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.
This is an ebay find. The
seller claimed it was the work of Ludwig Kohn and
that they had found two images of paintings with
identical signatures in old auction catalogs. That
may or may not be true, but I was fairly easily able
to locate an example of a work by Ludwig Kohn on the
Internet and the style and signature did not
resemble the work of this artists. Ludwig Kohn seems
to have signed with his full first name, not the
initial "L". That being said I like this artist's
work. I suspect he or she worked in Europe, possibly
in France. I found another work by and L. Kohn that
reminds me of this artist's style and the signatures
are very similar, too.
unnamed, L. Kohn, 8"
x 10", oil
After a brief search, I
was able to locate works by at least three artists
who signed "L. Kohn". The styles and signatures of
these artists were very distinctive and different
from one another. The two works and signatures
shown here were the most similar and are quite
possibly the work of the same artist. The painting
above, which I call "The Gazebo" was sold at
auction in the U.S. and was described as French in
origin. It was exquisitely framed in an ornate
My painting is also very well framed, though the frame was "Made in Japan". This looks like 1950s or 1960s frame to me.
My painting may be a
bit stained from cigarette smoke as evidenced
by the brown in the sky. It is very well done
and has a lot of depth for such a small work.
This was an ebay find. The
seller read the signature as Tinh, but it looks like
Linh, to me. The seller claimed this was among many
pieces of art that came from the "Violante estate".
The Violantes were reportedly artists, art
collectors, and patrons of the arts and other
artists. There was an August J. Violante 1906-2001
who was a San Francisco commercial artist who is
mentioned in Hughes' California Artists and Davenport's
Art Reference and Price Guide. I like the
bright colors, motion, and subject of this piece. No
great hopes of finding out more about this artist,
as both Tinh and Linh are common names.
I am not sure what to make of
this one. I purchased it out of curiosity on ebay
from a seller in California who had taken great
pains to archivally mat, clean, and re-back it in
it's original, well-made frame. I bought it during
my British 19th century watercolor collecting period
and was somewhat embarrassed (internally) by it in
comparison to those amazing works, but have come to
appreciate it for what it is. Whatever that is. LOL.
Judging by the frame and style of the work it has a
1950s feel to me. The artist obviously put a great
deal of effort into the painting and it feels like
it is based on a real place to me. It is signed with
either a complex monogram or a highly stylized
signature. If anyone recognizes this artist's mark I
would appreciate being educated about it.
I have seen one other painting by
the same artist, similarly signed. That one had an
inscription verso that read "Oct 1967 Granada Spain". I
was not able to get a very good image of the painting.
The image provided was very small
and partially cut off on one corner, so the image that
resulted from my editing is slightly out of proportion.
This appears to have been an accomplished and well
traveled artist. My painting has a vaguely Spanish feel
to it, too, but I had assumed it was a California scene,
as the seller was located in California. Help!
A large number of these small
watercolors were offered by a seller the UK in 2007.
They came from the portfolio of an unknown artist.
The artist was quite chatty in his or her
inscriptions on the back of these paintings,
apparently wanting to commemorate each occasion.
This one says "Chertsey Lock & Weir" (in pencil)
"from the boat moore to Chertsey bridge.Tues
Sep 11th .88" (in ink). Some of these small
paintings were very well done and some a bit
awkward. Likely the work of some Victorian gentleman
or lady of leisure, not a serious artist.
This one says on back in
pencil "View on the Hey abt 4 mile up from
Thames lock on the old river, through Bridge. St
Gregory Hill in distance. Saty Sep 15th/
None of these small works were in any way signed. I don't expect to ever know any more about this artist than I do at the present.
Joseph H. Sooy Jr. was active
as an artist in the early 1960s, as indicated by
inscription on the back of this painting. He appears
to have been a serious artist who exhibited his
work, but has left no trace in CyberSpace or in
print. I have found no other mention of this artist
or of his work. I purchased this pastel on ebay from
a seller in California. She told me that the
painting came from Sacramento, CA. There are records
of several men named Joseph Sooy going back to
pre-Revolutionary times in New Jersey through the
1930 census. This artist may be from that family.
There were only two men named Joseph Sooy in the
1930 census, though. One, named Joseph H. Sooy, was
born in 1910 and living with his parents in Ocean
City, New Jersey, a good candidate to Jos. H. Sr. No
Joseph H. Sooy is listed in the Social Security
Death Index, so this artist may still be among the
Sooy had a very distinctive
signature, so it should not be hard to identify more
of his work if there is any out there. There appear
to have been at least four more "Seascapes".
Luckily, the old backing replete with all of the
information it contained survived. Even so, this
artist made my unknown artists page. Any information
about Mr. Sooy would be appreciated.
No idea what this is. It may
just be some Import/Export piece of junk, but it has
become one of my favorite things. The material
appears to be stone or organic, and has the feel of
coral. I am certain it is not resin. It has lots of
imperfections as may be seen in the image of the
back. It is also very nicely framed. It appears that
it was fashioned from a block of whatever material
it is by first grinding a flat surface, polishing
it, and then inscribing the image shown. I paid $2
or $3 for this at Goodwill, and that may be it's
cash value, but I think it is fun. There is what may
be a maker's mark in the lower right corner. Any
information about this piece would be appreciated.
This painting came from a
now defunct wholesale art company, Personal
Preference Inc., that claimed to sell about
250,000 pieces of quality art a year in the U.S.
to institutions like hotels. This company operated
from the late 1970s for thirty years. Their
supplier, Just Better Art, is supposedly taking
over their business but their web site is very
much under construction. I dropped them an email
in hopes that they may have information on this
artist since the piece has a serial number, but
received no response. It is a pleasant little oil
painting, did not cost much, and is providing me a
research opportunity. I like the colors, though it
is a bit pink.
Above is the label that is on the
back of this painting. Though small, it is an oil on
canvas. The frame is "Made in Mexico", common in the
1970s and maybe 1980s. The most prominent artists of
this name, minus one of the trailing "n's" are Chaim and
Dorothy Koppelman. This does not bear any resemblance to
their work, though. No idea what the cryptic
inscriptions in ink mean. An Internet search turned up
Here is another painting from
the inventory of Personal Preference Inc. I paid $5
or $10 for this at a used furniture store. I bought
it as part of my research into this company, but
like like the painting's colors and textures, too.
The label from the back of the painting has some pretty clear notations and I think may have the artist's name, though I am not certain. No idea what "Thorson 230" means, though. This one also has a frame that was made in Mexico, so probably from the 1970s or 1980s. Any help on these two is appreciated.
I purchased this one on ebay
for a small amount. The seller could not read the
signature, but it looks like it may be a nice
painting. The proportions may be a bit off, but the
subject is pretty classic and has the added
attraction of a small dog near the two men. The
seller's image was very poor and he could not make
out the signature and his image of it is no help. I
have massaged it with the Gimp, but could not make
it out either. I have not received this painting,
yet, and hope it won't be a disappointment. I'll get
better images when it arrives.
I have no information about
this artist. This painting was purchased on ebay
from a seller in Pipersville, PA. The seller read
the signature as "W. H. Still". I read it as W. A.
Still from the signature on the front of the
painting. The seller's image was very blurry, but I
took a chance and put a small bid on it and won the
auction. It came framed in a surprisingly well made,
and probably expensive, sculpted frame. It is
painted on masonite, but had a heavy paperboard
backing, close to what is now called "chip board". I
have never seen an oil painting backed in this
manner, but it gave the artist a place to put the
inscription shown below.
The artist wrote and signed, "The days grow shorter. Soon each graceful swan will flex his pinions southward.......and be gone". I think the artist was proud of this painting. The artist did a pretty good job of showing a flock of swans taking off from a partially mist shrouded wetland marsh. I was a bit surprised at the quality of this painting as the seller did not comment on that or on the frame, both good selling points. The seller sold several other swam themed items at the same time as this painting was sold, probably from the estate of someone with a swan fetish. The signature verso looks much less like "Still" to me, and more like "Actill", but is probably stylized. I bought this one on impulse for very little money as a research opportunity.
This painting is very dirty as can be seen by the
part of the painting protected by the frame. In an
attempt to bring out the detail and true colors of
this painting, I photographed it in bright evening
sunlight, with mixed results. I think a little more
detail is visible, but the colors look a bit washed
Any help in identifying this artist would be appreciated!
No idea who this artist
is/was. I found this in a central Illinois thrift
shop for $7.99. I really did not have room to hang
it but it is such an attractive painting, I was
worried at what it's fate would have been had I not
purchased it. It had been on the floor of the shop
for just a few minutes when I came in. This image
really does not capture how colorful this painting
is, and how vibrant the spots color are that are
created by the nets hanging over the wall of the
dock and sides of the ships. It also does not
capture well the misty background that accompanies
this cloudy day. Not great art, but very striking,
anyway. It reminds me very much of the Pacific
Northwest's Puget Sound. It appears to be at least
20 or 30 years old, so is not a member of the flood
of Chinese paintings of this size that are so common
nowadays. Not sure that is American either, though.
It is a bit better than the run of the mill 1960s
and 1970s European and Mexican sofa art pieces, I
think, but could well be of that ilk. I am undecided
if the yellow/brown in the center sky is supposed to
be sunlight behind the clouds or is the result of
having hung in a smoker's home for many years. It
does not smell like smoke... Any information on this
artist would be appreciated.
This painting and an abstract
painting by the same artist were offered on ebay as
works by well known artist Woldemar Neufeld. I was
very skeptical that this was his work as it is
nothing like the style of the work of Neufeld that I
have seen, though the signature does bear a
resemblance to the last name in some that I have
seen. Neufeld's works, usually prints, sell for
hundreds of dollars into the low thousands so it
seemed very unlikely that I would be able to pay
$22.50 for one on ebay. I bid on it because I liked
the colors and style and it was cheap. It is painted
on period Grumbacher canvas board marked "Plyex".
The abstract painting was done on stretched canvas.
After the auction, I contacted the seller (cherrynow), just to see why he thought this was the work of Woldemar Neufeld. He replied that the remains of Neufeld's estate had gone to a local dealer in New Jersey. This seemed possible, as Woldemar's widow, Peggy Woldemar, died in Oct 2008 in New Milford, CT and I purchased this painting in February of 2009. Her husband died in 2002. Woldemar Neufeld was born in 1909, was married, and photos I have seen of him generally agree with the appearance of the subject, though no pictures show him with a mustache or glasses. The subject is about the right age, race, complexion, and wearing a wedding ring. Some things about it bothered me, though. For instance, if the artist was painting himself in a mirror, his wedding ring would have appeared to be on his right hand, and it is on the left hand of the subject in this painting. I contacted the seller again via email and asked for the name of the dealer he had purchased it from and the date of purchase. He became very defensive and said he could not share that information because "it will reveal my source". LOL, now I smell the skunk. I sent him another email and asked why it would matter if I know his source? His response was two words, "flea market" and in the next email he said that the seller at the flea market got the remains of Neufeld's estate. Not a real surprise that this was an obvious lie, but this guy has over 600 feedbacks and one negative in the past year. Why lie? Probably because he was knowingly lying in his ebay description by claiming this to be the work of Woldemar Neufeld as opposed to someone named Neufeld, to try to make more money. Classic. It took be about 20 minutes of searching on Google to determine that Woldemar Neufeld had a son, and to find his telephone number. Turns out he had already seen this painting on ebay and confirmed that it was not his father's work. He was also the executor of his father and mother's estates and told me that nothing from them had left the family. So, the ebay seller turned out not only to be dishonest, but lazy and inept, too, or he would have found out how easy it would be for someone to find this information. Another tidbit of information from Mr. Neufeld's son for those interested in the work of Woldemar Neufeld that is worth mentioning, is that his father ALWAYS signed his first and last name, NEVER just his last name on his work.
Still fun and colorful and cheap! I am including the signature from the abstract painting as another sample of this artist's signature. There is a chance that they were actually done by an artist named Neufeld and that they were not meant to deceive. Any information about this artist would be appreciated.
unnamed, Neufeld, 16" x 20", oil
I don't often buy unsigned
paintings because it is usually very hard to find
out anything about them and it thwarts my enjoyment
in doing research. I am a sucker for winter
paintings though, especially colorful ones, so here
we are. This one was purchased by the previous owner
at an estate sale in Hopewell, NJ in early 2009 and
described as in the New Hope School style and
guesstimated to be 1930s vintage. I tend to agree on
the age, judging by the board it is painted on and
the frame it is in. The board is canvas board that
has a built in paper backing that is darkened and
quite brittle. The scene could certainly be
1930s-1950s. It is a mixture of naive and fairly
sophisticated painting, obviously done by a painter
of some experience, though perhaps not formally
trained. I don't have any hope that I will be able
to find out more about it. Just planning to enjoy it
on those hot, Midwestern July afternoons.
I don't know anything about
these paintings. I am pretty certain they were
painted in Southeast Asia. I rode in similar three
wheeled bicycle taxis in Thailand and Vietnam. I
suspect they could also be found in Cambodia and
Laos. I purchased them from a lady who had inherited
them from a relative and knew nothing about them.
The oil seems to be painted on cloth that is laid on
top of some sort of mesh. It is by a different
artist than the one who did the watercolors.
10" x 11", watercolor
This is a pretty classic scene
from anywhere in Southeast Asia. I suppose it could also
be the Philippines. These paintings are simple but very
nicely done and colorful. I like that they depict scenes
from everyday life. It reminds my of my time in
Again, nothing to show where
these were painted. I see a couple of different
styles of hats that were common in the Southeast
Asian countries where I lived. All three paintings
are signed, but I cannot read the signature and have
not been able to get a decent photo of the signature
on the oil. Any help on this one would be
appreciated. Hard to say how old they are. I would
guess pre-1970s and maybe older.
A. N. Hordberg (or N. A.
Hordberg!) was an artist who painted marine scenes using
oils in the mid 20th century. The Hordberg name is
exceedingly rare in the US. have seen two other examples
of this artist's work, a 2 foot by 3 foot painting of a
ship, which sold at auction in Massachusetts for $690 in
2001 and an ocean scene that sold for $275 in
California. The painting in my collection came from a
dealer in Newark, Delaware. There was an Albert Hordberg
working at a school in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1920,
the only Hordberg appearing in any US census, aside from
his wife and one child, though I have found references
to a handful of other folks with that surname in more
recent times, one, a Nancy Ann Hordberg who was
referenced in the records of the US Senate in 1979.
Yeah, I am grasping at straws on this one.
A. N. Hordberg painting
of a brig, 2' x 3', sold at auction in 2001
quality and complexity of this artist's work suggests
they were a professional artist or very serious amateur.
I do not have much hope of finding out more about this
artist and welcome and help on this one! The artist has
a very distinctive signature.
A. N. "Hordbery", 23" x
27" including frame, oil, sold at auction in 2007
I included the frame in the
image of this painting to show how grandly this
artist's work has been treated in the few examples
that I have seen. The auction description of this work
described it as "European" and I was inclined to agree
until I saw that my painting had be done on an
American manufactured canvas board. The artist signed
all three of these paintings in the lower left corner.
This artist is not yet
identified. The work is signed Tillett. It was
framed by a shop in Providence, RI. I thought this
was really well done. It also came professionally
framed in a very nice wooden frame. There was an
artist and gallery owner in St. Thomas named Jim
Tillett who passed away around 2000 who may be the
creator of this work.
The identity of C. V. Gallup
is a mystery, so far. This watercolor seems to date
from the first half of the 20th century, possibly
the 1920s or 1930s, or earlier. It is a very
pleasant little painting and reminds me of Monet's
work a bit. It was purchased from a dealer in New
Jersey and I suspect that the artist was from New
There was a Clara Virginia Gallup in the 1900-1920 federal census records of New York City. She was born on 31 January of 1848. She married George Burr Floyd in 1868, but he was deceased in 1870 when she and her infant daughter, Julie Lilias, were living with her parents, Kenney and Clara Cole Couillard, in Westfield, New Jersey. Her father was a well to do merchant as early as 1860, probably dealing in liquor. Her father was deceased by 1870 when she was living her mother and siblings in Manhattan. The Couillards had servants in census records from 1860-1880. Clara's brother, Charles K. Couillard, worked as a stock broker for many years. According the to New York Social Register Clara married Charles Henry Van Eversdyk Gallup on 24 November 1891 in New York City. His occupation was listed as "Secretary" in the 1900 census. A history of his family notes that he was engaged in the crockery and railroad businesses in Boston before moving to New York where he was also engaged in business.
Her second husband died between 1900 and 1910 and she seemed to live genteel widowhood afterward, living in hotels in 1910 and 1920 and apparently traveling to Europe in 1913 and 1923. That she is the artist is a complete guess on my part, though a near neighbor of her's in 1920 was employed as a commercial artist. Though Gallup is a more common name than one might think, this is the only candidate I found for C. V. Gallup between 1880 and 1930.
Any information on this artist would be appreciated.
Here is a nice mystery. I
like the muted colors and quaintness of the scene. I
was not sure where the scene in this painting was
located, I guessed India or Southeast Asia. I was
contacted by the owner of another painting by this
artist and he sent me an image that seems to be of
an Indian market scene, so I guess I'll go with
India on this one. The other painting was not dated,
or rather it appears that the date was partly
trimmed off, but the signature was much more clear
than the signature on my painting which is obscured
by the darkness of the surrounding watercolors. I
think I can make out enough of the date to guess
that it was painted in the 1940s. This artist is not
mentioned in any art reference book that I have
searched. I suspect that this is artist was a
talented amateur who possibly lived in India in the
1940s and 1950s. Any information on this artist very
An update on this artist: I
was contacted by a lady from the UK who has a much
more clearly signed painting, which also includes
the following notation verso:
c/o Rev. Z. S. Jeeraneson
United Theological College
17 Millers Road
So, it appears that this
artist did spend time in India. The scene in the
painting bearing this inscription is also an Indian
village scene, though in a somewhat looser style
than the other two paintings. I did a Google search
on the name Jeeraneson and came up completely empty,
though the owner of this painting is positive that,
that is the name. It is possible that the artist was
somehow affiliated with this college, or perhaps
just a personal friend of Mr. Jeeraneson.
The Maine art dealer that I
bought this painting from was selling it as a French
painting, but I think it is probably by an English
artist of a scene in France. The seller also
interpreted the signature as Y. B. Mathews, but I
think it may actually be L. B. Mathews and possibly
by Mrs. Lydia B. Mathews who was active about this
time. This church is much painted and photographed
but typically not from this odd angle which is why I
like it. The frame and glass also appear to be
original and are very nice, too. The painting is
thoroughly glued to a card so we will never know if
there are any clues on the back of the painting.
Until I can find some justification for putting it
in the "British Artists" section, I will leave it
here. Opinions on the signature and origins are
I have not been able to
identify the artist of this whimsical Peruvian
scene, yet. At least my guess is Peru. I wonder if
similar scenes might not be found in other parts of
what once was the Inca empire in Ecuador and
Bolivia? I did find a few images of similarly
dressed women in street scenes of Cuzco, Peru using
Google Images. There were also similarly constructed
balconies in some of these images. The buildings in
this painting certainly give the impression that
they are built on the ruins of Inca foundations. I
am including and image of the signature below.
Probably for the tourist trade. I like the whimsy,
color, and artist's use of shadow and blowing snow
in this painting. Nicely done scene of a cold,
breezy winter morning in the narrow city streets of
a South American city. I'd appreciate an help in
identifying this artist.
I have been able to find out
nothing about T. Piasetzky. This painting came from
a shop in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. It looks like
it is maybe from the 1930s or 1940s. I bought it
because I like a challenge and it is a winter
picture, but this one has me stumped. While maybe
not great art, it seems obvious that this artist was
talented and also had probably been painting for
some time when this painting was done. I am guessing
that this artist may have been a logger or someone
connected with that trade who filled their down time
with painting. This seems to be a fairly classic
scene. I have found other, similar paintings by
different artists, down to the different colored
horses. Any information on T. Piasetzky would be
I found this little gem at a junk shop a few blocks from my home. This store had a real mix of treasure and trash. I think it was operated by some organization composed primarily of WWII aged folks, as the volunteers there were that age and many of the items date from that period as well. I found several pieces of nice factory art glass there dating from the '40s - 60's, just the kind of stuff that would have been in the better stores during that time and then sold as the owner's estates were liquidated. I suspect this small painting may have been brought back from Amsterdam by a WWII soldier. The shop is gone now, so too late to find out for sure. I'd have to call this one of the treasures that the store carried. It is signed, but the signature is mostly under the frame and it is so beautifully framed and backed that I don't want to take this one apart. I call this one "Amsterdam Girl" as the label on the back has the name and address of a store named Kunsthandel Koch located in that city. This gorgeous little painting is so small that I could not get decent images of it with my camera. The colors are brighter and the image crisper than I was able to capture. I was contacted in 2009 by a gentleman living in Europe who had seen this painting in Europe in the 1930s, but could not remember where. He was even able to describe the frame that it is in. We corresponded for a time, while he was trying to remember where he had seen it, and then I heard no more from him. A small mystery.
Rachel Grainger-Hunt was
supposedly a mid to late 20th century painter in
oils who painted in several different styles from
realism to abstract. Originally I was told by the
seller of these paintings that her personal effects
consisting of several chests were purchased by an
art dealer from an estate liquidator in Cork,
Ireland though she may or may not have been Irish.
The estate liquidator did not attempt to preserve or
discover any information about Ms. Grainger-Hunt.
Included in her effects were personal items besides
her paintings which indicated that she had lived for
some time in South America. The titles of some of
her paintings also indicated that she spent time in
various parts of Europe. Included in her artwork
were a dozen or so large canvases that were signed
with her full name, last name hyphenated. She signed
most of her work with her initials "RGH". There is
some inference that she may have been married to an
artist named Terry or Gerry Hunt, though this is not
certain and there is no information available about
"Church and Hayfield, Sussex", 11" x 15", oil on board
Later the seller of these
paintings said he had discovered that Ms.
Grainger-Hunt was still living and painting. The
seller started offering new paintings by her and
hyping her work as a hot commodity, though the
paintings generally sell for small amounts. The
seller now refuses to give any more information
about Ms. Grainger-Hunt's background or whereabouts.
This may be a scam but many of the paintings are
attractive and cheap so no great loss if this is a
scam, though buyer beware!
As some of these paintings are very well done, it has also occurred to me that they may be the experimental or practice works of a well known or professional artist who does not want to sign their real name to them. A mystery.
The first image is of the Itsukushima Shrine at Miyajima. These are very nice. Here is a good site to find out more about Japanese watercolors and woodblock prints.
interesting history. It appears to have been
matted at least twice, and perhaps three times
judging by the mat burns. The frame may be
original as it is bamboo and very old, though
still sound. I matted it to show the history of
the painting, though I guess someone in the
future may decide to hide it. Either way it is
nice painting. Not bad for ten bucks.
This was one of a pair
of small paintings offered on ebay. I guessed
that the signature was "T. Deschamps". The
paintings were in similar frames. I was
contacted by someone who is familiar with the
place pictured in my painting and they told me
it was the Tour Solidor in Saint-Servan, a
suburb of Saint-Malo, Brittany, France.
Luckily, I was able to find
two other paintings that lead me to believe that
this is the work of G. Deschamps, a French
painter. Both of the other paintings are very
similar in style and subject to the two paintings
above. The first of these paintings bears a
signature that is very similar to the one on my
painting and its mate. Luckily, this painting has
a label with the artist's name and address, and
title of the painting.
three, framed and label
This painting appears to be very similar in style,
and the frame also has similarities to the first
two paintings. The signature on the label, verso,
appears to be G. Deschamps, and address "1 Place
Porte de Chatillon, Paris". The signature on the
front of the painting also appears to be very
similar to the signatures on the first two
paintings. Note the title, St Servan y Mer, Tour
Solidor, the same location as my painting.
Painting number four is similar in style and
subject matter to the first three paintings, had
a label with the same name and address as
painting number three, but a signature that is
very different from all of the others. It may be
that the artist's signature changed, or that
related artists were working from the same
address, working in the same style. Painting
four is clearly signed "G. Deschamps". The
address is a big clue to the identity of this
artist, but unfortunately I do not have the
resources to determine which artist named
Deschamps lived there.
Brauer was supposedly a German artist who was active 1920-1940, a friend and peer of fellow artist Willibald Hamburger. Hamburger painted in the German symbolit style. So far, I have been unable to find out much about either man.