Monday, June 5, 2017

Do You Recognize the Artist?

If you love a mystery, here's one for you: Who created these four pen-and-ink drawings? I found them a few years ago in a church thrift store in Marietta, Georgia. They were a fantastic buy: just $10 for the lot. Each is an original on heavy watercolor paper. Two have been tinted with watercolors, two have not. They've all been signed by the artist but unfortunately I can't decipher his or her name. Nor can anyone else I've shown them to. Although I can certainly enjoy them without knowing whose work this is, I'd really, really like to know who created them.

Here's a closeup of the artist's signature:

And here are the four works that he or she created:

This one bears the notation "Quebec - Petit Champlein."

This scene is identified as "Porte St. Louis -- Quebec."

This one is marked  "Notre Dame -- Quebec." I used the signature from this one to make the large image of it at the beginning of this post.  Unfortunately the scanner couldn't capture the entire image, causing the top of the steeple to get cut off. Ooops!

This one is titled "Rue du Forte -- Quebec."

The drawings were done on 16x11 inch heavy watercolor paper. There are small paint smudges on the backs of two of them, and one still bears what looks like a round price label with ".25" on it. The other three appear to have had similar labels at one time but they have been removed. I can't imagine original works this lovely and this large being offered at a quarter apiece at some yard sale, but that may be what happened. I suspect the ridiculously low price convinced people they were reproductions and buyers passed them over. They probably ended up being donated to the church thrift store at the end of the yard sale, along with any other items that failed to sell.

But there are additional questions surrounding these pieces. Two of the drawings remain untinted, though clearly they're part of a set or a series. Did the artist lose interest halfway through the project and failed to see it through? Perhaps the pieces lost their appeal to him or her for some reason. Maybe the artist became dissatisfied with them or hit a creative block and tossed them into a "to be donated" pile. Or maybe he or she passed away before they could be completed. Many questions, but no answers....!

If you recognize the work or signature or know anything about these pieces, please contact me. I'll be so appreciative if you can help solve the mystery. I'm hoping someone out there knows something and is willing to share what they know. Any information, however insignificant you might think it to be, is gratefully welcomed!

Text and images ©2017 Lynn Edwards

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