|Beth Feeback had a disappointing weekend. The North Carolina woman who bought a painting for $29.99 from a Goodwill store sale saw it sell for less than $6.00 at a Sotheby’s auction.|
“It’s not much of a return on $29.99,” Feeback fumed Sunday night.
The sale price listed on the Sotheby’s website, $5.79, reflects the final gavel price plus a premium the buyer must pay, she explained. The painting had been expected to sell for between $150 to $250.
Feeback of Concord bought the painting, “Clown Girl" by artist Mitch O'Connell, in April. She wasn’t attracted to the style at all, but she wanted to re-use the canvas to paint cat portraits, which are her specialty.
A friend cautioned her to check out the labels on the painting before she put paintbrush to canvas, and after a few months during which the painting languished on the floor of her art studio, she did.
Now, Feeback still has a no appreciation for O'Connell and his work.
“The first time I Googled that artist’s name, I was like, ‘This is the most beautiful damned painting I’ve ever seen in my life,’” she said, tongue in cheek.
The auction took place Friday, and Feeback gathered family and friends from a viewing party online.
She was nervous at first.
“I like to set my expectations low because … Murphy’s Law is my religion and I was just afraid that it wouldn’t sell at all … ,” she said.
As she and the others gathered at her home watched the auction, she added, “we could see that some of the paintings sold for much more [than] the value that the auction house had put on them and some sold for much less and an uncomfortable number of them did not sell at all, so that’s how come I was concerned.”
Feeback doesn’t know who the buyer was, but, she said, “They owe $25 so I can at least break even!"
Asked about her plans due to the pitiful sale price, Feeback said she and her husband plan to go without their prescription medications to cover the loss.