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Shirrell Graves Original Airbrush/Watercolors

IMG_2471If I had to pick another mid century artist that I am taken with, it would have to be Shirrell Graves.  His art is so fantastic!  I love his use of watercolor and airbrush.  I recently discovered two Shirrell Graves pieces on eBay.  These came from a liquidator of an art studio in Cincinnati.  I had never seen a set like these and was soo excited to have won the auctions!

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I really like this set of paintings.  The red and yellows pop because the rest of the flower is black and white.

I am not sure why he painted numerous versions of the same flowers.  I assume he was trying to find the layout he liked the best.

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Here is the other set of flowers he painted.  On both sets he signed the corner of each smaller picture with “SG”.  On the overall pieces he signed his complete name.

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Not sure what the “352” stands for.

The seller of these pieces said the winner of the eBay auction could buy these and cut them up for resale!!!!  What?  Why would you ever do that?  I guess if you were driven by money you would consider this.  I would never dream of splitting these sets up into pieces.  Here is a better look at the black and white flowers…

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Here is a better look at the pink flowers…

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I might have a vintage frame that will accommodate both pieces.  Mel and I also picked up a couple of other Shirrell Graves pieces recently.

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Of course I jumped on this one.  You can never go wrong with a flamingo painted by Shirrell Graves.

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We picked this one up at a local antique store.  It is similar to the pink flower ones above.  I repainted the flamingo frame in aqua and this one in pink.

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A Closer Look

Hello all,

Now that we have our new Carlos home we are able to take better pictures of them. We are very happy with these and look forward to trying to find a place to put them all.

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This is the largest Carlo panther I have ever seen at 52 inches wide and 33.5 inches tall.

Mark and Ann purchased these from a Carlo collector in Fresno that was liquidating his collection. They really scored finding a collector who was willing to sell his whole collection. We are soo grateful they thought of us when they got these and gave us first shot at them! As Mark always says, “these are investment pieces”. At this point, I think it is more of an addiction!!! This puts us up to 92 Carlos! Mel and I are going to have to throw a party when we hit 100!

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This is another monster about the same size as the one above. The colors of this one are breathtaking and there is a lot of detail. I like the dragon detail on the big flower vase. Mel likes the little dog.

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The background makes this piece really stand out.

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Bengal Tiger……what else can I really add?

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The black background makes these just POP!!

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These seem to be flawless.

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These are going to flank the large panther and will look killer with the red frame against these acid green frames.

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So simple but soo cool.

Mel and I spent all last weekend getting all our art in place in the Tiki room. With these new additions it seems we have to start all over again. With wall real estate at a premium, it is getting more and more difficult to find a new home for the Carlos we come across. Now off to the Carlo gallery to update it with these.

Carlopalooza! (Major Carlo of Hollywood Score)

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We have not found a large stash like this for a long time! I couldn’t stop smiling for like 8 hours!

Mel and I went to Midway Antique Mall a week ago to initially stock our new booth and when we came through the doors we noticed a set of Carlo of Hollywood paintings that were new to the store. Mel and I were soo excited when we saw this set that we scanned the rest of the store and we found eight more Carlo’s that we did not have in our collection! We told Mark and Ann, the owners of Midway, that we wanted them. We picked them up today. Happy Day!!!

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It is hard to find a complete trio. This is our sixth set of trios!

This trio is very cool. The colors are still so vibrant and the imagery is timeless as usual. I love the Polynesian guy in the canoe! It always amazes me how Carlo did so much with his art when it is so simple. These will look great in the……….TIKI ROOM!

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I just love her outfit! The pink edges of the art make it pop!

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Not sure where these will go. They might look good in the Tiki room as well.

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Of course these will be in our Tiki room.

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I have wanted this set for a long time.

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What amazes me about all these Carlo’s is how vibrant the colors still are.

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Panthers are always cool! This one needs a little touch up on the black but it looks really cool as it is.This one does not have the forced perspective frame that all the others have.

Mel and I were just saying the other day that there has been a drought when it comes to new Carlo’s to buy. I guess this was like a torrential down pour of good luck! The good thing is that we might have a line on six more Carlo’s. Now the hard work begins, where can we fit 10 more into our 80+ Carlo collection. We are almost at a 100 Carlo’s!

Carlo of Hollywood Desert Trio

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Hello all!

Just a quick post showing the trio hung together. The glass in the large desert Carlo arrived broken so I replaced it with plexiglass. On a piece this large the weight of the frame & glass need to be a consideration. Plexiglass also offers 87% UV protection unlike regular glass which offers only 40% UV protection.

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This is our fourth Carlo trio set.

We have had these two for a while. Mel and I love the color of these frames!

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This is now hanging in our bedroom over our fireplace. We are soo happy with the way it turned out.

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Rare Lighted Carlo of Hollywood Frames

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As you can see these frames need some attention.

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Hello all you Hepcats!

We are pleased to announce that we have acquired our first set of rare lighted Carlo frames. Since we have collected Carlo I think I have only seen three of these style frames. We stumbled across them while surfing the internet at Metro Modern. We reached out to them to see if they still had them, after a discussion we agreed on price and they sent them out. These frames were not in the best of shape and required the usual restoration and the lights needed to be replaced to prevent any damage to the art work. I have noticed that these lighted frames usually burn the art work because of the heat that the original lights generate. I replaced them with an under the counter light used in kitchens that did not generate heat from Lowes. Here is how they turned out:

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I wired the lights in tandem that way I only have to use one cord to turn both on. I plan to install a switch later.

When these arrived they did not have glass in the frames. I am not sure but maybe the lighted frame Carlo’s didn’t come with glass. I shot of to Wholesale Art and Framing again to have Tim and staff help me get some glass cut.

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As you can see the frames look cleaner. A good rule of thumb is that if you restore something and it is hard to tell a difference then you did it right.

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Now for the moment we have all been waiting for, lets turn the lights on!

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These look great a night. I  am happy with the finished product.

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It looks great with our other Carlo’s!

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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