An extremely wealthy man from one of the nation’s prominent family’s once simply told me “collect good art”. His reasoning was good: art always goes up in value, often quite substantially especially after the artist dies. Find an artist you are simply drawn to who creates beautiful and inspiration pieces. Chances are, others already appreciate their works. If it is an investment, it might as well be an enjoyable one.
One of the most under-rated artists I’ve come across is Chuck Bowden, an artist from far northern coastal California who works with miniatures – often taking months to finish a tiny piece. His attention to detail is amazing – working from photographs on mediums such as eggs using just a pencil or a pencil and a ballpoint pen. His works are beautiful examples of realism/hyperrealism.
It is hard to pinpoint what makes an artist great in their lifetime – unique talent of course, self promotion and of course art that has magnetic appeal. I’ve never met Chuck, I’ve talked to him on the phone a few times but he does not seem to be a self promoter – and I’m guessing some of his pieces are a huge turnoff based on their extreme political bent and perhaps images created and based upon photographs are not considered “original”.
However, the art that appeals to me is not his political works – it is simply taking his art at face value – a genius working in minutia for weeks or months at a time producing stunning pieces of amazing depth and detail.
Here are some images of his works based on photographs that he has mailed me in the past. These are not photographs – they are all drawn by hand:
Here are three other artists I’ve known about for some years.
Eda Varricchio – was fairly well known in Japan for her colorful pieces of flowers and landscape. She enjoyed a long career and a long life before passing away at age 95 in 2018. I had the pleasure of meeting with her at her house a number of years ago and purchasing some originals as well as prints. She used to have a gallery many years ago. She has been hosted to acclaim in Japan – where her works are collected in certain circles.
Robert Reynolds – I was first introduced to his works at college – his pieces are in collections around the country and the world. Beautiful large scale oils – many of California landscapes. He has published books on his art and has taught classes. A central coast master. Family and friends have some of his pieces.
While significantly higher priced than any of these other artists, check out the incredible works of Dario Campanile. I was first introduced to his works at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica – he was showing a number of real life paintings of fruit. His watermelon paintings are so vivid and real, you almost want to reach out and take a bite of one of them! Website: www.campanilefineart.com