Artwork “We don’t rent pigs”

 


Before moving to Miami via New Orleans and Tampa in 1983 I made a quite decent living as both a artist and as a Dealer of Fine Photography. Turned out rich people in Miami didn’t buy art, as their walls were all glass so they could see the beautiful water- they bought boats. So my boating hobby became my profession.

I used to bounce between New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, and San Francisco buying and selling Fine Photography, and exhibiting my works.

I sure wish I kept more of those photos instead of selling them, but that’s what paid the bills. I remember selling Ansel Adams for $2k, that are now worth between $5k-$120k. Ouch. I still have a huge collection of Gary Aro Ruble “Power Flicks” that sold for $275.00 -$900.00 each from 1978-1994. Have no clue their value now as he’s totally faded off the radar. Need any?

Meeting the incredible painter James Hutchinson as we purchased a painting of his today. He not only painted alongside Beanie Backus in Florida and Jamaica, his sister married Backus. His story is amazing! He lived with the Seminoles in the Big Cypress for six years, and did a series of quite large (look behind him) portraits under commission of Arthur Vining Davis (yes, a cousin, but not close enough for any money or fame  to have come my way)  He has a great website. “Hutchinsongalleries.com”

Buying a Kevin Hutchinson painting. The son is a incredible painter too. Not only that, but he designs the large Jim Smith Sport Fish yachts. If you ever need to commission a yacht painting-Kevin is the guy.

 

Blake and Ilioara Davis 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 them, and their SUPER salesmen sons.

 

My wife wanted this one instead, so no surprise which one came home with us.

Now here in August 2019, 66 yro and basically retired – I’ve switched it back up.

Because here on the Treasure Coast Highwayman paintings are like bit coin, classic cars, or gold in that people with money collect them. They’re easy to liquidate tax free because of a healthy auction, and dealer scene with documented (auction results going back a decade or more are easily found online) cash values. 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 the REAL Florida, then these are it’s last documentations before developers paved it over.

You can watch YouTube to learn the history of the Florida Highwaymen and the story of their uniqueness that makes them collectible.

Charles ‘Chico’ Seymour Wheeler Highwayman b. 1946- July 12, 2019.

the most unique of the 26     His paintings have gone up five fold in value since his death last month. I have five paintings of his for sale.

Chico is the one on the far right with the white Beatle haircut

 

 

Edward Munch meets Ft. Pierce. Oil on masonite. Large. $4500.00

 

$1500.00

 

 

Livingston ‘Castro’ Roberts Highwayman 1941-2004.

Oil/acrylic on canvas. 24”x 36”. $2800.00 Not particularly eager to sell.

 

Rare jumbo 48” x 36” oil on canvas. $5500..

Al ‘Blood’ Black b. 1947.

There’s some great videos of him on YouTube.

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 “I hear he lives in an old trailer in a park of old white people in the woods down in Ft. Pierce”, and found it literally a half mile due west of my home by going up a dirt driveway through a narrow hole in the brush. Voila! This is where he lived and painted all those beautiful paintings over the decades. His car hadn’t moved in a long time. The neighbor lady who owns that pink kayak leaning next to his trailer came out and said: “really nice guy, who just stayed inside all the time, smoking cigarettes, and painting. I don’t think his family even knew anything about him “. She also mentioned that he had given her paintings  over the years. I told her that they’re worth some money now. He was buried in a veterans cemetery in West Palm Beach, so obviously he served. Yet another layer of the unknown. His art does the talking.

 

 

Daniel AND Robert Butler painting. 48”” x 24”. Daniels painting sell for a $1,000 each. What vale does the father (Highwayman) add? $2k

 

Danny Garcia (1929 – 2012) done in 1964. Oil on masonite 25.5” x 36”. Not a Highwayman, but a well known Northern California artist who had a gallery in Carmel Ca., for DECADES. It has heavy texture that the photo doesn’t show. I love this painting. $2800. Has a new $$ frame.

 

 

Sylvester Wells Highwayman b. 1938

Sylvester Wells 24” x 36” oil on canvas. Self portrait as a cotton picker in N. Florida. $3500.00. Mr. Wells went blind years ago, so what paintings exist are all that will ever exist.

R.A. McLendon Highwayman b. 1932

Ilioara meeting R.A. McClendon at a show 2019

 

 

 

 

Tracy Newton (2nd generation artist. Son of Highwayman Sam Newton, nephew of Harold Newton) 23” x 20” oil on canvas. Great frame. NFS, but you can buy his work all day for $300.00 or less depending on their size. Large works bring large prices. He’s a great painter. Both him and Mike Sears are artists who’s (now) affordable  prices allow an inexpensive entry into collecting.

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 closer to the spirit of the original painters in that he still lives in Gifford, where many of the originals lived, and 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 than the original artists now known as the Highwaymen. Two hundred dollars in 2019 money is less than $25.00 in 1969. I give him props, because art supplies today are crazy expensive!  I’ve had old snobby rich white women in Vero Beach (there’s a place I totally DON’T “get”) who’re are supposed to be dealers tell me “he’s too pushy”. Well guess what Missy, you gotta be “pushy” to close a sale on a cold call!  Anybody collecting because of “the Highwayman story”- then Mike Sears cannot be overlooked. His palette is rather “cotton candy ish”, perhaps his painting lack the depth of the other Gifford masters of yore, but they ain’t bad. You can buy his work already framed from $120.00 -$500.00 all day long.

 

 

 

 

Large 24” x 36” sized (and up) can be had from $450.00 depending on the quality of the frames.

 

Mary Ann Carroll b. 1940

Blake E. Davis Jr. b. 1952

Portrait of the young artist/sailor in his twenties.

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.

 

Which 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 looking down at shoes in different bar rooms and clubs. There were cowboy boot drawings, there was 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”.
This painting documents a dream I had of me coming back to earth after dying, meeting God. Got in an argument with God. After his fury of being argued with, he agreed “you were right “and rewarded me by sending me back to Earth with the Art Bible a book of ALL the esthetic combinations that exist (looked a lot like the Yellow Pages except it glowed) and the promise of his protection. I never bothered to get health insurance because of this promised protection. Boy that was a great saving!  I will not elaborate on the many insane feats I’ve safely carried out, because you strangers wouldn’t believe it, but those who witnessed them KNOW. So here I land back into a intersection in downtown Philadelphia with traffic and the ugliness of man. I walked the streets shouting “I have the Art Bible” much like Moses with the Ten Commandments, then a old woman looked up from her shopping cart and said: “who cares?!” I then woke up. Yeah, who cares?
So basically Mohammed ain’t got shit on me of having conversations with God! And yes I’m protected.

Which led to a whole series of the same sized paintings. One I didn’t like, so painted over it with gel coat. I liked how it had subtle colors beneath so grabbed a handy single edged razor blade, and started making sweeping movements in the wet paint. I liked what I saw, but “too plain” so after it dried I slung paint on it -which became the one below. 1977

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 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.

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.

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 bank, and private collections. One hangs in the 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.

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.