Recently “ML” sent me this email:
Hi my name is “ML”. I found four paintings at a North York yard sale in Toronto about ten years ago. They caught my eye immediately as people just walked past them. I found myself drawn to them. I paid $5 each for them so $20 for all four. One says “Clara Harris” on the bottom. Each painting measures 16 ¾ x 19 ½” including the frame. I’m not a collector just a yard sale lover. What do you think about these? I want to know if they’re worth anything.
Except for the winter river scene, the remaining landscapes are unique. I needed to study these more closely. “ML” provided more detailed photos that reveal Clara’s composition and brushstrokes more clearly and for the sake of identification I gave them titles.
Woman By River Falls
River in Winter
Summer in the Countryside
Spring By The Water, Rowboat and Yellow Buildings
Now I could answer her questions:
Your paintings look to be in very good condition. They're all signed, and have their original frames. I wish the locations and dates were recorded on the backs. This information adds to the provenance and archive of the artist. Your river scene is a familiar subject of Clara’s. It could be the Humber but I don't think so. There's a similar painting on the website: Autumn Scene By River. (Cache of Clara's January 09, 2015}. The other three painting locations are not familiar to me. Your close-up photos really show the quality of Clara's work. The one with the lady by the river is exceptional. The exhibits at Toronto Doors Open in 2017 at Montgomery’s Inn www.montgomerysinn.com Lambton House http://lambtonhouse.org and permanent exhibit at The Old Mill Inn and Spa www.oldmilltoronto.com ; the 2018 exhibits at Lambton House, Artworks www.artworksartschool.com and the fall event at Montgomery’s Inn, increase the exposure and interest in Clara’s work. As Curator of her archive I estimate the value of each painting to be at least $250.00- $300.00.
Monetary value aside “ML” describes the value Clara’s paintings have to her:
My friends thought, “Why did you buy those?” and my family with puzzled looks were staring at what I came home with. I didn’t hang them in my home because I just needed a room that I could only picture in my mind to hang them: an entranceway of some sort. Love the frames which is what I was drawn to also. Just beautiful art to me…..