I had a positively lovely vacation out East, visiting my dear Mom and large extended family for two weeks. I shall regale you with tales of home another time. I will say it was difficult coming back to reality, but I was eager to bring home these new finds, two beautiful miniature seascapes by New Jersey painter Al Barker:
While visiting a favorite antique store in southern New Brunswick, I discovered these two neglected beauties sitting in a box piled with miscellaneous framed prints. Hello pretty ones.
I immediately found them beautiful and knew they weren't junk (oil on board, painted by a clearly accomplished but unknown - to me that is - painter, signed on the front and signed and numbered on the back).
I had a "start the car!" moment when I turned them over to see an absurdly low price. It was abundantly clear that the shopkeeper didn't appreciate their value, so when I took them to the counter, I asked for his "best price". He took another 30% off the pair! I practically jumped for joy!
These two paintings are easily worth hundreds of dollars apiece. Similarly sized works online are priced at over $700 each. And they're just what I've been looking for. For at least a year I've been dreaming of starting a small collection of landscape paintings, but I've had a hard time finding an artist or work that I love. Seascapes have always spoken to me, so you can imagine that I immediately loved this dreamy pair.
Based on these two works and some internet research, I can easily say that I am smitten with Al Barker's work. I plan to acquire other pieces in the future. Maybe a New Jersey trip will figure in my future...(in fact, David and I are thinking about another Virginia Civil War trip!)