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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!


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

Carlo of Hollywood Desert Trio


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.


This is our fourth Carlo trio set.

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


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


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.


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!


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.


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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