Urban Sketchers Worldwide 24 Hour Global Sketchwalk, Nov. 11

November 3, 2017

Urban Sketchers Worldwide – 24hr Sketchwalk at Cleveland Museum of Art http://www.facebook.com/events/1949479355265729/

Join Urban Sketchers Cleveland on Saturday November 11, 2017 11am-2pm to sketch and participate in this world event!

Other links:

Urban Sketchers Cleveland on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/urbansketcherscleveland/

Urban Sketchers Cleveland on Instagram @urbansketcherscleveland http://www.instagram.com/urbansketcherscleveland

News from Urban Sketchers:


USk Celebrates 10 th Anniversary with 24hr Global Sketchwalk

On Saturday 11th November 2017, USk chapters from around the globe will hold sketchwalks in their cities to celebrate 10yrs of Urban Sketchers. Using GMT time, we will follow the sketchwalks on the USk Instagram account starting with the first chapter to see daylight (Auckland, New Zealand) to the last chapter to see the sunset (O’ahu, USA).

Photos and videos from each chapter will be shared on the official USk Instagram account @urbansketchers throughout the day. Please look for this hashtag: #USkGlobal24hrSketchwalk​. Check with your Urban Sketchers chapter for local meeting times and locations.

Not an Instagram person? This event will be shared on USk’s Facebook account http://www.facebook.com/urbansketchers/ beginning Nov 12.

Local chapters wishing to join in the 24hr Sketchwalk schedule, please email bindi@urbansketchers.org before Nov 5th.urban sketchers global 24 hours sketchwalk

Update November 11, 2017. The event was a success. See all today’s results at www.instagram.com/urbansketchers.

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Sketching a Renoir.

Sketching a Renoir.

Sketching a Rodin.

Sketching a Rodin.






Paul A. Meunier, Artist at Schmitz-Horning Company

August 22, 2016

By Janet Dodrill

Paul A. Meunier

Paul A. Meunier. Source: The Plain Dealer

Paul Alfred Meunier (1906-1978) was an artist who worked in the lithographic printing industry. He came to Cleveland to study art, studying at John Huntington Polytechnic Institute and at the Cleveland School of Art. For 11 years, he worked at Cleveland’s lithographic mural and wall decoration business, Schmitz-Horning Company, which was co-founded around 1905 by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, and later run by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, beginning in 1938. They employed many area artists. During the time span that Paul worked there (1927-1938), Hugo Schmitz served as president and Warren as vice president. Two of Paul’s uncles also worked at Schmitz-Horning, Ovid (Otto) Meunier for 25 years, and Laurence Meunier (Ovid’s brother) for 7 to 10 years.

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: RE May website (brochure, Plant Tour Thru R. E. May Inc.)

Paul A. Meunier served as R.E. May Inc. owner and president, 1938-1977. Source: R.E. May Inc. website

In 1938 he became owner president of R.E. May Inc. (after being established in 1937 by Richard E. May and following his unexpected death), a litho plate company located on E. 24th Street in Cleveland, until he sold the firm in 1977. The company is still in existence today. A favored Schmitz-Horning western mural (a small-scale version) was displayed in his office reception area, entitled Wells Fargo, a wall covering pattern that is in the collection of the Western Reserve Historical Society (Cleveland History Center). It was possibly donated to them by Paul Meunier.

Reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo Source: R.E. May website

Above reception area at R.E. May Inc. hangs Schmitz-Horning mural, Wells Fargo. Source: R.E. May website

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40" x 80".

Wells Fargo pattern, 5 sections, each 40″ x 80″.

I myself worked in the printing industry as a graphic artist in Cleveland in the late 1980s/early 1990s, and we would send negatives to R.E. May for printing plates. They had an excellent reputation even then, but I was unaware of the company’s history or the connection to my ancestors.

Originally from Hunting Valley, Ohio, Paul A. Meunier had a home studio in Gates Mills, and enjoyed painting and creating prints from nature and wildlife. He specialized in painting horses owned by residents of Gates Mills and Hunting Valley. Many of his paintings hang in the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club. He was trustee of Gates Mills Historical Society, and created historical maps of the area. He wrote, illustrated, and published the book, History of Gates Mills, Ohio 1805-1976, as well as contributed illustrations to several other books. One of his paintings hangs in the chamber room at Gates Mills city hall. He showed his work at the annual Gates Mills Art Show, and a special juried award was established in his name, for the art best representing life in Gates Mills.

He served in WWII as a lieutenant colonel.

His great-grandfather was noted Belgian painter and sculptor, Constantin Meunier, who has work owned by the Louvre.

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Village of Gates Mills Map by Paul A. Meunier, 1938. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions


Map detail. Source: Aspire Auctions

R.E. May Inc. building 1960 Source: R.E. May Inc. website

R.E. May Inc. building approx. 1960. Source: R.E. May Inc. website


R.E. May Inc. building 2011. Source: Google

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2" x 14 3/4". Source: Gray's Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com

Holly and Her Friends, Paul A. Meunier, 1974, Aluminum print, 10 1/2″ x 14 3/4″. Source: Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.

Paul A. Meunier, watercolor or gouache floral painting, 1937, employed at the Schmitz-Horning Co. 1927-1938.


Paul A. Meunier artwork label, 1937


-The Plain Dealer, February 18, 1978 (Paul A. Meunier Obituary)
RE May Inc. website
-Gates Mills Art Show 2016 Program
Aspire Auctions
Gray’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, Liveautioneers.com
-Schmitz family documents

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.






Blue Dog by George Rodrigue

July 20, 2013

By Janet Dodrill

George Rodrigue's Blue Dog painting

George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog painting at Rodrigue Studio in Carmel, California.

On a recent trip to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, I found the art gallery Rodrigue Studio gallery, exclusively of the work of George Rodrigue.

Known primarily for his ‘Blue Dog’ paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolors; also drawings and mixed media) and limited edition prints (lithography, silkscreen, and serigraph), the George Rodrigue web site has a timeline, indicating that the first Blue Dog was painted in 1984, but prior to that the artist originally painted Cajun culture-themed works and Louisiana landscapes.

Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Initially, he used a photograph of his own deceased dog as reference, and since then, sometimes incorporates figures and landscapes with the dogs into the work. Early blue dog paintings were not yet called Blue Dog until they became more popular in the early 1990s.

George Rodrigue's Blue Dog mixed media artwork at Rodrigue

George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog mixed media artwork at Rodrigue Studio in Carmel, California.

Where else do you expect to see a painting of Clint Eastwood but in Carmel, California, at the Rodrigue Studio, in the city where he used to be mayor? Believed to be from his 2013 Hollywood Stars series, it is done in archival ink on metal, at 41 x 62 inches.

The gallery representative was friendly and outgoing, and allowed me to enjoy the whimsical work without pressure, making the experience fun and memorable – even allowing me to take photographs and offering to take one of me next to a painting.

Blue Dog books that have sold by the hundreds of thousands, calendars, and notecards are available on Amazon.com.

George Rodrigue Blue Dog painting.

George Rodrigue Blue Dog painting.

What is the attraction to these paintings? They are unique and spark the imagination. Rodrigue painting reap high prices. Two sold recently at New Orleans Auction Galleries, Inc. – the  36″ x 48″ oil on canvas “My Yellow  Oak” had a hammer price of $80,000, and the 14″ x 18″ acrylic on canvas “Blue Dog and Cypress” had a hammer price of $22,000, which doesn’t include the 23% buyer’s premium. Aside from inquiring about these works directly from Rodrigue Studio galleries (Carmel, CA, Lafayette, LA, and New Orleans, LA) and possibly at other art galleries, they are available on upcoming auctions at Liveauctioneers.com. Additionally, I found several of his paintings and prints for sale at Artbrokerage.com.

Next time I am in Layfatte, I would like to sit and eat Cajun cuisine at Blue Dog Café, which George has visited, surrounded by walls of a private collection of Blue Dog Art!

Business card from Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Business card from Rodrigue Studio, Carmel, CA.

Cowan Pottery Jazz Bowl by Designer Viktor Schreckengost

June 14, 2012

By Janet Dodrill

Viktor Schreckengost

Viktor Schreckengost 1906-2008

In the early 1930s, an Art Deco style masterpiece was created in earthenware with black and vibrant blue glazes and a jazzy New York theme, tilting skyscrapers, stars and other symbols — the “Jazz” bowl. It was designed by ceramicist Viktor Schreckengost.

A web site is dedicated solely for Viktor’s bowls. It states in Viktor’s words that a design was requested, submitted and selected for a punch bowl with a New York theme while he was working at the Cowan Pottery Co. in Rocky River, Ohio, The client turned out to be Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the bowl turned out to be the first of a series (and first of three that she ordered) that he designed. It is estimated there are between 20 and 50 of these bowls, though the exact number is unknown.

Last weekend parade participants created a huge float version of a “Jazz” bowl and displayed it at the popular ‘Parade the Circle’ event in Cleveland.

Rago Arts auction has one of the bowls with a Schreckengost signature and Cowan stamp in their June 16, 2012 auction, estimate: $40,000-$60,000. According to Kovels.com, a similar “Jazz” bowl sold at Rago in 2010 for $158,600, and the bowls have sold at other auctions across the country. The are in both public and private collections.

Viktor Schreckengost Jazz bowl at Rago auction

Jazz bowl at Rago aucton.

I was fortunate enough to see a “Jazz” bowl in person at The Cleveland Museum of Art’s exhibit “Viktor Schreckengost and Twentieth Century Design” a few years ago.

Sources and related links:

Viktor Schreckengost on Wikipedia

Rare Schreckengost Jazz Bowl to Auction at Rago’s in June

Schreckengost Jazz Bowl Sold

The Biggest Jazz Bowl in Parade

Viktor’s Jazz Bowl Web Site

Have a Very Old Family Photograph? It Could Be Vernacular Photography

May 28, 2012


Have you heard of Vernacular Photography? According to Wikipediait refers to the creation of photographs by amateur or unknown photographers who take everyday life and common things as subjects.



Stair Galleries, exhibited and auctioned The Gerald Kornblau Collection of Vernacular Photographyon March 10 & 11, 2012, which was 163 lots of everyday photography, images of which create interest, regardless of their common subject matter.  Prior to the auction, they were displayed in an exhibit in similar frames together on a wall.

Old Family Photograph

Apparently there is somewhat of a demand for very old photographs at auction houses and antique shops. Many will consign or buyout antique family photographs, silhouettes, and also daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes. Garth’s in Ohio and Skinner in Massachusetts, both  auctioneers, and others including local antique shops, have carried these items.

Recently, our family has been going through family photos. We have discovered photos of relatives who are not identified. Perhaps we will consider selling some or decorating walls in our homes with them.

Like Antiques and Collectibles?

October 16, 2011

By Janet Dodrill


Coca-Cola crate and Coke glasses.

Have the antiques and collectibles bug? You are not alone. With the downturn of the economy and people looking for extra income, it has become more common for people to try to sell their possessions on Craigslist, eBay, and by auction house. I have been brought up with an appreciation for antiques since many items have been passed down generations in our family, and I have collections going back to my childhood, being told that one day they might be valuable. The average person is becoming more educated on the subject, and many have become amateur ‘pickers’, going to garage sales, flea markets, and antique stores and finding items to add value to their collections or to resell for a profit. With a computer and time on your hands, it is not difficult to perform basic research on an item and discover its current worth.

According to Kovels’ Antiques Inc., information publishing firm and local authority on antiques and collectibles, there are currently more than 20 antiques-related realty TV shows (that can be watched on network TV, cable, and some online at their web sites and on Netflix streaming). They’ve listed them in their free weekly Ezine, Kovels Komments, September 28, 2011 issue, and they are:

American Pickers, Mondays 9 p.m., History
American Restoration, Fridays 10 p.m., History
American Treasures, Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Discovery
Antiques Roadshow, Mondays 8 p.m. (check local listings), PBS
Antiques Roadshow UK, day varies, 11 p.m. (reruns), BBC
Antique Warriors, in production, Network TBD
Auctioneer$, Saturdays 10 p.m., TLC
Auction Hunters, Tuesdays 10 p.m., Spike
Auction Kings, Tuesdays 10 p.m., Discovery

Auction Packed, Tuesdays 8 p.m., National Geographic
Buried Treasure, Wednesdays 8 p.m., Fox
Cash & Cari, Sundays 7:30 p.m., HGTV
Cash in the Attic, Wednesdays 8 p.m., HGTV
Hardcore Pawn, Tuesdays 9 p.m., Tru TV
History Detectives, Tuesdays 8 p.m. (check local listings), PBS
Hollywood Treasure, Wednesdays 10 p.m., Syfy
It’s Worth What?! Tuesdays 8 p.m., NBC
My Collection Obsession, in production, TLC
Oddities, Thursdays 10:30 p.m., Discovery

Pawn Stars, Mondays 10 p.m., History
Picker Sisters, Tuesdays 10 p.m., Lifetime
Storage Wars, Wednesdays 10 p.m., A & E
The Great Big American Auction, in production, ABC

I personally, have enjoyed watching Antiques Roadshow on network TV and online, American Pickers via Netflix streaming, Pawn Stars online, Auction Hunters online, and Buried Treasure on network TV and online. Additionally, I learn things on the subject by subscribing to Kovels’ enewsletter, which anyone can sign-up for at Kovels.com.

Kovels has also just begun informal YouTube segments on collecting advice and tips, with Terry Kovel at Youtube.com/KovelsAntiques. You can subscribe, and be informed of new videos published to this online channel. Keep collecting!

Antiques & Collectibles: A Big Industry

May 8, 2010

By Janet Dodrill

Royal Doulton Lady in Purple Dress Figurine

Royal Doulton Lady in Purple Dress Figurine

Recently, I have been exposed to the antiques and collectibles auction industry, and it is a bigger industry than I thought. First, I told myself I must not beat myself up for giving away or nearly giving away antiques and old family items in the past. I did not know then what I know now, and that these items may have been of value.

Seeing an item for auction triggers an emotional response in the viewer on a variety of levels. If it is an antique item, it may remind them of something they saw in their mother’s or grandmother’s house, or when they were growing up. It may be an item they do not already have in their collection that they would like to obtain. It could be that the viewer likes the thrill of winning and therefore keeps bidding on the item until the bitter end.

There are hundreds of auction companies throughout the country (and world) who draw consignors to sell their merchandise at regularly scheduled times of the year. Some auction houses have themed auctions (i.e. glass, Americana, memorabilia, estates, fine art, sports, dolls, etc.) and some have general auctions (i.e. antiques) or specialize in particular types (i.e. auction houses only selling movie posters).

Auction companies draw good followings. There are buyers and collectors that follow favorite ones or find out when items of interest are up for auction at other auctions.

Live online auction

Live online auction

The more I learn about the auctions, the more auction companies I see are out there. With the luxury of online auctions and bidding, one can bid and purchase items while the ‘live’ auction is going on, in the comfort of their home, but the excitement is still there.