Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Found it on eBay

An original oil painting by Paul McCormack, currently up for bid on eBay.

I used to worry that I was addicted to eBay.

Every morning, a bushel full of emails greeted me, filled with details of all the results from the dozens of searches I had saved on the eBay site, and I sat there and dutifully went through each of them.  It's not that I bought a lot - I was just fascinated by the different items that people posted for sale.  And over time, I had gathered some interesting items for my studio, including a hot plate for making mediums, a double boiler, amber bottles, vintage hats, costumes, rare books, quail eggs (hollow), and a bowl-backed mandolin.  I think it was the day I found myself shopping for human skulls - and yes, there are human skulls for sale on eBay (and they are even priced better than their professionally cast, plastic counterparts) - that I decided to rein in my shopping.  (Where were they getting these skulls anyway, and if I bought one, would my demand be fostering someone's grave-robbing side business? The prices were good though . . .)

The one area of eBay I still do monitor from time to time, though, is original art.  Unfortunately, most of the time that I peruse through those auctions, it can be very painful;  there is much chaff to sort through to find the wheat.  But it's still worth the search.

A few years ago, I picked up the little sketch shown below.  I have no idea who drew it, and I can only hope that it is actually from the 19th century.  The seller was located in France, and was selling several images that looked like they were all cut from an old sketchbook.  It is small (approximately 6 X 3 inches), and was inexpensive;  I think I paid $15 for it, which was worth it to me to feel like I owned a piece of history.

The painting below the sketch, "Morning at Superstition," I did not buy.  It was not for a lack of trying, however. The artist, Mick McGinty, was putting up one or two landscapes a week for a while, and I bid on a lot of them.  I was just never the last bid.  Unfortunately, McGinty  stopped listing works about two years ago, otherwise, maybe I would have won one by now.

Currently, I'm watching two auctions of original paintings:  one, a still life by Paul McCormack, and the other, a still life by Clinton Hobart.  I wouldn't mind owning either of them, but I have kids now, so I cannot afford to win either auction.  But I do like to see what's on the auction block, and I enjoy cheering on the bidders.  

And that brings me back to where this all started:  I'm worried I might be addicted to eBay.

Mick McGinty's artwork can be seen at his website, and on his blog, Twice a Week.
The eBay listing for Paul McCormack's still life is 281113035939.
Clinton Hobart's listing is 230986118843

unknown 19th c. French artist

"Morning at Superstition" by Mick McGinty

"Coconut & Mango" by Clinton Hobart, currently on eBay.


mick mcginty said...

Hi Matthew, I really enjoy your posts. How do you find the time to write about the stuff you you post? Sorry you didn't win any of the auctions I used to do. I gave up posting them because I thought I wasn't going anywhere with them. I decide to paint and save them for a possible gallery gig. After looking through my Blog I may start again. It was too much fun to paint the pieces and then watch the auctions! Thanks, Mick

David J. Teter said...

Interesting post this time, still art related.
If lucky enough to win the bid it can be a great deal.
Exceptions... once things become collectors items or popular in the interior design field prices can skyrocket.

I have bought or tried to buy on eBay. Mostly furniture for my studio, usually the kind I can repurpose from its previous use since art studio taboret's, cabinets for example are far too expensive at retail art suppliers.
That also usually means used but older and better built, NO plastic.
My best buy was two large 5 drawer high quality metal flat files (w/ ball bearing drawer rollers!) approx 54" x 41" x 15", $150.00 for the pair! Semi local, all I had to do was drive to pick up. A major score since it is easily $2000.00 worth of (new) flat files.
That is in fact how I won the bid against others, they would not ship only sell to those who could pick-up.

Kate Stone said...

I can't believe the clarity of that fruit painting!

Carolina Elizabeth said...

I was afraid to join eBay as an artist, and I've heard several artist say that they hate it because it makes art less valuable. For me, it works out perfectly since I am a full time middle school teacher and only paint when I have time here and there. Also, I live in Oklahoma, and as much I love my state, it's not known as a place in which art is purchased. EBay has allowed me to sell paintings to people in Australia, Holland, England, France, lots to patrons in Canada, Russia and most recently I sent a painting out to a wonderful patron in Ireland. This is aside from having work purchased for in several states without me having to leave my home except to go to the post office. It's been a great experience for me. THANK YOU so much for all you share. Being selftaught, your writing has been of great help to me. -- Carolina Elizabeth