But is it art?

Having recently bought yet more nice art, as mentioned in my previous post, I’ve had a bit of a spending spree on even more art today.

I only popped out to the supermarket, but I decided that whilst I was out, I’d pop into White Lion Antiques and ended up buying a number of things.

I guess this means that I only “popped out” but I ended up “out out“.

It’s actually quite unusual for me to find a load of things that I like. Very often I come away from a shop without having bought anything.

First stop within White Lion Antiques was Genesis Fine Arts, and owner Helen was there and we had a nice long chat about art, previous purchases (she remembered me, and what I had bought in the past!!), and the like. She had a lovely large print of Jack Vettriano’s “Bluebird at Bonneville” at a fairly stiff £225 (although there was a 20% discount sale running, so actually £180). It was beautifully framed and I think a lot of that cost was the framing. I decided to leave it, even though I have wanted a print of this picture for many years. More on that later though.

She and I did have a productive chat about a very fragile but beautiful unframed Chinese picture on thin parchment paper that I have had for many years, though. She does framing, including a Conservation Framing service, and we talked about her doing me a quote for it.

Then I continued to wander round, and upstairs with another vendor I found a small print of
“Dance me to the end of Love”, also by Jack Vettriano. As a fan of Strictly Come Dancing (or Dancing With The Stars as the format is known outside of the UK), I like the shape of hold that the lady has, and it’s a nice picture.

It initially looked a little shabby and need of a clean, but closer inspection showed that the frame was actually in fairly good condition and it had a good quality double layer mount. It was also marked down to a reasonable price so I grabbed that.

“Dance me to the end of Love” by Jack Vettriano
“Dance me to the end of Love” by Jack Vettriano
A spanking! A spanking!
A spanking! A spanking!

The next picture I found was a little saucy. Apologies if you’re offended by this sort of thing. I thought it was a bit of fun, so added it to the pile.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find any further information on this picture – neither the artist nor the title, despite a reverse image search. Tineye only had 1 hit – a blog post using the picture, without attribution – and then reverse image searching on that pic resulted in no further hits, so I have had to draw a blank there.

The next bit of art to catch my eye was an unframed print entitled “Hier et Aujourd’hui” (which my schoolgirl French tells me is “Yesterday and Today”) by L. Sabattier. That’s something that I can google for.

Googling the actual text only yielded a few eBay auctions for the same print, although one helpful Belgian eBay seller states it depicts “Citroën 5cv type C3 Torpedo 2 places 1925-1926 et Panhard & Levassor 15 HP taxi 1910”.

A reverse image search with Tineye didn’t yield anything more.

"Hier et Aujourd'hui" by L. Sabattier
“Hier et Aujourd’hui” by L. Sabattier

In another part of the shop, with yet another seller, I found a pair of pictures by Beryl Cook which have been there a while and I have seen several times on previous visits.

Pictures by Beryl Cook
Pictures by Beryl Cook

Although these are very sweet, they’re priced up at £35 each, with “N/T” on the label, which usually means “No Trade” (as in, don’t bother trying to negotiate on price). At that price they’re too rich for me and, as on previous visits, I left them even though I think they are charming. Maybe next time I am in, if they are still there, I might finally give in and buy “Party Girls” or even both.

The next thing to catch my eye (this was turning out to be quite the shopping trip!) was a small aluminium dish / bowl with sparkly red interior (shown on the right of this picture that I took after I got home) which compliments a similar, larger, one that I already own (shown on the left). The pen is included for scale.

It was only £4.70 so it would have been rude not to buy it. 🙂

Heart-shaped dish
Heart-shaped dish

But we still weren’t done, because I also found this nice thin top by Linea for £10

Linea top
Linea top

That was quite a haul. I took it all to the desk, and enquired if there was any movement on price on any of the items but they now have a rule of no discounts on any item under £30, which seems very high to me as most places are £10. So I wasn’t able to secure any discount on any of the prices.

When I got home, and unpacked everything and looked for places to hang the new pictures, I discovered that I already own a print of “Dance me to the end of Love” by Jack Vettriano. And in the same size too. So I guess I’m going to have to sell one on. 🙁

I think the one that I have just bought is more nicely framed though – it certainly has a better quality mount – so I might sell on the existing one with the silver frame.

"Dance me to the end of Love" by Jack Vettriano

But it did set me thinking about “Bluebird at Bonneville”, and I did a web search for it. And to my immense surprise, I found that the shop on the official Jack Vettriano website was selling unlimited prints of the picture, printed on 275gsm white silk paper, for a very reasonable £20 + £6 delivery for a 70cm x 50cm print, which is plenty big enough. This is a very common poster size and I have some cheap frames in stock that should be fine for this.

"Bluebird at Bonneville" by Jack Vettriano
“Bluebird at Bonneville” by Jack Vettriano

So I bought it.

Earlier in the day a random picture on www.rockpapershotgun.com had caught my eye and, since my appetite for art was whetted, I did a reverse image search for it which showed it to be a crop of an illustration by Arthur Rackham from the book Undine, being illustration 14 of 15, captioned “Soon She Was Lost to Sight in the Danube”.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham from the book "Undine"
Illustration by Arthur Rackham from the book “Undine”

I spent an enjoyable time googling him, viewing some of his art, and I ended up buying an e-book of his art. I also found a poster store called www.posterlounge.co.uk who do pictures on a variety of media including 250gsm premium photo paper, predominantly of pictures in the Public Domain, at a reasonable price. They had the Arthur Rackham picture, and other examples of his work, and also a very good selection of Alfonse Mucha although I have quite a lot of that at the moment.

I then browsed their site further as they had flat rate shipping, and was rather taken by “Lesbia” by John Reinhard Weguelin.

"Lesbia" by John Reinhard Weguelin
“Lesbia” by John Reinhard Weguelin

I really like the composition and lighting of this picture. So that got added to the shopping basket.

I was also drawn to “After Bathing, Valencia” by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida so that also got added.

"After Bathing, Valencia" by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida
“After Bathing, Valencia” by Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida

That was quite enough spending for today, especially since I have a new phone on order, so I called it a day there.

It will be fun framing these up when they arrive, and finding places to hang them as I have rather a lot of art these days and am running out of wall space!

No photos of me today, I’m afraid; I didn’t feel like putting my make-up on because I was only popping out and went out in unisex clothes (or, to put it another way, in “guy mode”). Although, having said that, a lady’s t-shirt with sequins & butterflies and lady’s jeans isn’t especially masculine, but then again neither am I. 🙂



I decided to go back the next day to buy “Party Girls” by Beryl Cook, but decided that I didn’t like “The Lingerie Shop” enough to buy that too. Especially since, as I suspected, “N/T” did indeed mean “No Trade” so there was no movement on the price.

"Party Girls" by Beryl Cook, in situ
“Party Girls” by Beryl Cook, in situ

The glass and frame of “Dance me to the end of Love” by Jack Vettriano cleaned up fairly well, revealing unmarked glass and only minor scratches and scuffing to the frame, so I will definitely be keeping this one in preference to the silver-framed one I already had.

“Dance me to the end of Love” by Jack Vettriano, in situ
“Dance me to the end of Love” by Jack Vettriano, in situ

One thought on “But is it art?

  1. I have a few John Roybal pictures, which are probably massed produced, but I like them, particularly the ones that have musical instruments. Interestingly, I’ve bought these in Brussels and Boston in the USA!

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