Changes in Latitudes and Attitudes
The pilothouse yachts I specialized in for the past 35 years haven’t been built since 2010, so time has reduced not only their availability, but, also their demand, so instead of tilting at windmills all day I’m spending my time either mountain biking, or with my original love and passion: Art- which usually goes up in value over time, and unlike machines- the care and feeding is simply a nail in the wall.
I shuffle them around every now and then.
Issac Knight 24” x 48” oil on upson board.
Norman Wright 24” x 36” oil on masonite
Bought four (4) more September 11th 2021.. A Chico Wheeler. A Johnny Daniels, a Willie Daniels, and that crazy Rodney Demps of the Indian River in a storm.
Sold a Al Black, a Norman Wright, and a Sam Newton all at a profit.
Managed to buy a James Gibson, Robert Butler, Norman Wright, RA McLendon, and a Willie Daniels back in March 2021. The prices are rising (like everything else) so high now, that you have to take the opportunity when you find it.
9/14/2021 update: that James Gibson will be in the October Manor Auction in Vero Beach.
Rodney Demps (1953-2020) oil on Upson board 40” x 40”.
Johnny “Hook” Daniels (1954-2009) oil on board 28”x 22”.
Johnny Daniels-oil on upson board. 24” x 48”
Starting in the mid seventies I used to bounce between New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, and San Francisco buying and selling Fine Photography, and exhibiting my works, now it’s Highwayman Painting, and the only bouncing I’m doing is from Stuart to Vero Beach.
New (2020) Daniel Butler painting 24” x 36” acrylic on canvas. Look at that frame!
Hey Macaroni Let’s Dance 1977. Blake E. Davis Jr.
Buying a painting from the incredible painter James Hutchinson. He not only painted alongside Beanie Backus in Florida and Jamaica, but his sister was married to Backus. His story is amazing! He lived with the Seminoles in the Big Cypress for six years, “Hutchinsongalleries.com”. He represented Florida in the 1964/65 Worlds Fair in NY. SOLD 2/29/20
Buying a Kevin Hutchinson painting. The son is a incredible painter too. Not only that, but he designed several of the large Jim Smith Sport Fish yachts. If you ever need to commission a yacht painting-Kevin is your guy.
Sylvester Wells b. 1938. Oil on canvas 24” x 36”.
James Gibson 1928-2017.
James Gibson. Palette knife oil on canvas 18” x 24”
James Gibson (1928 -2017) 28” x 24” palette knife oil on masonite. 2001
James Gibson 24” x 36” pallete knife on canvas. This one will be in the October 2021 auction at Manor Auctions in Vero Beach
James Gibson. palette knife oil oil on Upson board with a original ‘sand’ frame. SOLD
Meeting the Highwayman R.L. Lewis. You don’t get any deals at the artist shows, one is more paying for the experience of meeting the artist, and their SUPER salesmen sons.
Here on the Treasure Coast, Highwayman paintings are like BitCoin, classic cars, or gold in that people collect and trade them because they’re easy to liquidate (because of the healthy auction and dealer scene with documented auction results going back a decade or more) but mainly it’s because they’re BEAUTIFUL, still quite affordable, and it certainly doesn’t hurt ones eyes to have these original painting hanging on your walls as they appreciate. If you loved Florida before so much was paved over, then these paintings are the visual connections to that time.
March 2021 Auction in Vero Beach. That Backus painting sold for $48k plus 10% commission.
You can watch YouTube to learn the history of the Florida Highwaymen and the story of their uniqueness that makes them so collectible.
Charles ‘Chico’ Seymour Wheeler Highwayman b. 1946- July 12, 2019.
the most unique of the 26 artists
Chico is the one on the far right with the white Beatle haircut. SOLD
“Edward Munch meets Ft. Pierce” is my title for it. Oil on masonite. 24” x 48”. Lots of texture in this painting.
Chico Wheeler. Heavy texture.
Chico Wheeler -oil on masonite.
Livingston ‘Castro’ Roberts Highwayman 1941-2004.
Livingston took the most time, and did the most detail on his works, compared to some other Highwaymen artists who were all about ‘volume, volume, volume’.
Oil on canvas. 24”x 36”
Rare jumbo 48” x 36” oil on canvas. SOLD
24” x 36” oil on canvas. SOLD
Livingston Roberts 24” x 36” oil on canvas.
Livingston ’Castro’ Roberts 30” x 40” oil on canvas. Orange groves with a deer alongside the road. Every orange has texture. Lot of work went into this one.
Al ‘Blood’ Black b. 1947.
There’s some great videos of him on YouTube. He’s still alive and is a “painting MACHINE!” No shortage of his works, which of course, totally keeps his prices down.
Chico’s studio in Ft. Pierce.
Chico was extremely private, he gave no information about himself when inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame. You will find no info about him in any of the Highwayman books, much less where he lived. I tracked him down after looking for weeks- on just a clue of “he lives in a real old trailer in a very old trailer park in Ft. Pierce off of US1”. It took weeks to find him because it’s quite amazing how many old trailer parks there are here.
This is where he lived and painted. He was quite prolific. He just stayed inside, smoked cigarettes, and painted. He’s buried in the veterans cemetery in West Palm Beach, so obviously he was a veteran too. Yet more mystery behind the most original of all the Florida Highwaymen.
A Daniel AND Robert Butler painting. 48”” x 24” little Daniels painting sell for a over a $1,000 each, so what value does this 24” x 48” with the father painting the sky add with, that fact written on the verso by Robert, along with his signature? I say a lot.
SOLD -Robert Butler oil on canvas 24” x 36”. Turkeys in the Morning Mist with a beautiful pecky cypress and rope frame. Robert Butler paintings are hot right now. Wish I didn’t sell it.
Danny Garcia. California Artist, who was well known in Carmel. 1964 oil, mixed media on masonite . 23 “ x 35.5”
Sylvester Wells Highwayman b. 1938
Sylvester Wells 24” x 36” oil on canvas. Self portrait as a cotton picker in N. Florida. Mr. Wells went blind years ago, so what paintings exist are all that will ever exist.
Sylvester Wells. Oil on canvas 24” x 36”
SOLD . Sylvester Wells. 24” x 36” oil on board.
R.A. McLendon Highwayman b. 1932
Oil on canvas 30” x 40”. Look at that $$ frame.
Ilioara meeting R.A. McClendon at a show 2019
Tracy Newton 24” x 36” oil on masonite
Tracy Newton (2nd generation artist. Son of Highwayman Sam Newton, nephew of Harold Newton) 23” x 20” oil on canvas. Great frame. Large works bring large prices. He’s a great painter, and his prices are appreciating at a rapid rate.
A self portrait of Tracy Newton! I don’t own this painting. It was shared to me by another collector.
Mike Sears b. 1962
2nd generation artist, but in reality is close to the spirit of the original painters in that he still lives in Gifford, where many of the originals lived. He goes out across the state to sell his paintings from the back of his car to make a living. Once you factor in our currency depreciation, he’s probably selling for lower prices now than the original artists, only now known as the Highwaymen back in the sixties. His work is rather “cotton candyish”. If he would focus more on quality instead of quantity he would be collectible. Now it’s more novelty decorations. I like the guy, he’s a character, and I like characters.
Oil on masonite. 24” x 36” NFS
You can find his paintings all day long for cheap.
Mary Ann Carroll b. 1940. ( passed away December 3rd 2019) The only female Highwayman.
Mary Ann Carroll oil on Upson Board SOLD
Mary Ann Carroll oil on Upson Board 24” x 36” SOLD. 2021 UPDATE- I sold it for $2k, not one year ago, and that buyer sold it 1/17/2021 at the Rennick Auction in Vero Beach for $2700.00.
My wife liked these old French artists, I rather liked the Italian dudes pastel drawings of big titted women, which I gifted to two young workers as a tip.
Not a Highwayman, but a damn cool original oil on canvas painting of a dog fight over Europe. 21.5” x 27.5”(image) I’ll sell it for $500.00. A great painting for a pilot.
NORMAN WRIGHT “the 27th Highwayman”
He’s one of my favorites. He’s my age, and is still plugging away.
Norman Wright 24” x 36” oil on masonite.
All these paintings look so much better in person.
New purchase Norman Wright oil on masonite. 27” x 47” NFS
Blake E. Davis Jr. b. 1952
Portrait of the young artist/sailor in his twenties. Jesus, if you thought I was cocky then, you should see me now, after successfully getting away with being ME for forty more years.
This drawing was just one of a series of large paintings and drawings of mostly Cadillacs. 1972. The grid led to the drawing below:
The grid of the one above led to this pencil drawing of the reflections in a building 1972, which led to a whole series of works with blocks in them.
By 1975 the blocks became the backgrounds til they eventually disappeared. Pencil drawing. No paint, not a print-all pencil. 18” x 24”. I did a whole series of ‘pop funk’ pieces from 1974-1976.
Pencil drawing. Just one of a seres of drawings of look shoes in different bar rooms and clubs. There were cowboy boot drawings, there were high heeled drawings. Took a lot of “research “, all which led to the pivotal Art Bible dream. 1976
1976. The PIVOTAL painting “Bringing The Art Bible To Earth Under Special Orders Of God” . Acrylic on. Canvass 60” x 54”. It’s from a dream where I died, went up up up through the clouds, and met who I reckoned was God. I got in a argument with him, and after his fury subsided (because he realized I was right) he sent me back to earth with the ‘art bible’ which looked suspiciously like a glowing Yellow Page book that had all the aesthetic combinations. I was excited (like Moses) to have been given this, but other earthlings didn’t seem to care.
Disclosure: I was smoking a lot of hashish, and dropping acid in 1976, so…
Hey Macaroni Let’s Dance 60” x 54”. 1977. I specifically remember the night because as I was working on it in my New Orleans studio, it came on the radio that the airplane carrying Lynard Skynard had just crashed in a swamp outside of New Orleans and they were searching for it.
Which spun me off in a total different direction, a direction that brought critical acclaim, exhibitions, and sales which led to classic cars, home purchases, and sailboats, which directly led to me becoming a licensed Captain and a Yacht Broker in 1984.
Blake and Bobby Jo (first wife) Davis at our show at Georgia Tech in 1977. They purchased my big red painting, and it’s been hanging at the top of the stairs at the Student Center ever since.. All my abstract paintings sold.
1979. 36” x 22” drawing on paper titled “On the level” which led to the one below:
1981 Pencil and charcoal on paper. 30” x 22”
Which led to this series called “The Methods and Means of Proof” which sold well for years up til I moved to Miami, where I had the fame, the best galleries (Gallery 99 in Bay Harbor, and Virginia Miller in Coral Gables), but not the sales of Tampa, Atlanta, and New Orleans. That said, I felt like a fool wasting my time inside making art, when it was so beautiful right outside my door on Hibiscus Island. So bought a 38’ sailboat, got my captains license, and started a charter business.
30” x 22” on paper. 1982
30” x 22” on paper. 1982
29” x 23” on paper. 1982. This series sold very well. These are what’s left (there’s more) not for sale. The best ones are hanging in banks, corporate and private collections. One hangs in Tampa International Airport.
This below is the original drawing of what was to be the poster for a tv show in Tampa that was to feature me in my prime.. My then 2nd wife, the “mad Italian” put an end to that when she discovered me having cocktails with the rather lovely producer in a local jazz club.. Did y’all know that Italian women are great at making scenes in public?
Mixed Media indeed. Bout sums it up. I still enjoy looking at it.
Art money bought a lot of cars, boats, and motorhomes ‘back in the day‘ because everything was so cheap back then.
I mentioned the ‘mad Italian’ earlier, well here she is with the future Captain Max.
These are the works I still have, that were easy to take a photo with my tablet. I would have to dig into my old photographs to find images of the large paintings I sold. Not going to do it.