinda died on 16 August 1973 in Santa Barbara, California.

Marinda Pitts

Marinda Pitts signature

Don Burgess plein
          air painting

unnamed, Don Burgess, 9" x 12", oil

    Biography in progress.

Don Burgess
            still life

Cloyd J. Sweigert

unnamed, Cloyd Sweigert, 11" x 13", watercolor, 1966

    Cloyd Jonathan Sweigert was born 20 February 1897 in the Santa Clara Valley, Santa Clara County, California, a son of George Adams and Jeanette Macklin North Sweigert. George Sweigert was employed as an "Orchidist" in the 1910 and 1920 censuses. Cloyd received an agriculture degree from UC Berkeley in 1918. He later worked as a farmer, for a time. According to California voter registration lists, Cloyd had several occupations in the 1920s including "lumberman", insurance rep., and cartoonist. He was living at home with his parents in 1930, employed as a "cartoonist, newspaper". Sweigert was a political cartoonist and artist. He worked for the San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco News, before working from 1932 until 1955 for the San Francisco Chronicle. He married Eleanor Atkinson about 1930.

Sweigert cartoon

Example of Sweigert cartoon

    He received Freedom Foundation Medals for his editorial cartoon work in 1951 and 1952, and a Christopher Award in Journalism in 1953. Sweigert is listed in Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide, and California Artists by Edan Hughes. He is also listed on line on sites like AskArt. He was a member of the Palo Alto Art Club.

Cloyd Jonathan Sweigert photo

Cloyd J. Sweigert at work

    Sweigert's signature on his watercolor work is very similar to that on his cartoon work. Sweigert died 20 February 1973 in Palo Alto, California. His obituary appeared in local newspapers and in newspapers across the country:

C.J. Sweigert Dies; Political Cartoonist

PALO ALTO - Nationally-known political cartoonist Cloyd Jonathon Sweigert, died in his Palo Alto home today after a long illness. He was 76. Sweigert, a mild-tempered man with a flair for political satire, was a member of a pioneer family whose grandfather was one of the first Santa Clara Sheriffs. A road in the east foothills carries the family name. Sweigert, educated in San Jose school and the University of California at Berkeley and at Davis, was a self-taught artist who began his career with the old San Francisco News.

In 1932 he transferred to the San Francisco Chronicle, where he remained as political cartoonist until 1955.

He was awarded the Freedom Foundation Medal in 1951 and 1952 for outstanding cartoons, and received the Christopher Medal in 1953 for best cartoon of the year.

Sweigert was also an accomplished painter, and his works have been shown at many exhibits throughout the Bay Area. His cartoons are also in the Library of Congress and the Huntington Art Gallery.

One of his cartoons, on the death of Winston Churchill, was widely published in England. He was also a member and past president of the Palo Alto Art Club, and a member of the Bohemian Club in San Francisco. He produced a newspaper each spring for the Bohemian Grove activities on Russian River.

In addition to his wife, Eleanor of 1365 Forest Ave., Sweigert also leaves a son, Cloyd Sheridan Sweigert of Palo Alto, and two grandchildren. Services are private. Interment is to be at oak Hill Memorial Park in San Jose.

San Jose Mercury, February 21, 1973, Wednesday, page 87

SWEIGERT - Palo Alto, Feb. 20, 1973, Mr. Cloyd J. Sweigert, beloved husband of Mrs. Eleanor A. Sweigert of Palo Alto; loving father of Mr. Cloyd S. Sweigert of New York; brother of Jeannette S. Allen of LeGrand. Also survived by two grandchildren, Susan E. and Karen M. Sweigert, both of New York. A native of San Jose. Age 76 years.

Private funeral services were held from Oak Hill Mortuary, 300 Curtner Ave. Private inurnment Oak Hill Memorial Park.

San Jose Mercury, February 22, 1973, Thursday

Cloyd Sweigert

Sweigert's signature

Ruby Agnew
          mission painting

unnamed, Ruby Agnew, 5.25" x 7.25", watercolor

    Ruby Agnew was a San Diego artist and teacher. I am still researching her. An informative biography was attached to the back of this painting, but I am still working on discovering the details of her life.

Ruby Agnew signature

Kay Bonanno
          "Potting shed"

"Potting Shed", Kay Bonanno, 9" x 12", oil

    Kay Bonanno was born in 1935 in New England, but resides in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. She is a painter in oils and pastels. She is an artist member of the California Art Club, a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, and an Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America. "The Potting Shed" was exhibited by Bonanno in the summer of 2009 at the COLORtec Salon, Torrence, CA.

Kay Bonanno "Sitting in the

"Sitting in the Park", Kay Bonanno, 6" x 9, oil

    I really like Ms. Bonanno's use of color and the contrast between light and shadow in her work. This is much more dramatic in some of her work. This is what made me pause the first time I saw her work on ebay, where she sells some of her work. Her ebay id is katherine693. She also has a web site. She is mentioned in The Best of Pastel by Constance Flavell Pratt.

Juan Guzman

"Carmel", Juan Guzman, 20" x 24", oil

    Kind of a mystery painter. I asked the seller of this painting for more information, but all he knew was that he was a California painter. Many months later he was still selling works by this artist and describing him as a Chile/California painter who had painted California scenes for 30 years. He thought that the paintings came from the artist's estate sale, but I learned in 2018 that he is still living, painting and selling his works at swap meets in Ojai, Ventura and the vicinity. Another source gives his year and place of birth as 1948 in Chile.

Guzman verso


    Guzman titled several of his works "Carmel". Maybe he was just noting the location, but the quotes make me think that it is the title. I have been unable to any more information about this artist.

Guzman signature

Terri Welles

unnamed, Terri Wells, 15" x 22.5", watercolor

    This was an ebay find. The seller attributed it to a Santa Cruz, CA artist named "Terri Wells". I searched for information about this artist for some time, and found nothing, possibly because I read his last name as "Welles". I recently (July 2016) heard from someone who is acquainted with the artist, though:

"The artist Terri Welles lives in Santa Cruz and is at the Buttery Bakery every morning drawing. He is now in his 70's.  Here is something he did for my friend while in the bakery."

    The acquaintance included an image of the sketch, from which I am showing the signature. It seems to be very clearly signed "Wells" from the sketch. I am hoping to hear from the artist in order to add some biographical and professional information to my site.
    His style reminds me of the work of some of the Monterey artists in my collection.


Wells Signature from my painting

Wells sketch signature

Signature from sketch

Welles verso

unnamed, Terri Wells, 15" x 22.5", watercolor

    This is the image that is painted on the back of the signed painting.

Joseph Aaron
          "Montana De Oro"

"Montana De Oro", Joseph Aaron, 16" x 12", oil

    Joseph Aaron was born in Southern California in 1959. He is a largely self taught plein aire painter and was also a student of Ovanes Berberian. He is listed in Davenport's Art Reference and price guide. Joe is also listed on AskArt, ArtPrice and ArtNet. He is represented by several galleries and also sells his work on ebay under the id artclassics. He has belonged to various art societies in the past, but now tends to walk his own path.

Joseph Aaron "Sedona"

"Sedona", Joseph Aaron, 11" x 14", oil

    Lots of reflections in this image. I'll try to get a less "shiny" image, when time permits.

Joseph Aaron

Trever Bennett
          "Touch of Moonlight"

"Touch of Moonlight", Trever Bennett, 16" x 20", oil

    Harriett E. "Trever" Bennett was born 17 July 1914. She may have been the daughter of John Henry and Hilda Amanda Carpenter Trever. It is interesting to note that Hilda's mother's maiden name was also Bennett. John H. Trever was a lawyer in Los Angeles County, California.

    Trever Bennett died on 13 April 2005 in Apple Valley, San Bernadino County, California.


Bennett signature


unnamed, Gregory Sumida, 13" x 19.25", watercolor

    Gregory Sumida was born 10 October 1948 in Los Angeles, California, the son of George and Alice Ishima Sumida. He is a self taught artist who works in oils, gouache, charcoal, watercolors and tempera. He has been painting since the late 1960s. Early in his career he was noted for California landscapes and figurative work. Later in his career, he became known for painting native American scenes. His work is held in several museum collections, including; the Carnegie Museum, Oakland Art Museum, Palm Springs Desert Museum, Desert Caballeros Museum, and the Booth Art Museum. He is mentioned in Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, and Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide.

  Sumida signature

Sumida signature

    It appears, from looking at Sumida's more recent works, that his signature has changed substantially. If the painting in my collection had not included a lengthy biography and picture of Sumida, I might have doubted that it is his work. I opened the painting up in order to determine if it needed re-framing with acid free materials and made several interesting discoveries.

Sumida verso

Verso of my painting

    First of all, there were a large number of doodles or practice sketches in blue watercolor. Next I found that Sumida had signed and dated the back. I am not sure if this is the date of the painting or the date of the doodles, or both. I also found that someone had cut several strips of plexi-glass and glued them around the edges of the glass, so that the painting would be suspended and not contact the glass. This required a lot of effort. I have never seen anything like this before. The frame and glass are the same size as the painting and there is no mat, which I suppose explains the effort to do this. It would have been easier to use a larger frame and a mat. All of this, put together, makes me think that this is one of Sumida's very early exhibited works. I have read that he sold works in his mid-teens, and he would have been about 19 at the time this work was painted. His current work is very different. The biography taped to the back of the painting seems to indicate that this work was among works exhibited by Sumida in a large exhibition. There was a catalog for this exhibition, and I have ordered a copy via inter library loan. It will be interesting to see if this painting is in the catalog.

          "Home through the fields"

"Home through the fields", M A Gomez Montanola, 20" x 24", oil, 1981

    Miguel Angel Gomez (Cruz) was born on 29 December 1906 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. He used several pseudonyms, including Montanola and MA Gomez. His last name appears in records as both Gomez and Cruz (his mother's maiden name). I have seen a few claims that paintings signed "Montanola" are some kind of scam, or "made in China", but they do in fact appear to be genuine and created by Miguel Gomez Cruz. All of the paintings that I have seen which can be attributed to him with certainty are signed Montanola and dated with the year. I have seen other images without a date, which appear to be of a slightly different style. They may be older works, or by another artist. I found a centennial memorial article of his birth from a Guayaquil newspaper that confirms his identity and details of his career. The dates of his birth and death, and the maiden name of his mother are reported in the California Death Index, and agree with what is presented in the newspaper article.

Montanola "Castle and

"Castle Village", Montanola, 20" x 24", oil, 1981

    Miguel was a painter, illustrator, and caricaturist. He studied lithography at the Guyayas Philanthropic Society of Guayaquil. He worked for thirty six years as a cartoonist for El Universo, a Guayaquil newspaper, the most prominent newspaper in Ecuador. He worked as both an editorial and comic strip artist for El Universo. He created several well known Ecuadorian cartoon characters, including Juan Pueblo and Saeta and Rafles (1924). His work in comics and his pseudonym, Montanola, are mentioned in an Ecuadoran comic blog.  He also created political cartoons and included political messages in his comic strips. Much of his caricature work was done under the pseudonym "M. A. Gomez". He enjoyed a lengthy career as a cartoonist and artist in Ecuador, exhibiting his artwork at home and in the US. Miguel also designed a well known Ecuadoran/Mexican ventriloquist's dummy, Don Roque. He competed in the International Editorial Cartoon competition in 1960, winning first prize for Latin America and third place in the International Competition. His biography notes that he won many prizes for exhibiting his art, but does not give any specifics. Cruz is not mentioned in any art reference book that I have access to, possibly due to his use of a pseudonym. I did find a few mentions of auctions of his works. I have not been able to discover when he emigrated to the US, but suspect it was about 1980.

Montanola "Fishermen at Cabo
                San Lucas"

"Fishermen at Cabo San Lucas", Montanola, 20" x 24", oil, 1983

    The paintings in my collection come from a seller who purchased a collection of 229 of Montanola's paintings. Accompanying the collection was the artist's catalog on 3" x 5" cards. I am working with the seller to find a home for this catalog. I like the style and richness of Montanola's work. I am not sure if he exhibited in California while he lived there.



    Gomez retired to Burbank, California, where he died on 9 January 1994. He reportedly painted hundreds of oil paintings while living in California.

Miguel Angel
          Gomez Cruz Montanola signature

"Montanola" signature

Jullie Halstead
          "Desert Studio"

"Desert Studio", Julie Halstead, 8" x 10", oil

    Julia Patricia "Julie" Halstead was born on 14 August 1952 in Orange County, California, a daughter of Henry Frederick and Marjorie Waller Vander Velde. Her parents were artists and she received her artistic training from them. (Biography in progress)

Will E. Millikan
          "Construction work"

"Construction Work", Willard Elzie Millikan, 23.5" x 19", watercolor, 1949

    Willard Elzie "Will" Millikan was born 31 July 1922 in Murphysboro, Jackson County, Illinois, a son of Elzie C. and Edith Leota Rolens Millikan. Elzie and Edith were living in Los Angeles in 1910, having been married for two years. They were living with Edith's parents. Elzie and his family lived in Murphysboro, Illinois from about 1913 to 1924, when they moved back to Los Angeles. Elzie Millikan was employed for 30 years (1924-1954) by, and later an executive with, the W. P. Fuller Paint Company. He served as president of the Los Angeles Kiwanis Club, the Rotary Club of Huntington Park, and the Los Angeles Paint Club. The Paint Club was a professional organization concerned with commercial paint topics, not an artistic organization. It would appear that Willard had financial advantages that may have allowed him to pursue formal artistic training. His work is very accomplished and suggests formal training. Willard was married to Carol Johnson on 22 June 1947. I was able to trace him based on the address information provided on the back of the painting.

Millikan label1    Millikan label

   Millikan was a graduate of Occidental College. I do not know what his major was, but suspect it was art related. He worked as an advertising designer until he retired. There do not appear to be any auction records of his work. He did sell his work as shown by one of the labels on my painting. He is not listed in any major art reference source. This painting was entered into the City of Los Angeles 1949 Art Week Exhibition. The label included his name, the title of the painting, price ($65), and Millikan's address (3964 1/2 Marathon St., Los Angeles, 27, Calif.). Another label included what was likely a later address and telephone number, and a shortened title for the painting. This latter address is what allowed me to trace him.

    I am still researching this artist. At this point he appears to be one of the legion of forgotten and undocumented California artists of the mid 20th century. His work has much in common with some of the better known California artists of this time. Any additional information about this artist would be appreciated.
    Willard Elzie Millikan died on 10 September 2007 in Whittier, CA. Carol J. Millikan died on 16 June 2003 in Whittier, CA.

Millikan signature

  Millikan's signature

Leonard C. Kazor

Nude, Leonard C. Kazor, 20" x 15", oil, 1954

    Leonard Charles Kazor was born 22 July 1917 in St. Clair County, Michigan, a son of Frank Bernard Kazor and Rose Amanda Seigler. Frank was working as a "machine hand" in an auto factory in 1920 and as a farmer in 1930. For some reason, Leonard is not listed with his family in the 1920 census, but is listed in the 1930 census. His social security number was issued while he was a resident of Pennsylvania, which seems to have created some confusion about his birth place. Identification of Leonard in primary records is made more difficult by the fact that there was another Leonard (Arthur) Kazor born in Pennsylvania about the same time. Leonard reportedly attended the Pasadena Art Institute from 1949-1951. He was supposedly an architect and artist. All of this information is unconfirmed. He painted abstracts, including figural and nude subjects, and some impressionist works, all of which can be seen from the variety of paintings by him offered in auctions and on ebay.
    Leonard Kazor died on 12 February 2000 in Pasadena, California, where he resided for many years.

Kazor signature

Kazor signature

Benton Scott

"Parc Froideveaux, Paris", Benton Francis Scott, 10" x 12", oil, 1961

    Benton Francis Scott was born in West Hollywood, California on June 25, 1907, to Leon H. and Leone Hudson Scott. Leon Scott was a lumber salesman. Benton was with his mother and siblings in the 1920 Los Angeles census in the home of his grandparents John and Mary Hudson. His father was not present, but his mother gave her marital status as "married". By 1930 Benton was a merchant seaman on the SS President Jefferson, docked in Seattle, WA. Scott studied at Otis Art Institute and with Will Foster, and continued his studies in Paris at the Académies Julian and Chaumiere. He was known for his post-impressionist and plein-aire paintings. He lived in Paris during the late-1940's and early 50's where he exhibited at the Academie Julien and the Academie de la Chaumier-Montparnasse. The subject of much of his work, during this period, was focused on very tranquil, yet very "typical" elements of the Parisian urban landscape or cityscape.


Title, verso

    He was a member of: Painters & Sculptors of LA; Society for Sanity in Art. Exh: LACMA, 1939-45; Society for Sanity in Art, 1943; Santa Barbara Museum, 1944; Woman’s Club (Beverly Hills), 1946; CPLH, 1946; Calif. Art Club, 1946-56; Maxwell Gallery (SF), 1947; Taylor Gallery (LA), 1948; Salon de Independents (Paris), 1948; NAD, 1953; Oakland Art Gallery, 1953; SFMA, 1955. 

Scott business

Card on back of painting

    His exhibitions include: Salon des Independent (Paris 1949-50), Nat'l Academy of Design (San Francisco, CA. 1953), Oakland Muni. Art Gallery (Oakland, CA. 1953), and the San Francisco Museum of Art (1953). He was represented by the Maxwell Art Gallery in San Francisco, CA. from 1956 into the 1970's. He is mentioned in Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide, Artists in California by Hughes, Who's Who in American Art,
   Benton Scott died in Orange, CA on 22 March 1983.

Scott signature


Sevey painting

unnamed, Mabel B. Sevey, 6" x 12", oil

    Mabel Bertha Sevey was born 6 November 1901 in Lodomillo Township, Clayton County, Iowa, a daughter of Ira Rollen and Bertha Emily Weyant Beyer. Ira Beyer was a farmer. Mabel was working as a Rural School Teacher in 1920 in Lodomillo Township. Mabel's younger sister was also a rural school teacher and attended the University of Dubuque. It is possible that Mabel did, too. She married Ray A. Sevey on 16 February 1922 in Lodomillo, Iowa. Ray was working as a farm laborer on his father's farm in 1920. I have not been able to locate them in the 1930 census, so they may have been "on the road" then. I was not been able to locate them again until 1948, when they were living in Elmonte Precinct of Los Angeles County. Ray died on 1 June 1957 in Los Angeles.

Beyer label

Label, verso

Mabel is mentioned for her work as an artist 10 times in the Pasadena Star-News between 1966 and 1974. Mabel was a member of the Mid-Valley Art Association and the Foothills Art Society, for which organization she served on the board of directors.  She showed her work at the Foothill Art Society, Monrovia Public Library, and the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
    By 1988, Mabel had relocated to Edgewood, Iowa, where her sister lived. She died there on 22 March 1997.

Sevey signature

Sevey signature

Golsch painting

unnamed, Fernando L. Golsch, 9.5" x 7.75', gouache

    Fernando Lexington Golsch was born 12 April 1874 at Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky, a son of Henry Fredrick Bernhardt Golsch and Elizabeth Isabelle Coffman. His father was a cigar maker and a German immigrant. By profession, Fernando was an engraver and draftsman. The first record I have found of his work as an engraver is in the 1892 Newport and Covington, Kentucky City Directory. Golsch married Mae Inez Burch on 26 October 1897 in Covington, Kentucky. Fernando was employed as "wood engraver" in 1900, an "artist, commercial" in 1910, an "artist, engraving company" in 1920. He appears with his family in the 1910 census of Dayton, Kentucky, but he received a copyright with the Cincinnati Process Engraving Co. in that year, too. The Golsch family had moved from Kentucky to Cincinnati, Ohio by 1917, when Fernando filled out his WWI draft registration card. His draft card is a bit hard to decipher, but it appears that he was living in Cincinnati and working at the YMCA, but his employer was a "training school" in Chicago, Illinois. His occupation appears to be "YMCA War Sect.". It may be that he was teaching engraving at the time, but that is just a guess. He begins appearing in Los Angeles voter registration lists in 1924. His occupation was consistently listed as "artist" in these lists. His parents and brother were also enumerated in the early lists.
     Golsch died on 17 December 1952 in Los Angeles, California.

Golsch signature

F. L. Golsch signature


"The Baronet", William F. Timmins, 12" x 19.5", watercolor

    William Frederick Timmins was born on 23 May 1915, in Chicago, Illinois, a son of Harry Laverne and Pauline Beckford Timmons. Harry Timmins gave his occupation as "Artist, Commercial" in the 1920 census, and as "Artist" in the 1930 census . Harry Timmins is listed in Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, and other art reference books. The Timmins family moved to Forest Hills, Long Island, New York by September 1929, when they returned from a trip to France. They had relocated to Greenwich, Connecticut by 1932, when the family once again returned to the US from France. William F. and Marjorie Vail Timmons returned to the US from a trip to France in 1937. This may have been their honeymoon. They gave their address as 21 NTH Chatsworth Avenue, Larchmont, NY.

Timmins title

Label on painting

    William Timmins studied at the American Academy of Art, Art Student's League, and Grand Central Art School in New York City. He later lived in Connecticut, from where he traveled to Europe and around the US on painting trips. He retired to the Monterey Peninsula in the mid 1960s, settling in Carmel. Timmins painted in oils and watercolors and also worked as an illustrator.  Timmins illustrated the 1959 edition of the Boy Scout Handbook. He also did cover art for Astounding Science Fiction magazine in the 1940s. He was a member of the Society of Western Artists. He was listed in Who's Who in American Art, Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, Davenports Art Reference and Price Guide, and American Artists of Renown 1981-1982, Anne Avery Editor. Timmins exhibited at the Pepper Tree Ranch Invitational, and at galleries in California, Arizona, and Nevada. His art is part of the collections of The House of Four Winds in Monterey, the Longyear Foundation in Boston, Allstate Savings in Salinas, CA, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
    William Timmins died on 9 January 1985 in San Francisco, CA. There are references to Marjorie V. Timmins as late as 2009 in Carmel, CA, age 91, which fits with her age as reported on ship passenger lists.

Timmins address

Artist's address from back of painting


unnamed, Kee Fung NG, 11" x 14", oil

    Kee Fung Ng was born in 1941 in China. He graduated from the Fu-San Art School in Canton in 1960 and later left to join his family in Hong Kong. He supported his family there by working as an artist. He immigrated to the US in 1968, settling in San Francisco. He worked in a variety of styles, but was most successful painting realistic oils of Chinese children in every day life in China. I attended Linux World in San Francisco in 2001 and actually went into his gallery. I did not collect art at the time, and was just checking out some shops looking for souvenirs. I purchased this painting in a thrift shop in Central Illinois in maybe 2004 or 2005. Mr. Ng has now retired, and his gallery in Chinatown has been closed. Ng stamped his gallery name and address on the stretcher, but it is too faint to photograph.

Ng Signature

Kee Fung Ng signature

Lorusso Deer

"Deer Creek", Virginia Lorusso, 15" x 22", watercolor

  Virginia Lorusso is a California artist who works in multiple medias. I have not been able to find out much more about her. This was an ebay find. According to the seller, who is located in Sonora, she has been painting for over 50 years. She has been an art teacher for 33 years and still teaches watercolor classes twice a week. Any additional information about this artist would be appreciated. I'll get a better image, when time permits.

Lorusso Gig
          Harbor, WA

"Gig Harbor, Washington", Virginia Lorusso, 15" x 22", watercolor


unnamed, Elmer F. Ekeroth, 18" x 24", oil

    Elmer Frederick Ekeroth was born in Malden, Massachusetts on 30 August 1918, the only child of Adolph and Sophia Peterson Ekeroth, Swedish immigrants. Adolph Ekeroth was a self employed sign painter in 1910, 1920, and 1930. Elmer may have initially learned to paint by working with his father. Elmer attended the Vesper George School and School of Practical Art in Boston, and in Cambridge he attended the Cambridge Center Art School. I suspect he may have followed in his father's footsteps and worked as some type of commercial artist before becoming a fine artist.
    Ekeroth left Massachusetts in the late 1950s or early 1960s to move to Monterey County, California. He was a founding member and first president of the Pacific Grove Art Association in 1967. This organization later became known as the Central Coast Art Association. Ekeroth served on the first Board of Directors of the Oakland Art Association. He exhibited at the Oakland Art Association, Alameda County Fair, Monterey County Fair, Pacific Grove Art Association, Pacific Grove Art Center, Central Coast Art Association, and other venues. He was prominent in the Monterey County art scene. He is mentioned in Art and Artists of the Monterey Peninsula by Harbick, Yesterday's Artists on the Monterey Peninsula by Spangenberg, and California Artists by Hughes.
    My painting is less colorful and more realistic than most of the work by Ekeroth that I have seen. Some of his oils remind me of the style of California watercolors. Most of his work is just signed "Ekeroth", though the signature of his surname on my painting is very consistent with other examples that I have seen.
    Ekeroth died on 11 October 1993 in Monterey, California.



unnamed, Fredrick W. Carroll, 16" x 12", oil, 1968

    This painting was done by Fredrick Carroll while he was an inmate of San Quentin State Prison in California. What information I have regarding him comes from the Archives Department of the California Department of Corrections. According to their records he was from the UK, but I do not know if that means he was a citizen of the UK or had lived there prior to being incarcerated. Fredrick W. Carroll was received and processed at San Quentin on 31 March 1964. His California Department of Corrections(CDC)# was A83357. He was discharged from San Quentin on 11 October 1977. No other information was available regarding him.
    I did find the record of another Fredrick W. Carroll who was a prisoner at the Oregon State Penitentiary, and on 12 August 1977, prison records show that drug paraphernalia, a home made smoking pipe was found in his cell. He was not convicted for this infraction, since no drugs were found and it could not be proved that the pipe was for drug use. On 20 June 1978 he filed an appeal for another infraction of the prison rules. The snippet view of his case that I found using Google Books indicates that Carroll forged the signature of a corrections officer on a pass in order to gain access to the prison hospital for an appointment that he was supposed to be at. He was found guilty of forging the signature on the pass, but not of being in an unauthorized location, since had an appointment.  This appears to be a coincidence of names, since the artist was still in prison at San Quentin in August 1977.


Inscription verso

    I've never been attracted to clown paintings before but was immediately struck by this one when I saw it. I found it a bit disturbing. After reading that the artist had painted this while a prisoner at San Quentin my curiosity was peeked, so I purchased it, figuring that this would be a bit different than my normal research opportunities. There is an inscription verso, but I do not know if it is in Mr. Carroll's hand or not. I suspect that it is. There is also a price of $17.50 inscribed. The song "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles had been released in 1967, the year before this painting was completed, and I have to wonder if it did not influence the artist. I purchased this painting in mid-2009 from a seller who had in turn purchased it from a professor at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA. The professor and her husband purchased the painting in the late 1960s at a benefit auction in San Francisco that featured San Quentin inmate art. The professor and her husband were living in San Francisco at the time. I was able to contact the professor and she confirmed these facts.
    I have found no other mention of Fredrick Carroll and do not know where he received his artistic training or other facts about his work as an artist.
One other work by this artist has surfaced, but it was much cruder than the painting in my collection, and titled "Satan's Children".


Signature, possibly signed with an ink pen


unnamed, Albert E. Wascher, 15" x 22", watercolor

    Albert Evan Wascher was born in Germany on 7 October 1896. He came to the US after WWII, settling in Alameda, California by 1948, where he was employed as a radio engineer. He was a registered Republican. He married Angeline Maschio by 1948. Wascher was a member of the Hayward Art Association, Alameda Art Association, Diablo Art Association, president of the Society of Western Artists, and first president of the Oakland Art Association. He is mentioned several times in the Oakland Tribune in the early and mid 1960s as an exhibitor at art shows, for his work as a juror at the London Square Art Festival, as director of the art division for the Alameda County Fair, and as a speaker at the Diablo Art Association. Wascher was apparently very active in the art scene in Oakland and in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, CA. Surprisingly, he is not listed in any art reference book.
    Wascher died on 11 September 1977 in Pebble Beach, Monterey County, California where he and his wife retired. Angeline Wascher died on 17 October 1997 at the age of 103.


Wascher signature


"Boathouse on Crab Lake", Ellis Brant, 22" x 28", oil

    Ellis G. Brant was born in Rundvik, Sweden on 15 June 1893. He emigrated to America with his family in 1909, settling in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His WWI draft registration card is dated June 1917. Ellis' description was given as medium height, medium build, blond hair, and blue eyes. Brant was married and working as a painter for the Superior Caulking Company in Milwaukee at the time. Brant did not serve in the military. The 1920 census reports his wife's name as M. Edie, though the other information in the census matches his known wife, Abbie Clara Dunday. Abbie was born in Augusta, Wisconsin on 1 September 1893, daughter of Julius and Clara Roseboom Dunday. Her birthday is also given as 1 November in one record. The Brants had no biological children but raised an orphaned niece of Ellis' as their own child. Brant was working as a self employed building contractor in 1920 and 1930. Ellis G. Brant and Nicolai B. Nielsen of Milwaukee, WI received patent #1,390,135 for a "Window Ventilator" on 6 June 1921. He was a naturalized US citizen by 1930. He has not been located in the 1910 census.

Ellis G and
              Abbie Clara Dunday Brant

Ellis and Abbie Brant
(photo sent by Ellis to his parents in Sweden)

    Ellis and Abbie Brant traveled outside of the US at least twice. They entered the US at New Orleans on 6 April 1937 on the British ship "Jamaica Merchant" from Vera Cruz, Mexico. Their address was given as 89 Bluemand Road, Mauwotosa, WI. Probably actually Wauwotosa, which is in Milwaukee County,WI.  The Brants arrived in New York City in late August 1953 as first class passengers on the Swedish-American Lines ship "Stockholm". They had departed from Copenhagen, Denmark on 18 August 1953. Their US address was 1970 Turnbull Canyon Road, Puente, California.

Catskill Mountains, Ny State by
              Ellis Brant

"Catskill Mountains, Ny state", Ellis Brant, 20" x 16". oil

    The earliest mention that I have found of Brant's work as an artist is in the Wisconsin Magazine of History, V. 29 1945-46, page 120, "Eighteen landscapes done in oils by Ellis Brant of Milwaukee were exhibited during the month of June by the Kenosha Historical and Art Museum at Kenosha. Mr. Brant has adopted oil painting as a hobby, and his pictures are receiving favorable comment". I have found a few examples of Brant's work on the Internet, and have been contacted by several others who have also seen or owned numerous examples of his work. He appears to have been fairly prolific both in Wisconsin and in California, painting primarily landscapes. I am including another example of his work above.


Notation on back of painting

    My painting seems to have been painted in the plein air mode on a cold June day, as suggested by the inscription on the back of the painting. I contacted the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and discovered that June 1945 was the fifth coldest month of June in the 55 years of record keeping, and that the temperature in the vicinity of Milwaukee on 3 June 1945 was 33 degrees above zero early on that day. This agrees with the notation made by Brant verso.


Signature from Brant's WWI draft registration

    I was also able to use this inscription to prove the identity of Brant as the signature verso is nearly identical to Brant's signature from his WWI draft registration card even though they were created almost 30 years apart. How sweet it is!  Judging by the date, it is also possible that my painting was one of those exhibited at the Kenosha Historical and Art Museum.


Inscription, verso

    There is also a faint inscription on the back of my painting that reads "Fitch", which I later learned was the name of a California neighbor. It is possible that the Brants intended the Fitch family to have this painting after their passing. I was contacted in 2010 by a neighbor who was very close to the Brants in California and visited the Brant's Wisconsin cabin and boathouse with her parents in 1948. She considers the Brants to have been her surrogate grandparents and her family inherited a couple of dozen of Ellis Brandt's paintings when Abbie downsized after Ellis' death. My painting was one of those, and was complemented by a painting of the Brant's lake cabin, which remains in her family along with a few others.
    I have not been able to determine exactly when the Brant's permanently relocated to California but correspondence with his family indicates that the Brants relocated sometime in the 1940s.
I am including him on my California artists page as he was apparently active as an artist longer in that state than in Wisconsin, though he could also easily be identified as a Wisconsin artist as he likely trained there and completed significant work and growth as an artist in that state. 


Manufacturer's label from my painting

    Where Brant obtained his training as an artist is not known with certainty, though it was probably in Milwaukee, or the vicinity. According to the family, he was a student of Robert Franz Von Neumann, so he may have attended the Layton School of Art. It is also not known how long he was active as an artist or what volume of work he produced. Brant was a member of the Milwaukee Sketch Club. He is listed in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Hughes, though I am fairly certain that he did not paint in California that early. I was contacted in late 2010 by the son of the niece that the Brants raised and he knew the Brants well and was able to fill in a few details about Brant's work as an artist. Brant knew and painted with Wisconsin artists Francesco J. Spicuzzo, Henry Morley Fraser Sr. and Hans John Stoltenberg, well known and documented artists and was active in the Milwaukee arts community.

Ellis G. Brant

Ellis Brant as a young man
(photos of Ellis and Abbie courtesy of their great grand neice)

   The Brants were close friends with a Milwaukee couple, Leland and Erna Heth, and I was contacted by the Heth's niece, Judy Danca, in mid 2009. Leland "Lee" Heth was a house painter and decorator in Milwaukee and the vicinity. It is not known if Leland also worked as a fine artist. Though he and Erna were childless, Lee drove a truck bearing the words "Leland Heth and Sons" on the doors. The Heths visited the Brants in California in the 1950s and took a few minutes of 8mm film to commemorate the event. This film has been transferred to DVD and I have a copy which I will hopefully be able to post somewhere where I can link to it from this site. Stay tuned.
    Ellis G. Brant died on 23 January 1968 in Los Angeles, CA. His last residence was at 91745 Hacienda Heights, Los Angeles. Abbie Brant died on 26 June 1982 in Los Angeles. The Brants are buried in the Rose Hills Cemetery in Whittier, CA.



unnamed, G. D. Arul Raj, 8" x 11.75", watercolor

    Gideon D. Arul Raj was born 2 August 1925 in Kodiakanal, India. He studied art at the Government School of Arts and Crafts in India. He later attended art school in Madras, South India, where he studied the art of watercolor painting. After the end of WWII he moved to Laguna Beach, CA. In California he painted and exhibited his watercolors of India and California.

                watercolor by G. D. Arul Raj

unnamed, G. D. Arul Raj, 18" x 24", watercolor on artist board

    The Walter Foster Company published a book that described his painting techniques in the 1960s. I have a copy of this book. It is a paperback,31 pages, 11" x 17", with dozens of images of Raj's watercolors at various stages of completeness. It is really a "How to paint like Raj" book. The book also contains samples of the color palette that Raj used. I think his work is interesting, but he is not well listed, appearing only in California Watercolors by McClelland and Last.
    Raj died in June of 1975.


unnamed, G. D. Arul Raj, 8" x 11.75", watercolor


unnamed, G. D. Arul Raj, 8" x 11.75", watercolor


"Pintail", Laura M. Batt, 10" x 14", watercolor, 1984

    Laura M. Batt is a native San Diego, CA artist. She studied art at San Diego Community College, San Diego Academy of Fine Arts, and San Diego State University. She has also studied through workshops and one on one training with well known teachers. She works in oils, acrylic, etching, and watercolors. This is one of her fairly early works. She has a web site and is also included on the web site of the Coronado Art Association. She is also a member of the Shorebirds Art Society, and San Diego Watercolor Society.


Batt signature



unnamed, "Gerald Spencer", 18" x 24", watercolor on Yupo paper

    Gerald "Gerry" Warren Spencer was born 7 August 1923 in Shelly, Idaho, a son of Willis H. and Versailles Y. Graves Krupp Spencer. Willis  was working as a cement laborer in Pomona, CA in 1930. Gerald's career as a painter started after his service in WWII.


Gerald Spencer and "friends".

    Spencer studied at the Chouinard and Jebson Art Institutes. He exhibited widely in Southern California and is said to have won over 400 awards for his paintings between 1945 and 2008. He is mentioned in Edan Hughes "Artists in California, 1786-1940". For an artist who exhibited so long, so much, and won so many awards, it is odd that his is not very well listed. I like the expressive faces and poses of his subjects.


unnamed, Gerald Spencer, 15" x 22", watercolor


    I like this one because it captures the feel of the early 1970s so well in an understated way, with the woman in a granny dress and the man with long hair. Green was a big color in the 1960s and 1970s, especially for things like art glass. Glass of this color dominates the colors of factory art glass produced during this time. This kind of feels like a 1970 version of American Gothic to me.



unnamed, Gerald Spencer, 15"x 22", watercolor

    This image was painted on the back of the painting above. It was a nice surprise as the seller did not mention it. I actually like it better than the image the seller featured. The main part of the image is much more narrow than the sheet it is painted on and properly displaying it would require severely trimming the painting on the other side. The whole sheet is painted in a pinkish background, though. Both sides are signed and I believe were meant to be finished paintings.


unnamed, Gerald Spencer, 18" x 24", watercolor

    This painting is painted on the reverse of the first painting shown above. Spencer was apparently thrifty and often painted on both sides of the sheet of paper. He also often signed both sides as finished works, like these two. He often practiced on one or both sides, sometime signing or not signing either side. Both sides of this work seem to be finished works, though to frame the painting of the woman would likely require significantly trimming the other side.


unnamed, Gerald Spencer, 15" x 22", watercolor

    I call this one "The Reader". Not sure if Spencer's work was cataloged and if any of these paintings were named. This one is painted only on one side. A seller on ebay offered several dozen of Spencer's paintings in February and March of 2009, the source for all of these paintings. The seller also had what he estimated were a third of the 400 awards that Spencer had won in his lifetime.

s          s


Some practice drawings by Spencer

    These are examples of Spencer's unsigned practice works. They are painted on both sides of a single sheet and not signed, though the man or woman in the beret fills one whole side and in my opinion could be considered a finished work. Even Spencer's practice works were very expressive, filled with emotion and action.


A portion of Spencer's awards

    Gerry Spencer died 12 November 2008 in Garden Grove, CA. At the time of his death, Spencer was a member of the Cypress Art League, Cypress, CA. His obituary appeared in The Orange County Register:

Spencer, Gerald Warren, born August 7, 1923 in Shelly, Idaho, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Garden Grove on November 12, 2008. After serving honorably in the US Army during World War II, Gerry followed his life long passion for art and enrolled at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. His work has been exhibited and has won numerous awards over the years, he will be greatly missed by many in the art community. He is survived by his daughter, Gwyn Thek; his son-in-law, Willard Lones; his three granddaughters, Trisha, Sara, Jennifer and two great- granddaughters, Kaley and Keera. A celebration of life memorial will be held in January. In lieu of flowers, please make a charitable donation to the American Heart Association.


unnamed, Gerald Spencer, 15" x 22", watercolor

    Spencer also painted in oils and painted a variety of subjects besides people, but I like his figurative work the best. His nudes are so natural. Even though he must have used models, to me there is still a spontaneity to them. His paintings have so much energy, too. I did like some of his landscapes very much, especially the more surreal ones.


unnamed, Gerald Spencer, 18" x 24", watercolor on Yupo paper

    Couldn't stop buying these! This is the first time I had run into Yupo paper. The low cost of these paintings, along with how much I like them and the novelty of the Yupo paper was addictive.


"Young girl picnicking", Gerald Spencer, 18" x 24", oil on canvas

    This is the only oil painting by Spencer that I added to my collection. The seller was down to the bottom of the barrel of the dozens of Spencer's paintings that he was offering before one came up that I bid seriously for. I liked the color palette and lighting in this one. It was one of the very few that was painted on a canvas, not a board.


Spencer signature


"Spruce Creek", Pamela K. Wilhelm, 8" x 11", oil, monotype

    Pamela K. Wilhelm is a California artist who works in several mediums including oils, watercolors, and acrylic. She uses several techniques including painting and monotype. She is an art teacher and received her art education in high school and at Montana State University. These monotypes were done using a plexi-glass base which seems to have allowed the artist to create more detailed images.
     She described the top painting as a winter scene featuring red sandstone framing a creek. The other painting is described as a fishing scene with an atmospheric effect evoked by rain drops and fog. Mrs. Wilhelm sells her work on ebay using the id eeps1.


"The Jetty", Pamela K. Wilhelm, 8" x 11", oil, monotype

    Both prints are deeply pressed into heavy paper and titled across either the bottom or the side of the sheet.


Inscriptions from artwork


unnamed, Konrad Klem, 21" x 27", watercolor

    Konrad Desmond Klem was born 7 April 1915 in Coronado, San Diego County, CA, the son of Herbert and Abbie Holt Klem. His parents divorced when he was a teenager and his father remarried in 1926, moving to San Francisco. Conrad, as he appeared in the 1920 and 1930 censuses, was living with his mother, sister, and a half brother in Los Angeles, CA in 1930. He registered as a Democrat as "Conrad" Klem in Fresno, CA in 1934. Klem enlisted as a private in the US Army Air Corps on 12 October 1941, giving his name as "Konrad Desmond Klem". He had attended one year of high school and his occupation was listed as "unskilled photographic process". Klem married Alberta Hoover about 1946 in California. She was seven years his senior. Klem was living in Chula Vista, CA in 1958. His wife died in San Diego in 1987.
    Nothing is known about Klem's training or work as an artist, but an early work is dated 1932 and another 1941. He continued to be active into at least the 1960s in the San Diego County area. He worked mainly in watercolors and gouache, painting landscapes and surreal female nudes. Klem is not mentioned in any major art reference book. Klem may not have exhibited his work.
    Klem died on 25 December 1997 in San Diego, CA. A large number of his paintings came onto the market from the estate of a friend several years after Klem's death.


Klem signature


unnamed, Emma G. Hoffman (attributed), 10.25" x 13.25", watercolor

    Several watercolors were offered by a seller in Pennsylvania with claim that they were purchased together, some signed and some not. These two are not signed.  I suspect they came from an auction on 23 February 2008 at the Bunte Auction Services in Elgin, Illinois where two lots of unframed watercolors attributed to Emma G. Hoffman were sold. Four framed watercolors by an artist of the same name were sold by the same auction house on 16 December 2006. The Pennsylvania seller I purchased these watercolors from was told by the person who sold them to him that they were by a Southern California artist named Emma G. Hoffman. That seller was another art dealer from Chicago, Illinois. I am not convinced of this attribution but have no proof either way.
    Emma G. Hoffman was a Southern California artist who was active from about 1939 until 1965. She is listed in Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, and Southern California Art by Nancy Moure. She used watercolors to paint still lifes, landscapes, and interior scenes. She lived and worked Berkeley, CA for some time but moved to Los Angeles by 1955. She may be the Emma G. Hoffman who was born 3 September 1909 in Arizona and died 10 November 1969 in Los Angeles. The maiden name of this woman was "Martinez" according to the California Death Index.
    I really liked the colors and the quiet action of the painting above. It also strongly reminds me of another painting that I love, but could not buy. I liked the painting below, too, for the use of color. They were very inexpensive. I am including these on my "California Artists" page in hopes some one with an interest in California art might recognize this artist's work. Copies of signatures from two signed paintings are included below, Her signature was distinctive. Any information about this artist would be appreciated.


unnamed, Emma G. Hoffman (attributed), 9.75" x 12.25", watercolor



Hoffman signature


unnamed, Maurice Silber, 15" x 22", watercolor

    Maurice Silber was born 19 April 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Leiser and Sylvia Ehrlich Silber, Polish/Jewish immigrants. Maurice was a painter, illustrator, jewelry designer and model maker, and businessman. Silber enlisted in the Army Air Corps during WWII and served 1942-1945. He was active as an illustrator of military subjects for many years. He worked for several jewelry companies and operated his own companies Jewel Arts Inc. in 1947, and Maurice Silber Inc. in the early 1970s.
    He attended the Pratt Institute (1940), Cooper Union (1940-1942), Art Students League (1945), and studied industrial design with Donald Dohner, and also studied watercolor with Ed Whitney, Robert E. Wood, John Pike, and Tom Hill. Silber also attended Queen's College, Empire State College, the State University of New York (1979-1981), and received an MA from New York University in 1984. He was a member of the Salmagundi Club (admissions chairman 1972-1974), Society of Illustrators, National Art League, Artists Equity of New York, Knickerbocker Artists of New York (ANCO award 1977), American Artists Professional League, Artists Fellowship of New York, Art League of Nassau County, Society of Marine Artists, and the San Diego Watercolor Society. He received a patent for the design of chess pieces.   


unnamed, Maurice Silber, 15" x 22", watercolor

    Silber exhibited widely both nationally and internationally in one man and group shows. He exhibited at the shows of the societies of which he was a member, and at galleries, museums, universities, and even at the American embassy in Costa Rica. His work is part of the permanent collections of the East Hampton Historical Society, Marine Museum, Teatro Nacional in Costa Rica, National Park Service, USAF Art Collection, US Navy Combat Art Collection, and many others. He won many prizes including a First Prize and Special award at the New York World's Fair in 1939.
    He is widely listed; Who's Who in American Art (1976-1993), Who Was Who in America, Who's Who in the East (1981-1986), Who's Who in the World (1984-1988), Men of Achievement (1980), Artbibliographies Modern (1973), Artists as Illustrators, Who's Who in American Art, and more. He was featured in the June 1972 edition of "American Artist, The Water Color Page".


unnamed, Maurice Silber, 15" x 22", watercolor

    Some of his marine watercolors have been reproduced as posters and are still widely available, though he seems largely forgotten as an artist, today. I bought all four of these as a lot for a little over $20 on ebay. All are signed except for the portrait. His background as a illustrator is shown in that all of these paintings are either stamped or noted in his hand that he retained exclusive rights to the images of his work.  Silber died on 29 November 1995 in San Diego, CA.


unnamed, Maurice Silber, 14"x 11", watercolor



"Construction", James Glanton, 15" x 22", watercolor, 1963

    James Glanton was born in 1936 in Longview, Texas. He was a graduate of the Chouinard Institute and exhibited in California and Colorado. He was living in Los Angeles in 1963. This painting was sold by Sears, Roebuck, and Co. as part of the Vincent Price Collection. From late 1962 until 1971 it was possible to purchase fine art, from Picassos to works by lesser known artists through the Sears catalog and at some stores. Sears contracted well known actor and fine art expert Vincent Price to acquire fine art for Sears and lend his name to the collection. The quality of the works Price selected was considered to be very good. Over 50,000 pieces of fine art were sold by Sears under the auspices of the Vincent Price Collection. The history of this program can be found on Sears' web site and there is a rare Sears training video on YouTube showing Vincent Price explaining the collection to Sears sales folks. Very fun.
    I was contacted by a relative of Mr. Glanton in early 2009 and was informed the "Uncle Jimmy" was still living in California and that they would forward my contact information to him. Unfortunately, I never heard from him, though I did send another email to the relative who contacted me but received no response. I was able to locate Mr. Glanton in Contra Costa County, CA, I think, using, but as he apparently does not want contact I did not make the attempt. There are several art societies in the vicinity, so he may have been affiliated with one or more of them.


Glanton's signature


Sears Vincent Price Collection label


unnamed, Philoma C. Goldsworthy, 15" x 22.5", watercolor

    Philoma Colin Goldsworthy was born 4 April 1895 in Stockton, California the daughter of William J. and Louise Ann Lonigan Goldsworthy. Ms. Goldsworthy graduated from Pacific Grove High School in Pacific Grove, CA in 1914. She was employed by the Stockton Herald in 1915. In 1916 and 1917 she was enrolled at San Jose State Normal University, where she received her teaching certificate, and was working as a teacher as early as 1918 when she gave her party affiliation as Republican and profession as teacher for that year's voter registration in Santa Clara County. She graduated from the University of California with an AB degree in 1931 and from Stanford University with an AM degree in Education in 1948. As early as 1929 she was Supervisor of Art Education for San Jose City Schools, which position she held with similar titles until at least 1961. She authored numerous books and papers and was a frequent speaker on the topic of art education in the public schools. Sometime in the early 1960s she retired to the Monterey Peninsula at Pacific Grove.
    All eight of these watercolors came from a portfolio of her work that was purchased at an estate sale in Monterey, California. They were pretty inexpensive and I really enjoyed researching her and like her work, so I picked up most of the paintings that the seller had. I really like that they are colorful and loose in style, too. Only 3 are signed, though two of those have watercolors on both sides, so I guess you could say 5 out eight are signed. One of the unsigned ones is also painted on both sides. Ms. Goldsworthy was apparently a thrifty woman, though the paintings are done on very heavy watercolor paper. I do not know when she painted any of these watercolors. She did exhibit her work and the Monterey Peninsula Herald art critic on 21 February 1982, mentioned a showing of 17 of her paintings in a local exhibition. One painting in particular, a Carmel mission scene "Call to Worship" was described as almost expressionist and the "undisputed star" of the exhibition.
    Goldsworthy was a member of the Monterey Watercolor Society. She is mentioned in Artists in California, 1786-1940 by Hughes and Artists of the American West by Dawdy. Hughes mentions her work as a teacher but not her decades as an educational administrator. She was a founding member of the Pacific Grove Heritage Society and that society awards a scholarship in her name to high school seniors who have exhibited an interest in local history or preservation.
    Goldsworthy died on 24 June 1993 in Monterey at the age of  98. She is buried with her mother, who lived to the age of 101, and several of her siblings in the Carmelo Cemetery, Pacific Grove, Monterey County, CA.  


unnamed, Philoma C. Goldsworthy, 15" x 22.5", watercolor, signed (side A)


unnamed, Philoma C. Goldsworthy, 15" x 22.5", watercolor, unsigned (side B)

    The person who sold these paintings to me lives in Monterrey and the seller noted the estate that they came from was the estate of a "Miss Gay" of Monterey. I contacted the Pacific Grove Heritage Society and they were unable to find any record of Miss Gay. The paintings may have come from the estate of a relative or close friend of Ms. Goldsworthy. I am attempting to confirm whose estate they came from. The seller says the estate sale was around April of 2008 and the estate was that of a resident of Pacific Grove. The seller identified the location of one of the paintings as Lover's Point, Pacific Grove, CA. I suspect all of these scenes were from the Pacific Grove or Monterey area.


unnamed, Philoma Goldsworthy, 22" x 15", watercolor, signed (side A)


unnamed, Philoma Goldsworthy, 15" x 22", watercolor, (side B)

    I wonder if the top painting might be "Call to worship" that was mentioned in the Monterey Peninsula Herald article? Both of these seem a bit different than her other works, and I might have doubted they were hers if one side was not signed.


unnamed, Philoma Goldsworthy, 15" x 22", watercolor, (side A)


unnamed, Philoma Goldsworthy, 15" x 22", watercolor, (side B)

    Neither of these was signed. The top painting is the one that the seller identified as Lover's Point, Pacific Grove, CA. Note the similarity of the painting on "side B" to the second of her paintings that I show at the beginning of her biography.


unnamed, Philoma Goldsworthy, 11.5" x 16", watercolor

    This is one of my favorites, though smaller than the other paintings. Not sure why she is not better known. She seems to have had a very long career, though she may not have exhibited much. I have found only the single reference to her showing her work. The fact that much of her work is not signed and that many of her paintings were double sided leads me to believe that she did not exhibit much or sell her work. Hopefully more information about her career as an artist will surface.



Monterey Peninsula Herald, CA June 24, 1993

    Philoma C. Goldsworthy, 98, of Pacific Grove, a retired educator, died Thursday at Monterey Convalescent Hospital. Miss Goldsworthy was born April 4, 1895, in Stockton. She was a supervisor of an art education for the San Jose Unified School District, retiring in 1960. Miss Goldsworthy was a member of the First Methodist Church of Pacific Grove, the Woman's Civic Club of Pacific Grove, the P.E.O. Sisterhood, chapter H.T., United Methodist Women, the Alliance on Aging, the Pacific Grove Heritage Society, the Monterey Peninsula Watercolor Society, Meals on Wheels and the Monterey County Retired Teachers Association. Memorial services will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at the First United Methodist Church in Pacific Grove. Cremation will be at the Little Chapel by-the-Sea, followed by inurnment at El Carmelo Cemetery in Pacific Grove. The family suggests that any memorial contributions be sent to the Philoma Goldsworthy Scholarship Fund at Pacific Grove High School, 615 Sunset Drive, Pacific Grove 93950.


Philoma Goldsworthy, class photo 1914 Pacific Grove High School


"Summer at the lake", Mark M. Junge, 8" x 10", acrylic

    Mark M. Junge is a California artist, with over 35 years of experience, who paints with acrylics. He paints primarily desert scenes and calls himself a "desert landscape artist". This painting is not his typical subject matter, which is one reason it caught my eye and was the first of his works that I added to my collection. The two desert landscapes below, also from my collection, are the types of scenes he is best known for. Mark has a web site and a blog site. He also sells some of his smaller, less complicated works on ebay under the id of landscape_artist. I am including an example of his signature from my painting, below. His signature on his more complex work is more intricate and may be viewed on his web site.


"Monarchs of the Mojave", Mark M. Junge, 8" x 10", acrylic


"Afternoon in the Desert", Mark M. Junge, 8" x 10", acrylic


Junge signature


unnamed, J. Milford Ellison, 13" x 20", watercolor, '56

    Julius Milford Ellison was born 16 September 1909 in Souix City, Iowa the son of Carl Axel and Julia E. Swan Ellison. His father was an immigrant from Sweden who worked as a plasterer between 1910 and 1930. The family moved to San Diego, CA between 1925 when the family appeared in the Iowas state census and 1930 when the family appeared in the California census. In 1932 all three registered as Republican voters in San Diego. Two daughters, Grace and Virginia were born in Iowa before 1920.
    J. Milford Ellison was a painter, graphic artist, and teacher.
Ellison enlisted as a private in the US Army Corps of Engineers during WWII on 21 September 1942 and attained the rank of T/SGT. His enlistment records show that he was married, had attended four years of college, and was a gunsmith by occupation. He was 5' 6" and weighed 205 lbs at the time of his enlistment.  He attended several institutions of higher learning including the American Academy of Arts (Chicago), Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, Chouinard Art School (Los Angeles), San Diego State University, University of Colorado, University of Southern California, and Mexico City College. I am not sure if he graduated from all of these institutions, but as he was a career educator it seems likely that he held multiple degrees.
    Ellison worked as a commercial and freelance artist before becoming a teacher. He taught art classes at San Diego City College and University of California but his career was as Director of the Art Department at Point Loma High School from 1946 until 1969. He was a founding member and first president of the San Diego Watercolor Society in 1969. He also served as president of the La Jolla Art Association and San Diego Artist's Guild. He was a member of the Laguna Beach Art Association and Carmel Art Association. He is listed in numerous major art reference books.
    Ellison is buried in the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.


unnamed, J. Milford Ellison, 14" x 21", watercolor

    The two paintings above came with an interesting selection of stamps and signatures that I include below. I have rotated the signatures below to make them level. Both signatures are at a sharp angle on the paintings. Ellison typically signed his work at an angle following some feature in the paintings. In the mission painting the signature is along the hill at the base of the two trees in the foreground. In the beach scene it is in the lower left corner where the rocks meet the sand. All of his work that I have seen was similarly signed. Both stamps are on the back of the mission painting. In the left stamp he apparently used a pencil to mark out his old address and added the newer stamp.
    "The Green Porch", shown below, is the earliest work by Ellison that I have seen. It was created in England in 1944, during his military service. It contained several interesting stamps and the only title that I have seen written on one of his paintings. He very religiously stamped his works, but seems to have seldom titled them, or at least not on the work itself.


"The Green Porch", J. M. Ellison, 9" x 12", watercolor, England '44

    Displayed below are the various stamps and inscriptions from his works in my collection:

e   e

e   e

e            e

e                   e

Various stamps used by Ellison


unnamed, Fred Laine, 11.75" x 15.5", watercolor

    Frederick Wilhart Laine was born in California on 6 June 1923 the son of Finnish parents, William and Olga Warwari Laine.William was a sail maker in a shipyard in Los Angeles in 1920. Frederick seems to have spent most of his life in California. He lived and worked in San Diego, CA in the 1950s, though he was living with his mother, brothers Everett and John, and step father Waino Moudeline in San Francisco in 1930. There was a card attached to the back of one his paintings that reads "Frederick W. Laine, Watercolor Artist, San Diego 453-2203". It would seem, then, that Fred worked as a professional artist but it is not known where he received his training.
    Three of the four paintings in my collection were purchased by the previous owner in 1958. All of the work that I have seen by this artist is similar in style and composition. His work has been compared to that of Dorothy Sklar, though I have not seen any of her work that reminds me of Laine's work. His signature is very distinctive, so his work has been easy to identify. Laine is not mentioned in any art reference book in my library, though I did find him listed on one of the on line art web sites.
    Laine served as a corporal in the U.S. Army and is buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, Point Loma, San Diego County, CA. He died in San Diego on 28 August 1992.


unnamed, Frederick Wilhart Laine, 11.75" x 15.5", watercolor


unnamed, Frederick W. Laine, 19" x 14", watercolor


unnamed, Frederick W. Laine, 7" x 11", watercolor

j                                            k

Laine signatures


"Blue  Cat", Serena Potter, 6" x 8", oil

    Serena Potter is a southern California artist. She is a painter who works primarily in oils. Serena received a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Utah and continued to study at Santa Barbara City College where she took workshops and life drawing classes. She is a member of numerous art societies and guilds. Serena has a web site and a daily painting blog. Her work is very colorful and serene.


"Super's cabin, Grand Teton National Park", Patrick Dooley, 14" x 20", watercolor

    Patrick Dooley is a professional artist, illustrator, and teacher from Upland, California. He is largely self taught but also attended the Los Angeles Art Center School and completed the Famous Art Center School (FAS) course. Dooley credits the intensive study of drawing at the FAS with his ability to create good paintings. He has a web site where you can find out more about him and see more of his work. He notes that for him painting is all about how the light hits his subject. The play of light and shadow is something that I really appreciate. I'll get a better image of this painting when time permits.


unnamed, Robert J. Uecker, 16" x 20", watercolor

    Robert Jay Uecker was born on 26 April 1929 in Los Angeles, CA, the first child of Fred H. and Alice J. Regensberg Uecker.  Robert Uecker was awarded a five year scholarship to study art at the Chouinard Art Institute in the late 1940s. He received instruction from Rex Brandt, Ed Reep and Pruett Carter. After completing his studies he taught art, exhibited his watercolors, and was co-owner of several art supply stores in the Pasadena area. He was a member of the California Water Color Society and a Signature Member of Watercolor West and the National Watercolor Society. I have found many references to his teaching in the biographies of other artists. He is mentioned in California Watercolors 1850-1970,Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, American Artists of Renown, and Who's Who In American Art. These works are not typical of the work I have seen by him. Most of what I have seen has been brightly colored modern art, scenes that were cluttered with activity, though I have seen some others similar to mine paintings, too. A watercolor society, Watercolor West, has named a memorial award in his honor.
    Uecker died on 19 April 2005 in Arcadia, California. I will get a better image of these paintings when time permits.

unnamed by Robert
          Uecker N.W.S.

unnamed, Robert Uecker, 15" x 22", watercolor on paper

              by Robert Uecker N. W. S.

unnamed, Robert Uecker, 15" x 22", watercolor on paper

              by Robert Uecker

unnamed, Robert Uecker, 15" x 22", watercolor on paper


unnamed, Henry Gifford Hardy, 15" x 20",watercolor

    Henry Gifford Hardy was born 11 April 1901 in Chicago, Illinois, a son of Henry W. and Katherine Bryant Hardy. Hardy studied at the Chicago Art Institute, Audubon Tyler School, and Harvard University where he received a law degree. He was a lawyer by profession and painted in watercolors in his spare time. Hardy moved to San Francisco in 1937 where he opened a law practice. He continued to study art under Jade Fon and Peter Blos. Hardy was member of the East Bay Watercolor Society and the Society of Western Artists.
    Hardy was listed in Who's Who in the West (multiple years), Who Was Who in American Art by Falk, Artists in California 1786-1940 by Hughes, California Watercolors 1850-1970 by McClelland, Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, and other reference books.  Hardy died 24 January 1989 in Almeda, California.


unnamed, Henry Gifford Hardy, 15" x 21", watercolor, 1983

      One thing that I like about these paintings is the way Hardy uses little splashes of red to draw the eye into these scenes. The top painting actually has some visible pencil lines which Hardy used to lay out his scene. I am not so crazy about that, but it is interesting to see some of the mechanics he used to put the scene together.

h                 h

Hardy stamps


unnamed, Mary Leffler, 14" x 10", watercolor
(A bit of glare from the glass. Sorry!)

    Mary Epler Leffler was born 26 January 1932 and is a native of San Diego, California. She is an artist in aquatint etchings and watercolors. Mary graduated from San Diego State University in 1953. She continued her art education by taking seminars and classes given by other southern California artists.
    I purchased these paintings from collectors in San Diego and Encinitas, CA, so they did not travel far for the first decades of their lives. When I first saw the image of the painting
above my impression was that the brown and orange spots at the top of the painting were foxing or mold, but the previous owner assured me they were not. When the painting arrived at my home I could see that it is actually ink and watercolor. I have not had time to take these paintings out of their frames to photograph them properly and there is a bit of reflection from the glass. I will get better images, when I get a chance.
    I have seen a total of four watercolor paintings by this artist. One other was nearly identical to the one above and titled verso "Artichoke #101". It will be interesting to see if there is an inscription on the back of my painting. In addition to other etchings I have also seen a set of six small zinc plate aquatint etchings of famous San Diego, CA buildings by Leffler. This set was together and in identical frames. All were titled, numbered, and signed in pencil by Leffler. There were 150 copies made of each 3" x 3.75" etching. They were titled; "Point Loma Lighthouse", "Sierra Museum, Old Town", "Hotel del Coronado", "California Tower", "Mission de Alcala", and " Balboa Park". All were exceptionally well done. Leffler created her etchings as souvenirs for visitors to San Diego.
    She exhibited at four galleries in Coronado, La Jolla, Old Town, and Seaport Village, CA in the 1970-1990s. Mrs. Leffler is still painting.


"Point Loma Lighthouse", Mary Leffler, 3" x 3.75", etching



"Mountainside variation #25", M. Leffler, 15" x11", watercolor


"San Diego Skyline", Mary Leffler, 3" x 9", etching, 51/150


"Shorebirds II", Mary Leffler, 3" x 9", etching, 212/350


"Locks of Bath" by Brian Blood

  "The Locks of Bath", Brian Blood, 14" x 11", Oil on wood panel

       Brian Blood is a Bay Area, California artist. His painting captured my attention the first time I saw his old web site, which has since been replaced by his new site. I am amazed to see his new work each time I revisit it. He is mentioned in "Davenports Art Reference" and records for auctions of his works appear on most of the Internet auction reference web sites. Brian is a professor at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA. "The Locks of Bath" was featured on a full page of American Artist Magazine in January 2005. The article in which it appears compares the landscape work of Brian and his wife, artist Laurie Kersey. The painting pictures Lock #10, the Wash House Lock, part of the Kennet and Avon canal system. At the time of the article this painting was in Brian's private collection. I prefer working directly with the artist when purchasing new paintings, if possible, and Brian is very approachable.

Rocks & Surf, Pebble Beach

"Rocks & Surf, Pebble Beach", Brian Blood, 11" x 14", oil on wood panel

    From Brian's web site:  "Brian is a Signature Member of the Oil Painters of America, The Northern California Painters Group and the Rocky Mountain Plein Air Painters. He is an Artist Member of the California Art Club. Feature articles have been published in Southwest Art, Art of the West, Artists Magazine, Coast Magazine and American Artist. His work is aggressively collected through American Impression Auctions like Southerby's, Butterfields, Christies and John Moran. Brian has been recently honored as Outstanding Alumnus and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco." The painting above was shown by Brian at the 2007 Plein Aire Invitational, at The Inn at Torrey Pines. The exhibition stamp is on the back of the painting. Brian signs his work with the monogram "BB".

Brian Blood "Chateau

"Chateau Jullian", Brian Blood, 11" x 14", oil

"Along the Rec Trail - Pacific Grove",
              Brian Blood, 11" x 14"

"Along the Rec Trail - Pacific Grove", Brian Blood, 11" x 14", oil on wood panel, 2013

Angelic Mooring

"Angelic Mooring", Ken Auster, 16" x 18", oil on board

       Ken Auster is another California artist whose work I like very much. He was known for his surfer and restaurant art. I like his landscapes most, though. He also sometimes made his own frames and the gallery where I purchased this one said he did the one for this painting, which complements it perfectly. Check out his web site. I purchased this painting while he was still living. I really enjoy interacting with the artist when I buy my paintings, but Ken apparently preferred to deal through galleries, so purchasing his art was a little impersonal, though I had a nice experience with the gallery owners and staff while looking at his work. Ken is mentioned in Davenport's Art Reference, and is listed on most of the major web auction sites.


"Mission at San Juan Capistrano", Jean Caroll (Byrne), 24" x 36", oil on board.


    Jean Caroll Byrne was born Genevieve Campagna on 7 December 1934 in Rochester, New York, a daughter of James and Mae Campagna. I inherited this painting from an aunt when she downsized. It was her favorite painting, and it is one of my favorites, as well. My coworkers love this one when I use it for my computer background. My aunt purchased this painting in 1969 at an art festival in Placentia, California, where it won first prize in the Spanish Mission category. It would be quite a bit brighter and more colorful, if cleaned. My aunt was a heavy smoker and when cleaning the frame, I found it to be thickly coated in 35 years of brown residue from cigarette smoke. Lots of documentation accompanied the painting, including the first prize ribbon, receipt, and a brochure about Ms. Caroll. Ms. Caroll had a gallery in Laguna Beach, and exhibited at shows in the Carmel, San Francisco area. She is not listed in any art reference books.

    I was contacted by a woman who had a couple of Mrs. Byrne's paintings that were purchased in the 1970s. She also mentioned that at one time several of Ms. Caroll's paintings were hung in the Placentia City Hall. I called the City Hall and talked to the clerk there. The clerk told me that there are no mission or Spanish/Mexican themed paintings hanging there today. They may have been stored.

    The receipt that accompanied my painting gives her name as Jean Caroll Byrne, which was her married name. She was married to Donald Byrne. Jean signed her work "Caroll". 

    From the brochure: "Jean Caroll, showings Laguna Beach, Palm Springs, Beverly Hills, Carmel, San Francisco. Jean Caroll's recognition as an artist came as young girl in Rochester, N.Y, where she won a scholarship to the Rochester Memorial Art Gallery and received her fundamental training. Studies advanced under prominent artists, absorbing their styles and creating her own individuality monochromatic sepia tones layered on in thin glazes. Her paintings are best described as reminiscent of the old masters with a flair of originality. Settling in California in 1956, she was captivated by our Spanish - Mexican ancestry. Visits to the Missions of the West and many months spent in Mexico and Spain has given her a deep feeling for California's Heritage, and its people. The unusual soft earthen color portrayals of the  missions has been well received and won her many awards throughout southern California. To date she is represented in over 200 private collections across the country. The first reproduction of her work came in 1968, when "California Artists" offered her "Christmas Mission" throughout the country as a Christmas card. In part her success is due to her rare ability to project the depth and warmth of the subject with  a very limited use of color. This creates a soft untiring painting that blends into the decor of any setting, or period of furnishings. Studio .. 369 No. Coast Hiway, Gallery Row West, Laguna Beach."

        A bit more information about Ms. Caroll came from a 24 March 1969 Kansas City Star newspaper article that was taped to the back of a Caroll painting owned by someone who contacted me:

Nixon to have painting he admired

San Clemente, California (AP) - Jean Caroll, painter, was at work when President Nixon strolled by. Her painting of the corridors inside San Juan Capistrano mission pleased the President. Mrs. Caroll offered it as a gift and he accepted. A 31 year old mother of four, Mrs. Caroll said she will frame the painting and mail it to Nixon, who toured the mission on his weekend visit to California.

    Jean Caroll Byrne died on 5 October 2009 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her family was Googling for information for her obituary when they found my web site. I had been unable to trace her until that time. Her obituary was sent to me by her son:

Jean Carol Byrne, of Albuquerque, New Mexico died Monday, October 5, 2009 in her home after a year of poor health. Born Genevieve Campagna, of Rochester, NY, December 7, 1934, to James and Mae Campagna.

Jean was a talented artist and businesswoman; she received a scholarship to Rochester Memorial Art Gallery to further her studies in Fine Arts. She went on to sell her oil paintings in galleries and art shows around the United States. She opened an arts and craft store, Hand Made USA with her husband Don, which featured hundreds of artists.

She was an avid fisherman and golfer. She is survived by her children, Mark Byrne and wife Cheryl, Craig Byrne and wife Ethel, Karen Taylor and husband Terry, Donna Greenfield and husband Howard, Daughter in law Tonya Kestering. Grandchildren; Justin, Michael, Chelsea, Taylor, Amanda, Benjamin, Lauren, Jackson, and Ryan.

A viewing will be held at French's Mortuary Monday evening. The funeral service will be held at 11:00 October 13, 2009 at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.

    The information in the Albuquerque Journal was a bit different, so I also include it:

BYRNE -- Jean Caroll Byrne, of Albuquerque, New Mexico died comfortably and peacefully with her family in her home of 30 years, Monday October 5, 2009. Born Genevieve Campagna, of Rochester, NY on December 7, 1934, to James and Mae Campagna, Jean was a talented and cultured artist, as well as businesswomen; she received a scholarship to Rochester Memorial Art Gallery to further her studies in Fine Arts. She went on to sell her oil paintings in galleries and art shows around the United States. She opened an arts and craft store, Hand Made USA with her husband Don, which featured hundreds of artists. She had a huge passion for golfing, enjoyed fishing, and loved to cook her Italian family recipes. She is survived by her children, Mark Byrne and wife Cheryl, Craig Byrne and wife Ethel, Karen Taylor and husband Terry, Donna Greenfield and husband Howard; daughter-in-law Tonya Kersting; grandchildren, Justin and wife Bianca, Michael, Chelsea and husband Taylor H, Taylor B, Amanda, Benjamin, Lauren, Jackson and Ryan; and great-grandson Porter. Jean was preceded in death by her grandson, Matthew. A viewing will be held In Jean's loving memory at French ~ Wyoming Chapel, 7121 Wyoming Blvd NE, Monday October 12, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at Gate of Heaven Mausoleum Chapel, 7999 Wyoming Blvd NE, Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 11: 00 a.m.


unnamed, Roscoe Lloyd Babcock, 10" x 13", watercolor

    Roscoe Lloyd Babcock was born in Thayer, Kansas on 14 November 1897. Raised on a farm, Babcock moved to Colorado in 1912 and worked as a cowboy until inducted into the US Army in WWI, where he served as a private. After the war, he attended the School of Mines at Golden, CO and then studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Coming to California in 1920, he settled in Laguna Beach and furthered his art studies with Galen Doss, Thelma Paddock Hope, and Clyde Scott. While employed by the U.S. Postal Service, he painted in his leisure time. He was known as The Painting Postman of Laguna. He retired from the Postal Service in 1960 and devoted himself to full time painting. He was president of the Laguna Beach Museum for three terms. He had several professional one man showings and numerous other professional showings. He specialized in western ranch scenes, desert landscapes, and seascapes. Babcock died in Huntington Beach, CA on 11 June 1981 and he and his wife, Hazel Ethlyn, and son, Lloyd R. Babcock, are buried in Fairhaven Memorial Park, Santa Ana, Orange County, CA.

    His biography appeared in Who Was Who in American Art, and Jacobsen's Biographical Index of American Artists, the sources for most of the biographical information in this article, and he is mentioned in Davenports' Art Reference and Price Guide, Hughes Artists in California, Artists of the West, and "Artists' Bluebook".


unnamed, Kay Darville, 24" x 19.5", oil on canvas, 1942.

    This painting was attributed to a painter named Katherine Darville by the seller, but this attribution is weak. Katherine Darville was a California artist who was active in the 1930s and 1940s. She is listed in Edan Hughes' Artists in California 1786-1940. She is also mentioned in Davenport's Art Reference and Price Guide, but only as a reference to the mention made by Hughes in his book.  Citations regarding Katherine Darville in other sources like AskArt and ArtPrice are mostly based on Hughes, though some cite Davenports. Very little information is available for this artist. She was a resident of San Francisco, CA in 1939-40 and she exhibited her work in Oakland Art Gallery, 1939; Residence Club (SF) in 1940. She was also a resident of Los Angeles, CA. No mention of either Katherine or Kay Darville in California Death Records.
    It is possible that Kay Darville and Katherine Darville are one in the same, but this is not proved, IMHO. On the positive side for this identification; Kay is a nickname for Katherine. Kay Darville was active at the same time as Katherine Darville, and the seller of this painting is located in Chula Vista, CA. Another of my lost sheep, though perhaps she is not so lost as most of them.
    I bought this on a whim at an auction, the only bidder. I like the colors and the morose expression on this girl's face. I have seen one other work by Darville dated 1944. The subject of that painting was a seated ballerina. The signatures in these two paintings are different in that the signature from my painting is signed in cursive, but in the ballerina painting it is printed in block letters. There are enough similarities between the two dated signatures and paintings to convince me that both were done by the same artist, however.


unnamed, Ronald Warren Peterson, 5.5" x 7.5", watercolor

    Ronald Warren Peterson was born 16 September 1914 in Prophetstown, Illinois and died 6 January 1997 in San Bernardino, CA. He had a studio or gallery at his residence in San Jacinto, CA and I'd guess that this painting dates from the 1960s or 1970s. It was well matted and framed and apparently came directly from the artist's studio as his card is stapled to the back of the frame. The card says: "R. W. Peterson, Artists, Acrylics Watercolor Oils, Will Paint from Your Photo, Phone (714) 654-2537, 436 West 5th Street, San Jacinto, CA 92383". The plural "Artists" on the card is a bit puzzling. Perhaps this was a husband/wife studio. Unfortunately, his wife Frances E. Peterson died in San Jacinto on 3 October 2006, a few months before I purchased this painting. I was able to identify this artist because his widow remained at their address after his death and was still listed in the San Jacinto telephone directory in early 2007. Frances was born 17 November 1921. California death records report the maiden name of Ronald Peterson's mother as Warren. Ronald Peterson served as a SGT in the US Army Air Corps during WWII from 1942-1946. He was buried in the Riverside National Cemetery, Riverside, CA on 16 January 1997 and his wife was later buried there as well.
    When I called the telephone number on Peterson's business card, I discovered that Peterson's son and his family now live in the family home. Mr. Peterson told me that his father had attended the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) and that he found a diploma in his father's personal effects. Ronald Warren Peterson also studied in England and a common topic of his paintings was English cottages. Mr. Peterson worked as a commercial artist and, according to his son, designed the Quaker Oats logo. The Quaker Oats logo is almost 100 years old, but has been "updated" several times, so Peterson may have been involved in that way. I contacted the AIC and confirmed that Robert Warren Peterson studied there from 1934-1938. He gave his occupation as "Lithographer" in his later years at the AIC.
    I was able to locate him in the 1920 and 1930 Chicago, Cook County, Illinois censuses. His parents were George and Beatrice Warren Peterson and his grandparents were John and Matilda Peterson. There was a lot of Swedish ancestry on his paternal line. His father was a millwright and later an electrician, and his grandfather a printing press operator.
    I found this little painting in an antique shop in Springfield, Illinois. A search of my reference library and the Internet yielded no information about this artist. The only reference work that I do not own or have access to that may mention this artist is Hughes' work on California artists. If anyone reading this has access to that book, I would appreciate knowing if he is mentioned there. I can be reached via the email link at the bottom of this page.
    This is a very pleasant and well executed painting and I enjoy it very much. Mr. Peterson actually signed this painting very unobtrusively across the road in pencil, "R. W. Peterson". It is only visible on very close examination and I was really only able to get a good look at it using a magnifying glass. Hopefully more information about this artist's work will surface.


"Cow", unknown, 7.5" x 6", oil

    I bought this little painting on ebay. The seller was very mysterious about the artist, claiming that the artist was a friend, a nationally known artist who was allowing him to sell some of his works on ebay. He went on to say that the artist lives in LA and has been featured in Southwest Art Magazine and American Art Collector and has held many one man shows. I had suspected that the seller was himself  painting these in his basement, and eventually I was able to figure out who the artist was based on his style and the clues he provided and his web site. This was confirmed when the artist absentmindedly included his name (Logan Maxwell Hagege) and return address on the shipping label for some of these paintings, but I am not going to attribute these works to him as he has not told me that they are his work. The seller and the artist are one and the same, in my opinion, as the description of the artist's background is accurate except that the artist lives in Van Nuys, CA. He is an instructor at the Academy of Figurative Art according to I really like this cow and some of the other works this seller had for sale were very attractive, too. The artist also paints a mean rooster.


unnamed, unknown, 5.5" x 8", oil

    I picked up this small nude next. I like the colors, the proportions of the model, and the sense of motion. This seems to be a very natural action and the model's nudity is an afterthought.


unnamed, unknown, 6" x 8", oil

    I liked this little boat painting, too. All of these paintings capture light very nicely in a subtle way. I also like how the artist centers his subject but also uses the understated backgrounds to set the subject off without competing with it. I find this to be  a very harmonious and tranquil arrangement. There is still plenty of detail in each image, though. I also snagged the floral still life below. The small landscape was a freebie because the seller was slooooooooow in shipping the last paintings. All fun stuff, probably practice and experimental pieces by the artist, but still nice art. There was one more painting but the seller misplaced it and ended up refunding my money.


unnamed, unknown, 5" x 8"


unnamed, unknown, 4" x 6"    

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