Monday, March 22, 2010

Study done from my "Mystery Painting" UPDATE: Thanks to hwfarber I know the identity of mystery artist: Arturs Upelnieks, Russian, b 1911

(<--This is my 9 x 12 copy/study from Mystery Painting. SCROLL DOWN: original 9 x 12 Mystery painting)

Several years ago I won an auction on eBay for an old expertly painted oil painting. I can't remember how I came across it to bid on it. (If you simply search for "oil painting" on eBay you get thousands and thousands of auctions to look at). However it was that I happened to find it, I was/am thrilled that I won it. I didn't pay much for it and I think I was the only bidder. Do you own anyone's art but your own?

To me this is an extraordinary painting (my copy has some problems....but cut me some slack, I kind of hurried through it*). The original looks to be somewhat old (but not ancient). I can't read the signature. It looks like Aupelvik or Allpeluak? The painting is super low key (dark) but with three judiciously placed bright light spots. The artist used a palette knife to create the bloody fish. I love how dark the painting is..both literally and figuratively. A huge hulk of a man has survived a turbulent sea and offers his catch to the woman whose turn it is now to clean the fish. Look what time it must be--it's late and maybe it is going to rain.

* I intend to make corrections to my painting..I really enjoyed doing this and learned a lot about how the painter handled the darkness.

So--experts..can you tell me when you think this painting was done and who did it? I imagine I will take it over to Matthews Gallery one day to find out what he thinks. (I met Matthew last year --he is famous in Portland for being able to de-mystify a treasure) --In the meantime....what do YOU think? (Update: thanks so much hwfarber--for sleuthing and determining the artist is Arturs Upelniek/Upelnieks).


ArtSparker said...

Lovely painting, I can see why you did a study of it. 1930s-1940s?

-Don said...

I'm clueless on origin, but I love those colors.


Autumn Leaves said...

Celeste, this is magnificent. I love the darks in both your painting and the original! I find myself wondering if the artist's name is 'A. Upelura'! LOLOL I also have a painting (w/c) of San Francisco that I cannot make out the artist's name. I bought it from eBay too and am now afraid I may well have a print and not an original as I thought I was bidding on. I haven't taken it out of the frame it came in to check though.

Anyway, I love your thoughts on this scene and they echo my own. That sky is absolutely fabulous! The man seems to be a bit of a shady character to me. Very little of his face showing and for some reason, he looks like he is out of his natural environment. Yes...I see a bit of sinister-yness! LOL

Unknown said...

Great painting, and I'm clueless about the artist. It almost looks like the artist's signature is cut off on the right.

Anonymous said...

No clue- but I can see why you loved it so much! And your version is very nice too! I never would have thought to go to ebay for this- but now I know. WOW!

hw (hallie) farber said...

I love both of these paintings.

Unknown said...

Hi Celeste,
Hi agree with you about the mistery part of this painting, also is a very strong statement in a very basic fact of life. What about more true than a women cooking for her family; or the man surviving the wrath of the sea to feed his family. Is a story of survival! It could be a very strong painting that you bought and made!!!! May be you struck gold wko knows!

billspaintingmn said...

I love a Mystery! I will speculate
it's early 20th centry American.
Also I'll guess it was painted at a workshop, so it may have brothers
and sisters out there.
I say this because the painting has a professional style, or look
of paint application, yet the signature is a bit sloppy.
I will go even further to speculate
the artist had a ham sandwich on rye, and washed it down with hard cider: ) I say this because it's the first thing to come to mind, and I want to be funny.(ha)
I like the fact that you got it the way you did. That's cool!
I also like the fact you painted a version for yourself.
Please keep us posted with any news
on this, Thanks Celeste!

hw (hallie) farber said...

I put my psychic powers to work on your mystery painting.

Try Arturs (or Arthur) Upelnieks, russian, b. 1911.

Kaylyn Munro said...

Great painting, lousy penmanship!! I poked around thinking it was Pilieu, Pileur or something like that. Like reading a dictionary, those names actually brought up some interesting reading. Now why is it I never get to bed 'early' like I plan to???

I hope you find that the market for Ulpenieks has soared and its worth a bundle!! As an inveterate picker and dreamer, I love stories that end like that!

Anonymous said...

Arturs Upelnieks, 1911 - 1994, Latvian not Russian!!!