Occasionally, you look at a piece you have created and think to yourself "this is pretty good." I was getting pretty comfortable with myself, I had been seeing consistent improvement in what I was doing and I hadn't spend a lot of time with my painting friend recently. She keeps me humble all by herself. And then I found this painting.
To back up a little, I stop at consignment shops all the time. Usually just to browse. I keep an eye on the walls looking for frames I can use. Often you can find a nice frame for less than the price of a new one and throw away what's in it.
That's what first caught my eye. This piece had a lovely gold frame. When I went to look at the price, I also looked at what was in it for the first time. Art. Real art. Real original art! All for $65.00. I had never heard fo the artist, but that didn't matter - the talent was obvious and I had to have it.
I was lucky, it had only been in the shop for a day. Another day or two, and I'm sure my opportunity would have been gone. The artist, Fritz Mueller, out of Munich Germany, could be one of two different artists I have learned by searching on the web. Given the birth and death dates, I am supposing father and son. There is no way for me to know which one painted this, or it's real value (more than what I paid, I know), but I don't care.
I have owned this piece for nearly a year. I look at it every day and am humbled by his skill. The detail in the hands, the glass and pitcher and the individual fine white hairs painted in the beard are amazing. It speaks to me and inspires me. One day, I may finally learn which Franz Mueller painted this, I may even learn it's value in the art market. But it doesn't matter, to me, it's priceless.