Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Art: Cambria, CA

Update 6/2/07: Below I mention the terrible frame that held our new work, "California Neighborhood", hostage prior to our purchase and that a new frame was being completed. Well, here is the piece in its new frame. We love it!

The first week of May Melicious and I drove down the coast for some wine tasting in Paso Robles and on the return stopped in Cambria for a couple nights. The day spent walking around town was full of some excellent artwork. I've never been to a place where in the space of 3 hours, I could have easily spent $20K-$30K.

However, we did purchase this: "California Neighborhood" a 10 x 8 oil on canvas by Tracey Sylvester-Harris

Sorry about the background, it's a dining room table, the painting is currently at The Painter's Place receiving a replacement frame. Normally, in fact always, Melicious and I have left the works we purchase as framed by the artist. However, this one had been framed poorly. It was framed in a 2" wide gilt silver frame. The frame both detracted from the painting and reflected into the viewer's eyes when viewing the work. Either is, IMHO, a cardinal sin for a frame and both together was a travesty. We bought the work at Tracey's mother's gallery in Cambria; the Melanee Sylvester Gallery and I'm pretty sure that Ms. Sylvester had a hand in the choice. Her work is all framed in gilt gold. Our frame will be black with the work set to appear to be floating in the frame.

On the collecting side, even with the discount from losing the frame, I think that we overpaid for this work. Compared to works that we've paid similar amounts, Tracey is not as well known as our other artists. But, we love the work and if we overpaid by 10-20%, well, it's not like the work cost five figures.

That said we enjoy Tracey's work a lot. Below, I've shown a number of her other works.

There are some that evoke David Hockney,

and others that seem a lot like a favorite of ours, Henry Villierme. In fact, compare Tracey's work here with the Villierme below it.

I think Tracey's stuff is wonderfully sublime. It just seems to say "ease". I'd love to have one of her swimming pool works, but wine purchases took precedence ;-)

More art from Cambria later...