Custom Puzzle Craft's ~ K. Chin
Painting and Early K. Chin notes
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K. Chin Navigation Table

This section, launched July 10, 2006, is an image repository for K. Chins paintings, currently just a tiny fraction of known paintings. The images here are are photos of actual paintings, not photos of prints derived from painting, except when adding more information about a particular painting. If you own a K. Chin painting please send me a picture with an OK to publish the picture here! I also buy K. Chin paintings.

I own one K. Chin Koala Bear painting. The Koala Bear painting is oil painted on the bumpy side of a Masonite board. Acquired November 2006.

Koala Bear (9 1/8" x 12")

Three K. Chin mass produced Koala Bear prints

I own one K. Chin Tiger Cub painting. The Tiger cub painting is oil painted on the bumpy side of a Masonite board. Acquired November 2014

Tiger Cub (10" x 8")

This print is a hard to find K. Chin tiger cub print printed by Arthur A. Kaplan. Very similar to the oil painting, although the colors are over saturated in the print.

This K. Chin image was printed in his "card" series

I own three K. Chin Owl paintings:

This Owl was painted with oil on a fabric which was cut out in the shape of the owl and glued to the smooth side of a Masonite board. 9"x12". On the back there is a faint number "#105". This image cropped slightly.

Acquired November 2006.

"Owl, Hourglass and Rose". Oil on smooth side of Masonite 12 1/2" x 16 9/16". This is the first K. Chin painting I've acquired which was also featured in a mass produced print series (see below). The level of detail in the painting is pretty impressive. On the back "#153".

Acquired July 2008.

Oil on the bumpy side of Masonite. 9"x12". This "Blue Owl" appeared on eBay as a rather dirty brown painting. With a little cleaning (damp sponge) a bright green and blue painting appeared! No writing on the back.

Acquired July 2009

Mass Produced "Wise Owl" series by Donald Art Co. 1973

Owl, Hourglass and Rose - Painting detail

I own six small K. Chin clown paintings

Clown with Starfish (8x10") - Acrylic, Clown with Quarter (8x10") - Acrylic, Clown with Cards (8 1/8x12") - Acrylic

Clown with Bird (7 1/4x10") - Acrylic, Clown with Violin (8x10") - Acrylic, Clown with Gold Star (8 9/16x11 3/4" ) - Oil
All names are made up by me

The frames were removed for these photos.

In Clown with Starfish, a hint of red appears along the bottom left, the clown's vest probably was red, as well has his lips.

In Clown with Quarter, the clown's shirt was probably blue. Note that the clown on the left has a "pointy" hat, collar, and gloves around the wrist. Line extensions are similar to the Cathedral of St. Nazaire painting style. These two clown paintings appeared in the estate of the previous owner sometime in the 1960's. They were probably purchased in a small gallery in New York (very likely at Bergdorf Goodman). Both of these paintings are done on canvas.

The Clown with Cards painting was framed on December 3, 1963 and was painted on the dimply side of a Masonite board. The painting was found in a garage of an uncle of the seller. There is some fading in this one, but not as much as the first two.

Clown with Bird has yellowed considerably as evidenced by the lighter colors revealed under the frame.

Clown with Violin has no evidence of fading, the colors are bright.

The very detailed Clown with Gold Star oil painting was painted with a dark edge under the frame.

I own one K. Chin Mushroom painting.

Brown Mushrooms and Owl - 12x7 1/8" Oil
Acquired February 2012

I own one K. Chin's Dragon painting.

Golden Dragon - About 9 3/4x16" Oil
Acquired March 2013

If you own any K. Chin paintings or know about K. Chin, please contact me.

Europe / France Era

K. Chin made an extended trip to Europe either in the late 1950's and/or early 1960's. K. Chin took photographs there which he then used as source material for paintings he did in his New York studio. Any information about K. Chin's activity in Europe will be appreciated.

Cathedral of St. Nazaire
23.25" x 19.25" probably painted in the 1960's.

Cathedral of St. Nazaire - detail

K. Chin's early paintings that I know about were done in acrylic and have faded considerably. Cathedral of St. Nazaire, which I own, hints at much more vibrant colors under the edge of the frame.

K. Chin Signatures and Marks

K. Chin prints are marked by K. Chin in one or more ways

1) A printed signature incorporated within the lithography.

The one on the left is from the mass produced Mark Twain member of the Steamboat series. Virtually all of K. Chin's prints have "K Chin" printed within the print. One exception I've seen is the somewhat mysterious "K. C." within the mass produced "Cute Children with Hats and Bonnets" series. I have no doubt the work was done by K. Chin, but the printed signature is suspect as the K is very different from all other varieties and there is a period after the K. I suspect the K. C. marking was added by the publisher.

2) A written signature

After K. Chin suffered a stroke in the early 1980's, his output of paintings and prints dropped considerably. Eventually he spent a tremendous amount of time signing prints published by his Carmel by the Sea gallery, as well as cards and even some of the mass produced prints published by other publishers. Some of the prints were signed within the image while others were signed within the white border if there was a white border.

At some point K. Chin used a "K Chin" signature stamp. Instead of hand writing his signature on a print, he used the stamp. If and when I get more info about this I'll post it here.

3) A Chinese Chop Mark

Frequently when K. Chin hand signed his prints, he placed a Chop Mark, a personal mark in red ink near the signature. I have seen six different kinds. The first one is from one of K. Chin's cards and is printed on the card. The second one appears on many prints, it is also printed. The third, four and fifth are inverted varieties of the second mark and are hand stamped. The sixth one is from one of K. Chin's "flower arrangement" prints and is printed. In July 2006, a friend translated the symbols in the middle four stamps to phonetically say "kaychin" without knowing that the artist's name was "K. Chin"! A few of the prints with printed Chop Marks have a second Chop Mark - one of the hand stamped Chop Marks - on the same print!

4) Carmel by the Sea

The name of K. Chin's California gallery appears on some of his prints - most of the time printed and a very few times hand written.

5) Some prints contain an embossed owl. I have one Artist's Proof print of his which contains an embossed owl. This particular print also has the words "Artist's Proof" written on the print and the letters "A P". The embossed owl shown here is on an Engraver's Proof (for the CUE magazine cover August 5, 1974)

Embossed Owl with "A P" (Artist's Proof)

6) Unicorn

Some of the Carmel by the Sea K. Chin Gallery prints have a gray unicorn printed within the bottom border.

K. Chin Unicorn Mark (left)
The unicorn to the right appeared on a sales brochure

7) Dragon

At least one of K. Chin's larger lithographs (We Have to Believe in Rainbows) has the blue dragon mark.

K. Chin Blue Dragon Mark

At least two others prints are marked with a gray dragon

K. Chin Gray Dragon Mark

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