Thrift Store Art Gallery

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Martha B McFall Painting Near Franconia Notch, White Mountains, NH


I found this painting at a thrift store today for $5. I love it. It’s most likely acrylic, but might be oil. The artist was Martha B. McFall. The painting is dated 1979. On the back of the frame are some notes: “Impressions: White Mts, NH (near Franconia Notch) Fall”  also “Best In Show, 1st Prize, Long Ridge ’79.” The painting measures 30″ x 36″. I did a search and found a Martha B. McFall (December 11, 1918 – June 19, 2008) who lived in Walworth, NY. I believe she was the same Martha B. McFall. The painting style reminds me of Paul Cezanne.

Sonya Sams Painting Of Barn With Fence and Grass

Sonya Sams Painting Of Barn With Fence and Grass

I found these two paintings today at a Salvation Army thrift store for $4 each. The top painting is 16″ x 20″. The second painting is 16″ x 20″. Both are painted on canvas cover cardboard. Both came in frames. The artist’s name is Sonya Sams. I did a search and was not able to find anything about the artist. I did find someone named Sonya Sams that lives here in the Rochester area, but not sure if she is the one that painted these. If I had to guess, I would say they are painted with acrylic paint.

Sonya Sams Signature

Wiebel Acrylic Painting Of Scarecrow In A Tornado

I found this painting yesterday at a Goodwill for $3. It’s just a very cool painting. There is a wildness to it. It has lots of texture to it. I think it might have been painted with a palette knife. The artists name is tricky to read. He seems to have combined several letters together. I THINK the last name is Wiebel. But it might be Niebel. The the first two initials MIGHT be “R.A.”, but they could be “D.A.” or “P.A.” If I had to decide, I would lean towards “R.A. Wiebel”. I haven’t been able to find anything for artists by any of those names. The painting is dated 1967 so it’s 45 years old. It measures 24″ x 30″. Heck, the frame was worth $3. As I was checking out at the Goodwill, I showed another couple the painting. They laughed. I think they thought I was crazy for buying it. LOL!

Wiebel Acrylic Painting Of Scarecrow In A Tornado Signature

Martha Sweeney painting of yellow flowers
I found this painting yesterday at a Volunteers Of America thrift store for $10. But I didn’t buy it then. I thought about it, and then went back today and bought it. It is painted on a 16″ x 20″ stretched canvas with what I believe is acrylic paint. The artist is Martha S. Sweeney who is a local artist, and also teaches painting. The painting is nicely framed. I am not sure what kind of flowers these are.

A or H (Harris?) Strong Abstract Painting Mardi Gras II
I bought this painting at a Volunteers Of America Thrift Store for $25. The painting actually looks much nicer than this photo. I took a couple dozen photos, and they all looked blurry. I may try again. There is a sticker on the back for STRONG (Harris G Strong Incorporated). The signature looks like it is “A Strong” but it could possibly be “H Strong” in line with the Harris G. Strong label on the back of the painting. I found an auction site listing a painting with an almost identical signature and it was listed as H Strong (Harris Strong).  Harris Strong did have a son named Andre Strong. Maybe it was painted by him. I found other signatures from Harris G. Strong and they were signed in cursive type writing. But painting definately came from Harris G Strong’s studio and the last name in the signature is definately Strong. But was it painted by Harris G. Strong? I don’t know. The title of the painting is written as “Mardi Gras II”.
The painting is on 20″ x 26″ paper and done with acrylic (maybe oil) for the smaller marks. There are some horizontal lines that are probably pencil. The zig zags are pastel. The paper is mounted on a gray backing board and very nicely framed.

A Strong or H Strong signature (Harris G Strong?)

Harris G Strong Incorporated Bar Harbor Rd, Ellsworth ME 04605 sticker

Unknown artist acrylic painting of vibrant flowers

I found this painting at a Goodwill for $8. There is no artist signature on the front.  It was very nicely matted and framed, but there was a stain at the bottom of the mat from water. I debated about buying it, but I really liked the vibrant colors. I bought it and brought it home.
The painting measures about 12.5 inches by 24.5 inches. It seems to be of flowers along a path leading to water. Impressionist? Post impressionist? Expressionist?
From the sticker on the back, the painting had been “professionally” framed. But when I took the painting out of the frame, the mat had been taped all the way around to the backing board with heavy duty double backed tape, with strips along the edges. I ripped off the mat, and found the painting which was on heavy card stock, appeared to be glued or taped with even more heavy duty double backed tape to some more card stock which was then taped to the backing board. I had been hoping to look at the back of the painting to see if it was signed. but I doubted I could remove it without damaging or destroying the painting. I cut a new mat, cleaned the glass, then put it all back together. I will never use that framing company!

Alida Ali Meyer Watercolor Painting of Pink Flowers in a Vase

I found this painting today at the Goodwill thrift store near my work. It only cost $4. The painting measures about 13″ x 14″. It also came framed. I will probably need to reframe it in a larger frame and mat as it looks like the painting is in contact with the glass. It’s signed simply Ali.
After seeing another painting in a thrift store signed by Alida Meyer that I found interesting, I did a search on the artist. I found that she goes by Alida ‘Ali’ Meyer. And her current painting are signed simply Ali. And the signatures seem to match. So this painting was apparently done by Alida Ali Meyer. It also mayb not be watercolor at all. According to some information about her, she apparently thins acyrlic paint to the consistancy of watercolor paint. She is from Pittsford, NY and does “semi-abstract to very abstract” paintings.

Ali Watercolor Painting of Pink Flowers in a Vase signature

Carl Burrows Acyrlic Painting of Fishermen in a Boat On The Ocean

I bought this and another painting each for $10 at a thrift store that is going out of business. Not sure where they are getting the paintings, but new ones keep showing up occasionally. They must have stuff stored away. I keep checking back. This painting was done with acrylic paint on an 18×24 piece of canvas covered cardboard. The artist’s name is signed as Carl Burrows and it is dated 71. It shows two fishermen in a row boat in the ocean surf.

Serig Watercolor/Acrylic Painting of Park With Purple SkyI was out hitting thrift stores today looking for books and paintings. I found a few original paintings, but they weren’t very good. At the last thrift store I visited, I saw this painting. The paintings at this place are priced higher than most of the thrift stores I visit. But I looked anyway. Many of the pictures they have are prints. And most of the originals are kind of ugly. There is one painting of an owl that is interesting, but it is priced $200.
But I saw this painting and liked it…a lot. It was priced at $30 which is more than I like to pay for my thrift store paintings. I snapped a photo, and decided to check out the artist. I drove to a newarby wifi hotspot and did a search for  the artist “Serig” but couldn’t find anything definitive. I decided to go home and do some more research. I drove a little ways towards home, and turned around. I knew it was going to haunt me if I didn’t buy it. And the store is only open a few days a week, so I wasn’t sure when I would have an opportunity to come back. And it might be gone. So I bought it. I kept looking at it under my loupe to make sure it wasn’t a print. I was able to see some texture of the paint strokes where the acrylic was used. But it just looked so nice, like a painting that might be used on a poster for an art exhibit or something. The guy at the thrift store said he didn’t know anything about the artist, but that the painting came from the estate of an artist named Maura Marsh.
This painting was painted with acrylic paint. To me it looks like it’s maybe a park. It sort of looks like park benches under the trees. And then there is the purple sky. The whole painting is made up of simple dabs and strokes of paint. Very colorful. And is that a row of ducks crossing the path? And maybe a person sitting on the bench at the left? Maybe reading a newspaper? It seems to have a Vincent Van Gogh/Claude Monet feel to it…   The style is very similar to some of the paintings done by Andre Derain. I think the style is called “fauvism”. This has instantly become one of my favorite paintings that I own.
The painting is framed an matted very nicely. The exposed portion is 17″ x 23″, so I am guessing the painting is actually 18″ x 24″. The frame is 21″ x 27″. I just love this painting! I wish I knew about the artist. What else have they done? I googled the name Serig, and found a Dan Serig who I thought might be the artist of this painting. This is the reply that I got.
Hi Rob,

My goodness. Yes, I’m the artist. There’s quite a story behind it. It is, indeed, acrylic. I painted it on-site in Paris in 2000 in Place des Vosges park. I was there for a summer while I was teaching art at an international school in Shanghai, China. I gave that particular painting to Maura Marsh (from whose estate the store owner described). Maura was a dear friend of mine in Shanghai. She was, among many things, a weaver. She worked with my students. Her husband was on the board of our school. Unfortunately, Maura passed away.
You got a good deal. Similar paintings from that summer were sold for between $500-$1500. I am grateful that you have given it a good, new home and are taking care of it. That summer was a big leap back into my own art practice. Since then, I’ve had several shows, although my work is much more abstract – but still with a focus on line/stroke. I earned my doctorate in art and art education from Teachers College-Columbia University, and I am now a tenured professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
You now own a piece from a seminal summer in my development as an artist and art educator. I hope it brings you years of enjoyment.

Best regards,
How cool! I found pictures of the Place des Vosges Park, and see the details of what is in the painting. I now know that those are roof tops just above the trees. It is nice to know the story behind the painting and to know a little bit about the artist. I am always curious about the people behind the paintings that I buy. Thank you Dan for responding! I am happy to own one of your paintings.
Serig Watercolor/Acrylic Painting of Park With Purple Sky signature

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