Last weekend, I made my second trip to Clars Auction House to check out their wares. After my epic first trip earlier this year, I came prepared with a game plan:
1) Come Early But Not Too Early: Unlike flea markets, I had no need to get to the auction before it started. Clars traditionally starts with small Asian artifacts and that takes up the first 100 lots or so. It normally takes about 1.5 -2 hours per 100 lots so I arrived around 9:30am with plenty of time left to walk the floor and plan my purchases
2) Set Your Bid Limits: Last time I got caught up in the excitement of bidding and slightly overpaid for one item. This time around, opted to be the last person bidding on lots rather than the first. I had set my limits and if the item was exceeding those numbers, I never put my hat in. No need to get your hopes up and dashed or worse, get caught up and overpay!
3) Plan Your Losses: After I walked the floor, I had about 10 items I wanted to bid on; 3 in the front and 7 towards the end. FYI, auctions tend to be all day affairs lasting until about 5-6pm, so unless I wanted to bifurcate my day, I had to plan which items were ones I loved and which ones were going to be forsaken. I opted to go for the early lots simply because I did not want to have to schlep back at the end of the day.
With my game plan in hand, I was able to hit the auction, score three pieces of art and get out all before noon, which I saw as a triumph of the human spirit and a testament to my will power. I also had a free lunch dangled to me if I got home by noon, so that was equally motivating. But in any case, there are the beauties I got….
“Bound Man” by Jackie Kirk – 1991
It’s a mixed media piece with string, pencil and acrylic on paper. The piece was part of an exhibit staged by the College of Marin where local artists are asked to base an original work on a piece of string. The piece represents the artists long-time interest in the HIV epidemic and mirrors her work from her solo show at the Palace of the Legion of Honor. Rumor has it that the piece was originally part of the art collection of the Curley Family Trust. Not bad for $25 huh?
“Taos Medicine Man” by Donald Romero
This is an oil piece from New Mexico based artist Donald Romero. I love the subject matter and the fluid stroke motion of the artist. I couldn’t find much on him via the Google, so if you are familiar with his work, shoot me an email or comment. I was able to snag this one for about $60 and it may or may not end up in a future client’s home depending on the direction we go.
The final piece I bought is my favorite is destined for my music room to replace the art that currently hands above the couch……
“Mod Family”, artist unknown
The painting is considered to be part of the mid-century “American school” of art. I reminds me almost of a stylized paint-by-numbers in its use of large swaths of color. The piece immediately spoke to me – the subject matter, the colors and the sense of humor in the piece ranging from its name to the tiny insert at the bottom of the painting…..
This sold it for me. I loved the little inset of the “modern family” from the turn of the century as it juxtaposed against the modern family of “today”. I think I scored myself a winner for $75.
So of the three do you have a favorite? This weekend is PACKED for me between client engagements, an all day Saturday class and cheering on The Partner in his half marathon on Sunday. The only thing keeping me going in the thought of seeing The Hunger Games — that is if I can find a showing that isn’t sold out!
Have a great weekend!