Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dinner with Friends

Carol Marine

Way back when I finally summoned up the courage to quit my day job to paint full-time I also began an intensive search online for other artists. I wanted to see who was out there, what were they painting, and how were they doing it. One of my search methods was to browse the art auctions on ebay. I would sift through hundreds of auction thumbnails in hopes of finding a jewel. It wasn't hard to spot talent. As I scrolled through the listings the gifted artists work stood out like a neon sign.

Crossed Brushes

One of my first discoveries, and still honored in my personal Hall of Fame, was Carol Marine. Her elegant chiseled method of painting blew me away. I'm a huge fan, and was very fortunate this week to have the opportunity to meet her for the first time. She was in Atlanta to teach one of her immensely popular workshops.

Karin Jurick

Karin Jurick, artistic genius, close friend and another ebay find, wrote me an email to say Carol would be in town and we should all get together. So, we all met up at the OK Cafe, one of our favorite places to eat. Karin was accompanied by her better half Brett, a framer, motorcycle enthusiast, designer and builder of "The Paint On" table top easel, and all around great guy. My Karen was up in Asheville with friends so I came alone. It's too bad to, because she would have loved meeting Carol.


I had a terrefic time. Carol was wonderful, and it was so nice to finally meet her after communicating for years via email. Working as an artist is an isolated profession, and so it was a real treat to sit and talk art with other artists over a great meal. The only problem with the evening was that it ended way too soon.

I'll have an image of my next Tree's Place painting in a day or so. This one, for some reason, was a real bear.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Half Loaf No.4

12 x 12 oil on panel

I've done three of these "half loaf" paintings in the six by six format for auction on ebay, but wanted to work in more texture and detail with this subject, so I scaled it up to 12 x 12. It worked great. I was able to really get into the bread and also enhance the look of the plastic bag as well. A fun painting. This will be headed up to Cape Cod for the July show at Tree's Place Gallery.

I ignored my easel yesterday and spent the day making arrangements for our trip up to the Cape. I thought it would be a good idea to get an early start since accommodations in that area fill up quickly in the summer months. Karen and I were last there in 2007 when we shared a two person show at Wynne/Falconer Gallery. It was a great trip and we had a wonderful time. While we were there we stopped by Tree's Place on our way up to Provincetown, and were very impressed with the quality of work they had on display. It's hard to believe that now I'm returning four years later to attend a show of my own.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Black Grapes No. 4

16 x 16 oil on panel

I shipped off the first five paintings for the Tree's Place show in July yesterday. Hopefully they will be well received by the local collectors on Cape Cod. Maybe get a little early buzz going for the show. The Black Grapes were completed Sunday evening and will be heading up there along with Seven Spoons in the next shipment.

Karen and I are planning to attend the show, and are currently working out the logistics. There are two places we'd like to visit while we're in the region. Karen wants to go to Martha's Vineyard and I really want to veer northward to see the Olson House in Maine. I've been enamored of Andrew Wyeth since I first discovered his work in a show at the de Young Museum in San Francisco July of 1973. I was twenty one and knew of Christina's World, but when I saw his paintings in person I was hooked for life. I went back a half a dozen times before the show moved on. I still have the dog eared catalog for that show. In 1979 I drove up to Chadds Ford to visit the Brandywine Muesum, and while I was there I was able to track down the location of the Kuerner House. The home was still occupied at the time, so you couldn't go inside, but Anna Kuerner was on her porch as I drove by. Unreal! Anyway, to actually visit the Olson House and walk around inside would be like a pilgrimage. Hope we can make it happen.

Back in 2006 I did a small painting of a Maple Leaf to auction off on ebay. Not too long after that I received an email from Tina Maple, co-owner of Maple Vineyards in Sonoma county California. She wrote that they were about to produce their first vintage and wondered if I would be interested in doing another maple leaf painting that they would use for the label. It took about two seconds to say yes. We worked out the details, I sent them the painting, then never heard anything about the wine. About a week ago I got another email from Tina stating they made wine for only two years, but decided it was too much and had come to the conclusion that they would rather just grow the grapes. She then offered to send me a few bottles of their 2007 Zinfandel. It arrived a couple of days ago, and it was fun to see my little painting on the bottle. We haven't tried the wine yet, but we're looking forward to it.

Thanks Tina!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seven Spoons

12 x 12 oil on panel

Enough with the books and iPad apps for now, it's time to paint. Julie at Tree's Place mentioned she liked the Flatware paintings, so I'm planning on a few for the summer show. Seven Spoons is the first. I've also got three more pieces working in rotation, painting on one while the other two dry between passes. I'll post those starting early next week.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A New Book: Six by Six

I've got one more commercial venture to announce before I get back to posting new work for the Tree's Place Gallery show in July. When I got back the proof copy of my first book Paintings In Oil and saw the high quality of the printing done at, I was excited about the idea of producing a second.

Back in 2006 Karin Jurick convinced me to take part in a new art movement that was gaining popularity called A Painting A Day. It was an exercise developed by Duane Keiser, and the idea was, you complete a painting each day for some pre-determined length of time. Many artists decided upon a year, others chose a shorter amount of time, and some never stopped. I knew I was too anal to keep something like this going for any length of time, since for me it was all about the detail. I settled on a time frame of one month. I thought, if nothing else, this may help me to loosen up a bit. A quality I thought I needed in my work.

Thirty days later I had finished thirty paintings. It was a fun, though exhausting, challenge, and afterward I was ready to get back to my more "completed" style of painting. I did however retain the six inch by six inch format I had chosen to use during the exercise for paintings I would create for auction on ebay. Since that month, five years ago, I've done hundreds of these little paintings, and I thought they would be a good subject for another book. Six by Six is produced in a 7" x 7" format so the images are virtually the same size as the originals. The book contains 100 paintings culled from nearly 400 done over the years, and is available in a softcover or a hardback version with a dust jacket. If you'd like to preview the entire book and make a purchase click here to be directed to the blurb website.

Monday, April 11, 2011

my iPad app

iPad App Home Screen

When I saw that Jeff Cohen had his own iPad App, I knew that I would have to put together one of my own. It was just too cool of an idea to pass up. Plus I just got an iPad for Christmas and thought it could be a good way to present my work to friends, collectors and galleries. Technically I had no idea of how to actually build the app, fortunately Spencer Cohen (computer prodigy and son of the afore mentioned Jeff and Leslie Cohen) was there to provide those skills.

iPad App Standard Page View

I did the easy part, picking out the images I wanted to present. I sent those pages with layout instructions and the brief amount of text I included to Spencer and he did the real work. The app went live yesterday evening, and I'm have to say I'm very happy with it. The paintings really pop on that beautiful hi res screen.

iPad App Full-Screen View

The app presents 58 paintings done over the last ten years. Some of my favorites. It's very easy to navigate. You swipe right to left to advance to the next painting, and swipe left to right to return to the previous image. You can pinch/zoom within the picture window to examine the details, or double tap the image to see the painting in full-screen mode. There is also a scroll bar along the bottom to quickly move to a specific painting.

If you'd like a copy, you can get it for $1.99 at the App Store on iTunes. You can either search the for the title at the App Store: Art of James Neil Hollingsworth, or click here. If you do purchase a copy, and like it, I'd be grateful if you would leave a positive comment about it on the app's page on iTunes.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Realism: Remembered

visitor checking out Teresa Fischer's paintings

Before I get started I have to report that when I downloaded my images from the show last night, half of them had been corrupted, so a lot of the artists I wanted to spotlight got lost in a digital wasteland. If it's any consolation, this includes myself. None of the photos of my wall were salvageable. The photo above shows one of the visitors checking out Teresa Fischer's work, and if you look through the doorway you can see one of Paul Cadden's amazing pencil drawings.

taking home a copy of one of Jelaine Faunce's paintings

Mark, Kelly and Andrea did a great job putting this show together. The weather was perfect, the turnout was huge and for a few lucky artists profitable. Abby Ryan, Teresa Fischer, Sally Tharp, Marc Chatov and Karen all had red dots by the end of the evening. Congratulations!

admiring the work of Jeff Hayes

It was great talking to the visitors. Everyone was very nice and complimentary of my contributions to the show. It's great to hear that people appreciate what you do. I have to say, for me, the best aspect of the evening was having the chance to get reacquainted with old friends I haven't seen in a while. Lots of friends made the effort to drive in and for me that made the night. Thank you all for coming!

he spent a lot of time viewing the work of Alvin Richard

The show will run through the first week in May, and hopefully somewhere during that time a red dot will show up on one of my paintings. If I can get one on the Mule or the B-25 I will view that as a sign that it's okay to paint another, and I really want to paint another.

stopping to view the work of Michael Naples and Abby Ryan

Now I'm back to work full-time painting for the show at Tree's Place in July. I've got a number of pieces complete, but still have a way to go. I've got three in rotation on the easel right now and will post and image of the first one done in a day or so.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Realism at Mason Murer Fine Art

Friday evening is the opening reception of the Realism Show at Mason Murer Fine Art. Karen and I delivered our paintings yesterday, and did a walk around to see what had already been hung. There are a lot of beautiful paintings on those walls! The weather for that night looks to be perfect, so hopefully there will be a good turn out. I'll be bringing my little point and shoot camera. If I get some good pix I'll post some of them in the days following the reception. If you're in the neighborhood, stop by.