Woman finds art treasure for $2

Monday, January 14th 2008, 10:24 am
By: News 9

By Doug Warner, NEWS 9

For those who rummage through garage sales and flea markets on weekends, admit it. You know deep down inside you're hoping to discover some hidden gem?

We all have "panned for gold" at garage sales and flea markets--you can't help it, it's only natural. Nancy Williams said she wasn't even "panning" when a great find jumped out and grabbed her.

"When I saw the picture, it was so intriguing," she said. "I knew it would be a good conversation piece."

A teacher, a bar lady, a nun and a washer-lady--that's how Nancy Williams described the four women in the gold-toned painting she bought at a garage sale for a couple dollars.

She may have thought the four would make for great conversation, but the piece never made it to her wall. The painting sat behind her couch, collecting dust.

Then one day, Williams was at a thrift store and noticed an original Jack White painting hanging on the wall.

"I was looking for old wooden frames that I could refinish," she said. "I said, ‘Surely someone wouldn't put a Jack White in a thrift store.'"

But someone surely did, and once Williams went home to investigate her same gold-hued painting, she realized she too had a Jack White original sitting behind her couch.

Jack White, a Texas painter, is better known by art experts for his oil paintings.  However, if you ask White he'll tell you his "gold leaf" works is what he's remembered for the most.  And he said it's a style he created.

"Almost never a week goes by I don't hear from someone," said White. "When you sell a half million dollars of art a year as a new artist, it's really a phenomenal thing."

White said he got requests from everyday collectors to everyday fast food joints across Texas and Oklahoma--and beyond.  After giving up the art of painting for the art of writing, White said it's humbling to see just how many people still care.

"I'm overwhelmed," he said.

As for Williams, she's hoping both of her $2 finds might fetch her a pretty penny. However, she realizes beauty, as well as  value, will be in eye of the purchaser.

A half dozen Western museum's throughout Texas and Oklahoma priced the painting at varying amounts. An appraiser in Nevada familiar with Jack White's work did say he's valued many of White's paintings anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000.

If you're interested in learning more about Jack White, visit his website at http://www.jackwhiteartist.com.