03 May 2013
May 3, 2013

The Appraiser’s Notebook – May 2013

May 3, 2013

By Beth Kinstler 

This month I promised that I would again take up a discussion of my forays into the art world – not as a critic or an appraiser but as an artist.

I had previously mentioned my attempts at clay art – hand building, wheel building, and raku, and how it gave me a better perspective and respect for the clay artist.

This month I am reprising my adventures as a budding fresco and folk painter.

First, the Telfair offered a weekend course on fresco painting.  “AHA!” I thought.  “Here is my chance to walk in the footsteps of the greats – from the unknown cave painters of France to the exquisite work of Michelangelo.

One of the wonderful things about these courses is that although they are not cheap, the sponsors usually supply everything you need to attend the course – paints, brushes, easels, tables, mediums, and a goodly dose of tactful help on your journey.  My instructor for the fresco course was Sandra FitzSimmons, a very compassionate and passionate individual who really wanted all of us to have a great experience.

To create a fresco, you trace the image you wish to transfer by poking holes in tracing paper at close intervals.  You remove the paper, place it on a prepared plaster medium, then use a charcoal bag to “pounce” over the holes on the paper, leaving an outline of your image on the plaster.  This is the same technique that was used by Michelangelo to create the Sistine Chapel and according to our instructor you can still see the remnants of the charcoal pouncing if you can get close enough to it.  Hearing this raised goose bumps on my arms. 

The Telfair class began on Saturday morning and wrapped up on Sunday afternoon.  There were about eight of us and it was interesting in that many of my classmates were artists working in other mediums – an icon painter, a potter, a painter, and others.

I won’t bore you with the gory details of my attempt except to say that I started with one artwork, discarded it, and ended up making a copy of my logo – learning much during the process, which is what I was about anyway.  For example, I learned not to go back to add “details” to the original work.  It actually screws it up.  Also, the bigger the field in which you are working, the better, at least when working to create a fresco.

My second adventure into the art world was at “Two Women and a Warehouse” where I learned how to paint furniture.  This seminar was only four or five hours, also with all supplies.

Our instructor taught us how to “country finish” a small shelf. The available colors were limited and didn’t excite me but I reminded myself that it was all about the process.

Again, I learned a lot, made several wonderful contacts, and left with a still sticky shelf, a handful of instruction sheets, and a number of creative ideas, none of which I shall have time to bring to fruition.  On the other hand, when I have to appraise a piece of furniture that was hand painted, I shall remember my experience in class, factor in quality and skill, look at the available comparables, and make my determinations.

Telfair Academy and Two Women and a Warehouse?  $400.00.

Experience?  Priceless!


About the Author

Beth A. Kinstler, ISA-CAPP is a certified member of the International Society of Appraisers and the president of Avalon Appraisals and Estate Sales. She may be reached at 912-238-1211 or 912-659-2900.