Monday, February 28, 2011

The "other" Eliot O'Hara?

unnamed, Eliot O'Hara, 18" x 13", watercolor

Mystery solved! After considerable research, I have determined that this painting is the work of well known artist Eliot O'Hara (1890-1969). O'Hara infrequently signed in this manner, and also infrequently created portraits. See the "Other Artists" page of my web site for a more detailed explanation of my research. My art collection web site can be reached using the link at the upper right of this page.

    This was represented by the seller as the work of Eliot O'Hara (1890-1969). This seems unlikely as the signature does not match that on any other work by O'Hara that I have seen, and O'Hara's works typically sell for hundreds of dollars at minimum. Every work by O'Hara that I have been able to examine is signed in capital block letters. It is possible that there were two artists by this name, or that this is an attempt to fake a painting by the well known artist. It is also possible that O'Hara also sometimes signed his work in cursive. I am still researching the identity of this artist. Any input on this investigation is welcome.
    I bought this painting because I think it is a really amazing painting. I like the artist's use of light and shadow and the way that the artist captured the subject's eyes. I like the subdued colors and general mood of the painting, too. The painting was purchased from a dealer in Bothell, Washington, but has the framing label of "Herbert W. Keeble, Picture Framing, 441 El Camino Real, Menlo Park, California". The frame is extremely well made and beautiful, marked "Made in Belgium", and the framing and matting are exceptionally well done. I am working on an image of the framed painting.

A New England artist named Clute?

unnamed, Clute, 16" x 20", oil

    This painting was purchased at an auction in Allentown, PA. There were at least three listed artists named Clute who were active in New York City, which is not far away. One died in 1914, long before this painting was created. This painting probably dates from the 1940s. There may have been other artists with the same surname, so it is by no means certain that one of the two remaining artists created this painting. The bridge in the painting, if it is based on an existing bridge, may be a clue as to the identity of the artist. I suspect that the bridge is in either New York or Pennsylvania. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who recognizes it or the artist.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Mystery Coral (?) Carving

unnamed, unknown artist, 4" x 5",unknown material

    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, possibly filling some holes, 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.

H. Harvey, Woodstock Artist?

unnamed, H. Harvey, 6" x 4", oil

Paintings by H. Harvey are fairly common and were produced in apparently large quantities by this artist for the Woodstock Workshop, as shown by the label on the back of this painting, and several other examples of the artist's work that I have seen. Several artists created small paintings for this art colony, some later well known artists, and others, like Harvey, obscure. Much of this artist's work appears to be very crude, especially the small works. Some of the artist's larger works, and a few of his small works, are more well done, though I have seen only three or four examples of these larger works and all were in the 8" x 10" to 12" x 16" size range. It is difficult to date this artist's work as the Woodstock Workshop seems to have been active from the 1930s through the 1950s, but my guess is that these works were produced in the later years of this range.

Paintings by this artist have been attributed to Harold LeRoy Harvey 1899-1971. I am not comfortable with this attribution at this time, I actually do not believe that this attribution to be correct. I have included a biography for Harold Leroy Harvey on my art collection web site.

Any help in identifying this artist, or more career information, would be very much appreciated.

J. Hutson, New England Artist?

"A Fall Spectacular", J. Huston, 2.5" x 3.5", acrylic, 2010

    I am generally not a fan of miniature or ACEO-type paintings, but this one was very nicely framed and matted, and as a package, quite striking. It is signed, titled and dated, verso. I like Fall scenes and this one is very well done, with lots of detail and nice use of light and shadow. Unfortunately, I cannot find out anything about the artist. Any help would be appreciated. I purchased this from a dealer in Ipswich, Massachusetts, so this may be a New England artist.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

R. D. Montford Canadian Artist? UK artist? Irish artist?

unnamed, R. D. Montford, 4" x 5", oil

I purchased these two small, similarly framed, paintings on ebay from a seller in London, Ontario, Canada. One is signed "Montford" and the other is unsigned but a notation on the back reads "R. D. Montford". 

unnamed, R. D. Montford, 4" x 5", oil

These are nicely painted, though my poor images don't show that. I will eventually have better images on my web site. I did find mention of a UK or Irish artist named Rosemary Montford, but was not able to find an example of her signature. These were nicely presented in similar frames so apparently well thought of by someone. Any help in identifying this artist, or eliminating Rosemary Montford as as suspect, would be appreciated.

Melodie Song Southwest Artist?

unnamed, Melodie Song, 11" x 14", oil, 1973

This was an ebay find. I purchased it from a seller in Monrovia, CA. This artist had an interesting name. I wonder if it could have been a pseudonym? I have found no other mention of this artist, though this was obviously not her first painting. The painting is an oil on stretched canvas and was framed in a 1970s vintage frame, so I am inclined to accept the date that the artist added after her signature. Nothing else to work with on this one. Help!

Helen Bodine Okanogan County, WA artist?

"Methow Valley Barn" by Helen Bodine

This is a little 5" x 7" oil painting that is signed "Bodine" and titled and fully signed on the back. The Methow Valley is in Okanogan County, WA, near the small town of Twisp. I found another painting by this artist that sold at an auction in Tacoma, WA, and one other was a mountain scene, so good chance that this is a Washington State artist. One auction record that I found for this artist noted that she had died in 1958. I have not found any other records for this artist. No one named Helen Bodine is mentioned in the Social Security Death Index who died in 1958 or in Washington State at any time. Any help on identifying this artist would be appreciated.

The signature above is from my painting and similar to that on the other works by this artist that I have seen.