I receive many inquiries each year about Dick and Jane watercolor artwork that many believe is original watercolor art from the Dick and Jane series. This art was sold years ago in various art studios and signed by J. Sparks (Jim Sparks). I have been able to track down that some of J. Sparks' artwork was sold at The Oak Showcase in the Village Park Mall in Laguna Beach, California, during the 1970's and was sold as 'Dick and Jane Art, yet, his true involvement with the series has never been verified.
At this time, no one has been able to determine who J. (Jim) Sparks is or was, not a solid clue to his real involvement with the Dick and Jane series has turned up and at this time it appears he was not involved but did have a passion for Dick and Jane and loved to paint.
Someone marketed J. Sparks and his artwork and it appears that this person claimed Jim Sparks was an actual illustrator for the series to help market his art.
In contacting the original publisher for the Dick and Jane school series, Scott, Foresman & Company, J. Sparks cannot be found in their archive files. They were not able to find any information on him, no record. I suppose it is very remotely possible that J. Sparks assisted with artwork ideas for the original and true illustrators, and never received credit and that the archived records do not give him credit.
There is no information to support that any J. Sparks art ever
in the actual Dick and Jane books.
The main illustrators were; Ellen Segner, Keith Ward, Eleanor Campbell, Connie Moran, John Merryweather, Charlotte Becker, Don Crane, Milo Winter, Walter Oschman, Bob Childress, Jack White, Rod Ruth, and others. Unfortunately, no books mention J. Sparks. If anyone has credible information on Jim Sparks, and can verify his involvement with the Dick and Jane Series, please contact me!
As for value assessments for his work, all of his art needs to be examined by an actual art dealer. I cannot assess value on Jim Sparks art.
Examples of artwork painted by J. Sparks
all photo credits -- F. Miller, California