This big weird painting has been part of my family since 1970, when my dad found it in a warehouse in El Paso, TX and brought it home. For years it rested face-down on sawhorses in the garage, where we used it as a makeshift play-/card-table. After my brother went away to college, it got hung on the wall of his abandoned bedroom, a fact he actively resented during trips home for summer and Christmas. (My brother insists he has always found the rifleman "creepy.") But I love it enough that when my parents did their post-retirement downsizing, I had them ship the painting to Seattle, and it's hung in my apartment ever since.
Good thing the painting's loaded with so many personal memories, because—as I learned from the good folks at Antiques Roadshow, which capped a week of Seattle filming with an all-day appraisal event on Saturday at the Convention Center—it ain't worth poop. Even casual inspection of the painting—specifically, the rifleman's face and hand—reveals the artist was still wrestling with basics, or was "untrained," as my Antiques Roadshow appraiser kindly put it, en route to valuing the painting at a couple hundred bucks, because of its prodigious frame.
Whatever. I love my broke-down rifleman painted by someone's uncle. Also, seeing how the Antiques Roadshow sausage is made—with help from our guide Mariel—was fascinating, involving several tiers of long lines all winding toward a high-tech center holding a humongous rotating camera-and-lighting console. Producers ferret out the couple dozen camera-ready objects/stories from among the miles of lines holding roughly 6000 people, and down into the high-tech center they go for their on-camera appraisal. Footage from the Seattle episodes will air between January and May 2013.