Watercolor landscape painting of the church at Soquel, California (near Santa Cruz), an early vehicle providing a point of interest in the composition. The work is signed at lower right by listed female artist HELEN BRUTON (1898-1985). Bruton was born in Alameda near Oakland. One of three sisters, all artistically gifted, the others being Margaret (1894-1983) and Esther (1896-1992), she originally wanted to be a sculptor. After education at UC Berkeley, as a young woman she traveled to New York for training at the Art Students League, Sterling Calder one of her instructors. By 1925 the enterprising young lady was in Paris, studying at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere. Back in California, in the Monterey area with which she was most closely associated, she studied for a time with Armin Hansen. Later she studied with Boardman Robinson in New York. Bruton produced woodblocks and engravings, and mosaic works, some destined to public venues. She worked for the WPA for a time, and exhibited at the Golden Gate Exposition of 1939. The artist was a member of the California Society of Etchers and the Progressive California Painters. She passed away in her 80's in Monterey. This drawing was offered at John Moran auction in October 2014 at an estimate of $800/1200, and it failed to sell. The title does not appear to be otherwise obvious, therefore the geographic siting of this landscape I have taken from the Moran cataloguing. The drawing has a distinguished provenance as well, having been part of the collections of prestigious California art collectors James Coran & Walter Nelson-Rees, Oakland, CA, and Gordon and Joan Spencer, Nordland, WA. The piece measures 7 1/2" by 10 1/4" (13" by 15 3/4" framed behind high quality low glare/UV glass).
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