Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Rodney Matthews Comes To Live At The Dark Tower, Along With Frank McCarthy

Now, that's more like a holiday...

After tending to the needs of my menagerie at 5:30AM, I made a little toast,with strawberry jam along with a mug of Java, and crawled back into bed to watch Antiques Roadshow and sleep in until 10:45.

What could be better?

Well, I woke up with that general joie de vivre which comes after dreaming you are on a motorcycle with a large animated  marshmallow figure on the handlebars - You know the feeling...

So, I should have stayed away from the Mac and my credit card because I decided that, given that I have been a good boy this year and have ended up 'in the black', despite some rather ambitious plans and projects  I could risk a look at the catalogue of original Rodney Matthews works.

I am a big fan of RM's work, and have been for about 4 years, but I've never allowed myself to add one of his works to my gallery. OK, owning assorted pieces by John Blanche, Tony Ackland, Wayne England, Phillip Downes and Tony Hough (and a few more, come to think of it) is one thing, but when you get into the big boy's game, it's taking things to a whole new level.

Now, much as I love the full colour stuff, I have a rather naughty attraction to pencil work, and even though you are generally looking at a mid 3 figure sum for a pencil sketch, it's good quality work when you compare it to say £75,000 for a colour original of a piece of album cover art.

So, I found a rather nice piece which is the concept sketch of a logo for Bizarre Creative, 12x16 inches and priced at a trifling £150:

So I registered my interest with the gallery, and was surprised when I got a mail saying that for 24 hours, I could make offers on any RM originals.


Thus, I allowed myself to be snared by 12x16 inch sketch of Legolas, which was a piece of concept work for the Lord Of The Rings musical (look it up, it was great fun) by Bernd Stromberger. It's lovely and was priced in the catalogue at £495. I registered interest...


I then noticed another piece which I had seen earlier in the year, again, concept work for an album by Barclay James Harvest which became 'Caught In The Light' but was under the working title of Feel The Silence, measuring 13x21 inches and priced at £350

I made an offer on this which was accepted, but then I considered what it is that I want from a piece of art, given the serious lack of space on any wall in the Tower apart from the bathroom, and withdrew my interest in the album cover.

So, here I was with two pieces of artwork I really loved and a potential price tag of £660.00 with shipping at £15.00.

So, I did the sums, looked at what I want to do hobby-wise in 2016 and then pitched a ridiculous offer of £490 including shipping, expecting some serious return haggling because let's face it, I was asking for a consideration in excess of 25%.

The gallery agreed...

And so, I now own some classic artwork which will need to be archival framed and insured, but let's face it, RM is no getting any younger and he is very, very collectible indeed.

Later in the afternoon, I found myself in a favourite charity shop, wherein I did find a 1984 exhibition poster for the work of famed American Western artist Frank McCarthy, who is right up there with the greats of American cultural art.

What's more it has a wonderful dark wood frame:

Not a great pic, so here is one of another...

Now, it was priced at £20, but I haggled... Yeah, yeah I haggled in a charity store, but to be fair they have had a few hundred pounds of donations from me, and they know me, so they returned the good turn and accepted £15 (so I spent some more cash on a few bits).

Well, as some of you may know, high end exhibition lithographs are seriously collected and because of the limited runs, are often considered works of art in their own right. This particular piece is very high end with contrasting print finishes and metallic details which are foiled. As I said... very high end.

So, I filled the last bit of space in the lower levels of the Dark Tower and then checked on average values. My hunch was correct and this is a $200-$400 piece at auction. But this baby stays with me as I have a rather unhealthy love of North American popular culture.

I have now sated myself for 2015. I bloody hope so anyway, because I have just had to sit and rework my plans for next year.

Well, it's been a tiring yet satisfying day, so I will bid you a very fond 'good evening'.


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