Saturday, 17 November 2012


My e-friends across the Pond have most likely heard of Curtis Jere (C.Jere) - mid century metal artists.   There is no one person named Curtis Jere, the name was chosen by Brothers-in-Law Jerry Fels and Curtis Freiler and was the signature used on their metal sculptures and pieces of wall art.  I love the vintage (1950s-1970s) pieces particularly the nautical themes - seagulls, anchors, harbours, fishing nets etc.

At home I don't have pictures on the walls (except in my studio where all walls are covered) as I much prefer the Curtis Jere material.   Unfortunately, since buying our first piece, Jere has become very sought after and expensive.   Large wall pieces which used to sell for around $75 now seem to be priced at closer to $1,000 and they are very difficult to come by.   Bearing in mind these are more than 4ft long and very heavy, the postage from USA is also pretty steep.   Unfortunately, I've never seen any of the pieces for sale from the UK.

 I frequently check eBay and was really pleased to find an affordable freestanding metal statue recently.    We won the auction and the sale went through the day before Hurricane/Storm Sandy.   As the seller was from the Bronx, New York we weren't surprised when she contacted us to say shipment might be delayed :-).       Amazingly the piece turned up last week and I love it.  Such fast service, particularly given the devastation in the area.

I know these aren't to many people's taste ... but I just love the simplicity and honesty of the pieces.  Sometimes described as 'brutal' art which I think probably sums up the style.  In the UK I guess we refer to it as 'distressed' as it isn't 'girly' and its value increases with build up of patina etc.

This was our first piece - seagulls.  Photo really doesn't do them justice but it was taken in artificial light - they are kind of dull brass colour.  This is about 52" wide and very heavy

This is probably my favourite ... harbour scene with boats and seagulls.  Again it is around 50" long.  Just seems appropriate as we live by the sea with 2 yacht clubs and loads of seagulls nearby.   This lives in our hallway

with this on the table below it .... the seagulls match the ones on the wall hanging.

We also have lots of boats ... these were sold as 'C Jere Era'.  As they aren't signed (and were much cheaper) I guess they aren't by the same guys and in fact the quality is not as good ... but I still enjoy them.

So if anybody out there hears of similar Curtis Jere pieces coming up for sale let me know.  Has to be sensible pricing as I'm a poor starving artist don't forget  LOL

Whilst awaiting feedback on the 3 Border Collie progress photo I started work on another Christmas Commission.

This is an interesting challenge.   My client had a pastel portrait of her son done in 1986.  She now wants a pastel portrait of her Grand-Daughter done (as a present for her son) and wondered if I could produce something similar.    Much as I love the portrait of her son, I don't work in the same loose style so initially explained I couldn't help.   But then we agreed that I would undertake the portrait, in my own style, and she'd be happy with that.

I'm working from 3 different photos ... one which isn't very clear, but shows a lovely 'smiley' face, one to give me a better idea of skin/hair/eye colour and one for the dress I'm to put the little girl in.

This is the lovely portrait from 1986.  I wish I could work in this loose style as I love the effect ...

Here's where I've got to with the Grand-Daughter.   I have copied the artist's idea of putting in a very rough background using the clothing colours although at the moment this means my background is a lighter blue.  It can be darkened at a later stage if required but I hope that using a similar style background will help to make the two portraits more 'compatible'

I can see from this photo that her right arm (our left) looks strange.  Although true to the ref, I'll have to make some changes

Still a lot of work needed here, but I'm pleased with progress so far.   Its pastel on light grey Clairefontaine Pastelmat and is approx. 16" x 12"

More tomorrow!

No comments: