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tentafterThis is the last of this group of altered paintings and was the one that I felt a bit bad about using. It is the strongest of the group and I think it might have been a students piece or study. I even did some googling of the signature, just in case they had gone on to become a known name, but nothing came up. At any rate, it had come into my hands and was fair game for being “improved”. My first thought had been to alter the people but decided the better option was to explain their situation a bit more. (and putting clothes on him would have made it far less funny) Now they have something to look at and the painting has much more of a narrative going on. It was also the hardest to match the brushwork style of, but I think I got very close. The reflections were especially challenging, but worked out. The colour mixing and paint texture also matched so well that the fact it was altered is surprising most of the people who’ve only seen it in this state. It’s acrylic on canvas, and nicely stretched, so I opted not to frame it but to simply go with the black wrap around the outside. Keeping it down to only it’s modest original size should make it easier for someone to find a spot for this bit of slightly creepy fun. (and that person might be me since I really do love how it turned out) tentbefore

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This is probably the simplest of the altered paintings. Finding pieces to work with isn’t actually as easy as it may seem. Part of the hunt is choosing ones that are just bad enough. Georgian bay "after" I don’t want to be painting over works that have any real artistic merit but also am not interested in the truly terrible things that are so often what’s available at the price they need to be. I also only want to work with actual oil or acrylic paintings. With those, it’s possible to properly blend in the overpainting but with prints, it just sits on top and while you may be able to get a decent photo of the finished piece, they tend to look awful in person. On top of all that, it also has to have room for the changes. I like ones that have a sense of incompleteness about them. This was one that worked really well, from my perspective. While it is clearly Georgian bay, and not completely bad, (even with it’s abundance of “happy” trees) the large, empty expanse of water in the foreground came across as boring and unfinished so it made a great canvas for the addition of a “Nessie” style beastie. Georgian bay "before" Painting in the white water ripples around it took almost as much time as the beast, but I think they help tie it into the original artwork and look less like an add-on. (the down side of that is people thinking I did the whole thing, which has happened a couple of times. I think big “altered painting” signs are the way I’ll have to go)

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sgaftThis was another of the altered paintings. Once again, not a piece that had much in the way of artistic value to start with so it was a great candidate. At first, I couldn’t understand what was going on with the circular stone gate, but someone explained that they apparently are quite common in Bermuda. No matter why it was there, it had an extremely obvious solution! While I thought converting it to an active Stargate would be fairly simple, it turned out to be the most complicated of all the painting alterations I’ve done so far. There was just so much detail to it and I was trying to keep within the style of the original painting as well. (and the existing stone gate not actually being round didn’t make it any easier) It was necessary to use a dark enough grey to cover up the base picture, but that came out darker than anything else in in the original painting. As is, it stands out a bit more than I would have liked. Even with the various complications, it was still fun to do and at least I’m pretty happy with with how the event horizon came out.sgb4

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flying saucers

flying saucers

I’m not sure that it was the best idea for me to have shown my mother the altered art painting I did. It gave her some motivation to find me even more terrible paintings for use as canvases. This was one of her “finds”. Even with oil painting not being a medium I’m all that familiar with, I’m pretty happy with how well the additions match the colour and “style” of the base picture. (Not that it set a very high bar in terms of required painting skill) While it didn’t impress me much as art, it is in excellent condition and well stretched around a good quality stretcher. I also liked that it has the “gallery” wrapped edges. (the painting wraps around the edges of the stretcher so no frame is needed) The only hard part is how big it is. It’s 2′ by 3′ so someone is going to want/need to fill a large space with something funny for it to find a home. If it’s still around, I’ll probably put it in the booth at some of the summer shows! I’ve got a few more not-great-painting fixes underway, so might have several on offer.

oil painting

oil painting

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We get a wide range of art coming in. Some are easy enough to judge,
painting in terms of what they are and relative value while others are more of a challenge. This watercolour has turned out to be one of the most frustrating. Mother found it, terribly badly framed, with no information on it at all. I took it out of it’s acidic mats and ugly frame, hoping to find out more. Taking the mat off revealed a signature, and also showed that it had been glued down to it’s backing board. (*shudders* terrible thing, done in the style of about 100 years ago) I had hoped that knowing the signature would help me find out about the artist, since I find it hard to believe that someone who was working at this level isn’t “known”. Even with the signature, I have yet to be able to find out anything about the artist. Part of it might be the spelling. “O. Schertling” seems the sig most likely but while I’ve tried it and a range of related options, none have come back. Part of it is that it’s hard to tell what exactly the middle, longer letters are. Nothing comes up with the obvious options and I’ve even gone and looked up older styles of both German and Dutch writing to see if that would help, (both were guesses based on the style of the art and the signature) and that has also been a dead-end. It’s become a bit frustrating and I’m pretty much at the point of giving up on finding anything out about them. In the end, I suppose it doesn’t matter much since it is likely one of the pieces we’re going to keep for ourselves, but if anyone has any knowledge about the artist or suggestions on where to look, I’d welcome the help.

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I will often go off on these odd little art tangents all on my own, but sometimes

“before” version of the painting

it can be fun to be pushed in a specific direction. I’ve stayed somewhat active in an arts community and every so often there will be some silly project or trade challenges. The most recent one was inspired by Adding Monsters to Thrift Store Paintings. The idea is to add in some interest to some less than exciting “art”. Considering the number of vintage pieces we’ve picked up for their frames, we’ve developed a bit of a collection of less-than-professional and/or dated artworks, now without frames. While they are generally not worth making up new frames for them,

completed altered painting

I find it hard to actually throw them away, so they just sort of…accumulate. It was fun to go through them to select one for modification. This painting was an easy choice since, while the painter had some skill, it was oddly enough coloured, and was also an unexciting enough subject that it wasn’t too likely to find a home as was. It was dated from the seventies so it didn’t have any historical value either. Painting isn’t one of my strengths, so I decided against getting too ambitious about what I planned to do and limited myself to just tentacles that would hint at a Lovecraftian horror, lurking below the waves. My intent was to try and make the finished piece look like it always been that way, so I felt it was pretty successful, if definitely a little creepy.

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Most of the group of W.A.Black paintings we got in are florals.

W.A.Black painting “Lilies”

They also are almost all flowers that can be found around Southern Ontario. Most are wild or at least semi-wild. This one is of the most common style of day lilies. He’s perfectly captured the colours and shape of the flowers with a very realistic style, but has kept the greenery and background abstracted. Framing it was another easy decision since the deep oranges of the flowers is an exact match to a solid cherry molding. I’ve always loved this Fotiou frame, but they’ve discontinued all of the colours of it, with the orange being the last to go. I was lucky enough to score the last pair of molding sticks at the sale and used one to make the frame. (the art is 16×20, so I figured it was a good gamble, in case someone decided they had to have the frame, that it’s a standard size) Hopefully, it won’t come to that, since it’s unlikely I’ll find a better frame for the painting, and someone will fall in love with the complete unit.

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