01 Mar Treasure Story 6 – The Little Watercolour That Spoke From an Art From The Attic 2019 Table
This year for the first time, Art From the Attic (AFTA) had a “two for one” sale at the end of the day. A buyer came through with two $10 pieces including this watercolour shown. It was in a black frame, signed “Jo Ott” and titled “Autumn”. The buyer recognized it for a Southwestern US scene and was drawn to the subtle underlying drawing and the use of colour.
Part of the allure of buying art that has come from some else’s “attic” is the mystery of where it came from. This buyer decided to do a little research on the painter and found online entries for a Jo Ott Designs Gallery and Gifts in Mesilla on the outskirts of Las Cruces, New Mexico, which is near the state’s southern border, north of El Paso and east of Tucson, AZ. This gallery seems to be closed now but the Las Cruces Sun-News on September 9, 1974 also had an article with the headline “Jo Ott: FNB Artist of the month” (FNB seems to stand for First National Bank). As well an oil painting of a New Mexico scene by “Jo Ott” had been on Ebay but seems to have been sold. Finally, using one of several American public records search sites, the buyer learned with some confidence that Ms. Ott was born in 1931 and is living in Wisconsin now.
How did the painting get from Messila, NM to AFTA in Winnipeg? The buyer removed the painting from its frame and found a sticker indicating that it had been framed at Michaels in Winnipeg in November 1994 and concluded that this painting must have been bought by snow birds visiting the Mesilla area about 25 years ago; and surely a lovely reminder of warmer climes. So, time well wasted acting on curiosity.
A reminder that the sun shines warmly somewhere and another great bargain from AFTA!