We Buy & Sell Paintings By
George Brandriff (1890-1936)
George Brandriff may have
inherited his art talent from his maternal grandfather, a house
painter in New Jersey who painted watercolors from memory of the
moors and lakes of Scotland. In school he drew portraits of the
prettiest girls and made posters and acted in school plays. His
first job was in the music business selling pianos. In this
profession he managed the piano department in a department store in
Millville, New Jersey and in 1913, when he came to California he
continued in the music business in Orange.
Deciding that was not the career for him, he returned to school at the age of twenty-four and in due time graduated from USC Dental College. Following a short stint in the Army in Camp Greenleaf, Georgia, he opened a dental office in Hemet in 1918.Brandriff turned to painting in earnest after meeting Frances Conder, the local school teacher who he married. She continually commented on the beauty of the California landscape around them, and about a year after their marriage encouraged him to take lessons.
The lessons were brief to say the least: ten from Anna Hills of Laguna Beach and six from Carl Oscar Borg. The lessons intrigued him and for seven years, from approximately 1921 to 1928, Brandriff combined his dental practice in Los Angeles with painting on the weekends.In 1928 he closed his office and turned to painting full time. Praise came quickly for his works.
Instead of repeating the tried and true landscape vistas like most of the local artists, he was amazingly perceptive and inventive: figural studies, businessmen's legs walking down a street, waves breaking on rocks, scenes of the southwest (visited sometime in the early 1930s), yachtsmen sailing, clowns in circuses. No particular subject became known as his "specialty."
From 1934 to 1936 Brandriff, who had for years been closely associated with the seaside art community, served as president of the Laguna Beach Art Association. This was cut short in 1936 when he drowned in the surf off Laguna Beach, possibly a suicide.4