Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Paintings by Artists You Can't Find Information About

Harvey Joiner's "Kentucky Beechwoods-Autumn." Photo from Higgins-Maxwell Gallery

It is easy to find out the value for paintings by Andy Warhol, Robert Wood, or Thomas Paine by going to the Internet or Davenports Price Guide, but how about Stefin Krammar, Harvey Joiner, or Robert Knudson? If you haven't heard of these last three, that comes as no surprise to me. But I have a painting by each one of these artists. Why do I have these? Each one has great quality in their workmanship and has a fairly high retail value if you can find a buyer. Besides that, I paid very little for them.

By doing the smallest amount of research, you will find the values on 150,000 artist in the Davenports Guide and many more on an Internet Search. This still leaves thousands of artist undiscovered that command high prices for their pieces.

In fact, I have found that the most money to be made, based on percentage invested, is in finding a painting that will bring a great deal of money in a particular part of the country, but the artist doesn't make the regular channels that you would generally consult.

Let's take my Stefin Krammar for instance. Mine is a watercolor of a cowboy riding through the countryside. At the time I found it, western scenes appealed to me. I purchase it for $250. It was very well done, so I figured that it was worth more than $250, even if Krammar wasn't a well known artist. I searched and searched for information about Krammar, and I finally discovered that he was a Texas artist and a museum in Texas was compiling an exhibit of his work. Nothing could be found on the Internet or in my guides, so I called the museum inquiring about its possible worth. My jaw dropped to the floor when the answer came back "$5000." Yes, it was worth a lot in Texas but it seemed nowhere else. I had very little competition in buying this painting because most people would have given up on finding a value on this artist after that initial search. Knowledge and that extra mile will pay off in spades if you are patient.

Harvey Joiner and Robert Knudson are similar situations. There is little known about them outside of a small area of the country where their work is collected. Harvey Joiner's paintings will bring three to five time more in Kentucky than anywhere else in the country. If you check his record price for a painting, I think it will be about $4000. But, I can assure you that the right piece of his work in Kentucky might fetch $15,000- $20,000 dollars or more. Remember the Joiner portrait I bought on the East Coast for $240 sold for $3,700 in Indiana.

I think that you can see what I'm getting at. If a painting has a high enough quality, you might not have to worry if you don't find it in the guides. You can still turn some serious money. By having the knowledge to evaluate the quality of a painting, it can substantially reduce your competition, especially if you don't recognize the artist.

How do you get this knowledge? By looking at as many paintings as you can and trying to distinguish what makes each one valuable. There is no substitute for viewing paintings, but also you have the staff at the 31 Club to help you. When you join us, your one-time membership fee will open the door to a world of help and information. You'll learn why certain paintings are valuable and how to spot them. As a member, you also have access to our Associate Program. This program can help you purchase a painting you might have stumbled upon, if you haven't yet built up the cash to make the purchase yourself. We'll help you buy it and take care of the sale. What could be better than that?

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  1. dear daryle,
    on the very same day of this post, I received in the mail an old painting I bought off ebay...I have not been able to identify it - it's unsigned or signature is covered by frame..I am hesitant to try to remove frame, it does appear to be very old with brittle paint...and it really needs cleaning. It does have a name engraved on the back. Although I did search under that name, I really can't tell if it's my artist or not. What would you recommend? I can't spend alot of money on it without knowing if it's worth much! I'd also like to thank you for creating such a positive and encouraging community for us beginners with big dreams - your giving christian attitude truly shines thru.

  2. Hi Maryg

    I would for sure take it out of the frame if you think there is a signature under the frame. If there is send me a photo of it and I will help you get information on the artist. Don't spend any money to repair it until you are convinced that it will help more than the expense.Thanks for the kind comments.

    God Bless