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Shirrell Graves

This was probably painted sometime in the 30's or 40's and the colors are still vibrant.

This was probably painted sometime in the 30’s or 40’s and the colors are still vibrant.

While we are on the subject of vintage airbrush art here is another piece Mel and I came across on this past Second Sunday. This is not a print but an original Shirrell Graves piece (a listed artist).

You can tell it is an original because the pencil signature reflects light.

You can tell it is an original because the pencil signature reflects light.

He was a painter of “commercial” pictures for hotels, restaurants etc. (I read somewhere that a few of his pieces were in the Brown Derby Restaurants) in a studio in San Francisco. Parmelee was his framer who had a studio close by. He worked primarily in air brush and each picture is an original. He died in San Francisco in 1954. The piece we just acquired had a broken piece of glass so we got it for a steal.

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It has a plain white matte that has gold trim around the picture that I am not digging. I will be taking it to my guy Tim at Wholesale Art and Framing to replace the matte with something more appealing and to cut a new piece of glass. This is a large piece measuring 26 X 32 inches. Our friend Vic always says “where you going to put that”? She is right, we are running out of wall space but that just means it is time to get creative.  Here are some other really cool pieces he painted:

I am really lovin' this one!

I am really lovin’ this one!

Great colors on these two fellas.

Great colors on these two fellas.

Flamingos! Arrrrrggghhhhh!

Flamingos! Arrrrrggghhhhh!

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I could imagine his works in fine hotels down in Southern California or someplace like Miami Florida. He used really nice colors and the images are not over complicated but they still are very nice.

He does really well capturing floral images.

He does really well capturing floral images.

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While researching Mr.Graves I saw that this piece sold for over $1,200.

Really nice depiction of a woman amongst nature.

Really nice depiction of a woman among nature.

Another nice image.

Another nice image.

I love discovering artists that are new to me. It is amazing to learn about them and to see all the works they have produced. It is obvious to me now that airbrush art was a very hot style from the 30’s through 50’s. I hope you have enjoyed this sampling  of Shirrell Graves works. Keep your eyes peeled and pick one up next time you see one!

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17 responses »

  1. gorgeous… I love the tropical lushness, colours & simplicity…thanks for introducing me to this lovely art..

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  2. Dear Mel and Shane,

    It is SO good to hear from you again on a regular basis!!!!
    I hope all is well with you and your family.

    These are wonderful pictures! I love them!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Bev

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  3. These are gorgeous & I remember them being so prevalant in the 50’s – or at least the style. I LOVE the tropical lady ones! You are blessed Hepcat, with your ability (talent) of knowing how to arrange things just right to look perfect.
    ~Vic~

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  4. How fun to find your page. I recently acquired a Shirrell Graves framed and matted Flamingo print. I new nothing of the artist until I read about him here. Thanks for the information. Do you know how I can find the value of my print? Thanks!

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  5. Thanks for the helpful info. We have a couple of his florals which were purchased by a family member in CA in the early 1950s. Both have the Parmelee sticker on the back and both original watercolors. Was curious to know more about him, thanks.

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  6. I am listing 2 to 3 Graves pieces a week on eBay. Check them out! Excellent condition never been framed. Worth your time…

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  7. I have the 2 black panthers, both are originals, signed in pencil and with framers seal (sticker) on back. Would like to have them appraised…
    any idea of value or someone to contact?

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  8. New flamingo by Shirrell Graves listed on E-bay

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  9. The Shirrell Graves painting on your page of the black panther gazing at the blue-tailed parrot – I grew up with this picture in the 1950’s in our living room. When my stepmother died about 10 years ago, I contacted her sister because I really wanted this picture as a memory of my parents & she told me she had curbed it (!!!) because there were waterstains on the matting. I have never been able to find another copy & don’t even know the name of this wonderful painting. Any ideas on where I could look for a copy? Thanks!!!

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