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Mysterious Painting Purchased

I bought this lovely little oil painting last weekend but know nothing about the artist or the origins of the work.  I spotted it in the front window of a shop right away, did a long slow walk through the shop and went right back to it.  My rule for art -what little I can afford- on whether or not I should buy something is based on if I would later regret walking away.  Her eyes pulled me in.  The careful but small brush strokes, the faint hint of a pencil drawing underneath, made me love it.  I made the purchase at the very friendly and charming Years Gone Buy at 5752 N. Milwaukee in Chicago.  The shop is a mix of nice collectible, vintage and antique goods.

Since I used to work as a professional picture framer at a few different venues, I was eager to pull apart the frame to see what I could find.  I was hoping to find a title, year or the full name of the artist.  There was nothing to be had, the back of the painting was blank.  I tried to Google search variations of what I guessed the name to be.  It kind of looks like “Lanik” with a dramatic “L”.  I bought the work because it was a real painting and was correct to believe it was not very old.  It is on a piece of canvas board, canvas stretched on hard paper board, that has wavy edges because someone cut it with a box cutter to get a 4″ x 6″ panel. I would say this painting is somewhere over 20 years old based on two things: the masking tape used to tape the panel into the deep cradle frame was brittle and dry as a bone, it pulled right off; and the paper backing that had been taped across the back of the frame has had time to yellow and take discoloration from the unvarnished wood of the back of the frame.

Later tonight, I will get the panel back into the frame with some glazier’s points, paper the back, replace the hanging wire and continue to wonder about the origins of my mystery lady.

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Categories: Art History, Uncategorized
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