$50 For Some of the City's Best Art

What are you waiting for?

Sitting high on a shelf is what may be an old-fashioned watercolor portrait of a long-lost relative: a long-faced woman, her hair pulled back in a severe bun. The handwritten caption underneath reads: "Miss Francis Winthrope on a cold day in July—maybe." Hidden among the crowded shelves at Nancy are several such tiny watercolor portraits by Alice Tippit, whose charming captions turn the delicately rendered, seemingly Victorian-era paintings comical inside their ornate gold frames. Slide open the stylishly retro file cabinet's metal drawers, and you'll discover a whole series of postcards by Tippit and Dawn Cerny, previously seen as part of "The Artful Scheme of Happiness," their two-woman show at Soil Gallery in July 2006. (A postcard by Cerny is shown to the left. I liked this piece so much, I bought it.) The two created a cast of characters around one central fictional persona, imagined as perhaps a 19th-century millionaire. Beautifully rendered in watercolor, ink, and pencil, the foppish men in top hats and the ruffle-collared ladies with pink-flushed cheeks and tall piled buns make a family you might want on your wall. Didn't get quite what you wanted for the holidays? Or suddenly have some crisp bills to spend? Consider laying out a mere $50 or $75 for original artwork by two of Seattle's most talented (and underrepresented) artists. Well, technically, Tippit is not in Seattle right now—she's studying at the Art Institute of Chicago. But her art's here, practically for the asking. Cerny's too. 

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