All of us who collect stuff dream of the big find.  A fantastic return on investment,  historical significance, 15 minutes of fame.   It is tantalizing.  Most of what I collect is done because it fits into a house built in 1939.  But one collection is of passionate works by untrained artists.  A lot of this work falls into the category of religion.  Religion arouses passion and the need to create.

Much of my collection also must be guided by the one dollar rule.  This serves to restrict what would be a tsunami of stuff competing for my space and attention.


Bought this little piece made of an old shirt box separated at the seams as a frame, with construction paper binding the glass covering the image.  There are two toned crosses both under and over the glass.  The image is probably from a Sunday school handout depicting Jesus and the Woman at the Well.    It is wonderful and cost one dollar.

In terms of collecting paintings, I prefer the passionate amateur.  My one dollar rule pretty much dictates this.  Sometimes however, the two sets intersect.

1-watercolor with frame

This very nice little watercolor was just one dollar.  It was not done by an untrained person.  The image is swift, deliberate and light.  The shapes are abstracted and done with ease.  It is painted on good paper.


It has no signature, sorry to say.  Or almost no signature.

This little painting is five by seven, and is in one of those cheap plastic frames that has cardboard for the back .  On the edge of the frame are little staples that you can bend into place, or bend out to remove the cardboard and the watercolor.

A year or two ago, messing around late at night and listening to the radio, the painting struck me as the sweet little thing that it is, and I turned it over and undressed it, hoping a signature would be on the back of the paper.  Boy, was I surprised!

1-b and w photo

An old fart with a young chick on his lap!  The photo is also five by seven and was hidden perfectly within the plastic frame between the watercolor and the cardboard back.  What could be the back story here?  Do you think he is the artist and he gave this to her?  Other way around?  Anybody know who these people are?

We see a resort umbrella, sea oats, a brick building with a Pepsi sign that starts a word with “ca”.  My husband thinks this is father and daughter.  I think she is far too pretty to be his.  I prefer an out of town “rendezvous”!  Somebody please tell me he is a famous artist.


7 thoughts on “AMAZING FIND

  1. It always saddens me a little to see someone’s original art work sold at a flea market for $1.00! But that is at least better than the garbage bin. There is still a chance that the work will find a good home and an appreciative audience. I once found a delightful painting on top of a garbage pile just before it was to be carted off for landfill. The painting had a signature and date of 1901. Remarkably, I managed to track done a living descendant. I returned the work to a great grand nephew of the artist. It was worth it to learn about this family’s remarkable history. I posted the story some time ago. Here is the link:

  2. I live about at the end of the world when it comes to appreciating art. I buy stuff at the local flea market from people who know not what they have! If you don’t value something, you ask nothing for it. I have a big collection of paint by number paintings, and bought one, a really nice one, framed with glass, for 25 cents a month ago.

  3. The painting is lovely and photo intriguing, primarily because of where you found it. If I just came across this photo in a pile at an estate sale I’d say it was father and daughter.

  4. You are exactly right Elaine. It was so strange to find it hidden in just that place. I cannot believe it would have been used to strengthen the support for the watercolor, although it is the perfect size.

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