Only his office these days is atop a 50-foot scaffold where he directs the ArtWorks Mamie Smith Mural located between 12th and 13th. The mural
was designed by Julia Bottoms, Buffalo, NY. This current mural is dedicated to Mamie Smith, born in Cincinnati, and the first person to record a blues jazz record. It is 47 feet high and 34 feet wide.
“My Photoshop image was scaled so one-inch equaled one-foot on the wall. The wall was gridded off using plumb lines and snapping chalk lines, then we drew outlines with charcoal. We mix the colors and show the 12 apprentices how to fill in the shapes.”
“I like working with ArtWorks because I get to teach young
artists, (14 to 21) and pass on what I know. It is an opportunity for these
young artists, and makes Cincinnati look better. There
is a project manager for each mural. On our team we have a teaching assistant
and a junior teaching assistant. They are talented artists, good at working
with teenagers, and crucial to getting the job done.”
“I started working with ArtWorks in 2015 when I designed the
“Grain to Glass” mural on the side of the Moerlein Brewery. In 2016 I designed
the Canal mural on Central Parkway at Marshall and a smaller mural in the
Brewery District on Vine Street that was painted on actual wooden barrels, I
helped on Jonathon Queen’s Toy Mural. In 2017 I was co-project manager on the
Ralph Steadman murals at 12th and Walnut.”
His friend, Ray Hassard, had a personal way of complimenting Jim: “I did one big mural-size piece once in Buffalo for the subway system and swore never again. For someone who almost never paints larger than 18 x24, it was nerve wracking! Cannot imagine how Jim does it!”
Ray Hassardhonored at PSA. His pastel City Lights was included in the Pastel Society of America’s annual juried show “Enduring Brilliance” and was given the Great American Artworks award. It is among several works selected for an exhibit at the Butler Institute.. Ray participated in the Cape Ann Plein Air competition for the third year where he won Peoples’ Choice Award for his pastel Mrs. Currier’s Hydrangeas. The Degas Pastel Society in Louisiana accepted two of Ray’s pastels where Funke’s Greenhouse garnered a purchase award.
Jeff Morrow joined up with Doug Eisele and Dawn Strait Wallace to preserve two historic wall murals at McClain High School in Greenfield OH this summer. It was a week-long project for the trio, high up on scaffolding, using specially prepared paints to match the 100-year-old originals.
Jeff recounts, “Between them, Doug and Dawn have almost 80 years of painting restoration experience. I was brought along to help expedite the process by helping Dawn and Doug with the inpainting and overpainting. There were whole patches where water damage had taken it’s toll and someone’s attempted restoration work was no longer stable and was flaking off. We first had to reverse the previous repairs and overpaint. Then stabilize the loose plaster, infill the losses and prepare the surface for inpainting. In those areas we had to match the look and style of the original artist’s work.”
“We had no historical references to work from. Colors were matched just like when I need to match color on one of my own paintings. Mix and mix again until an exact match is achieved. We used acrylic so we were able to test a color and let it dry to be sure of the match.”
“It took me a bit to get used to the scaffolding—being careful and holding. I did a lot of leaning back to look at my work since I am used to doing this from my easel to take in my progress. There’s no stepping back when on a scaffold!”
Doug started Old World Restorations 40 years ago and Dawn has been with him most of that time as the primary painting restorer.
<photo of jeff morrow on scaffolding> Karol, did Jeff make his last payment on his life insurance policy?
<Photo of Jeff morrow painting mural> Jeff joined Doug Eisele and Dawn Wallace to restore McClain murals.
Why in the World Would You Attend the Kim English Workshop?
You are an experienced artist and been through all the teaching you need. Or you are a less experienced artist but are not comfortable being in a class with more experienced artists. Or you don’t want to spend the money on a workshop.
Hmmm. Take a moment with Eileen McConkey. She has overcome similar feelings about workshops and now she coordinates them for the Club.
Workshop Chair and
Signature Member of Cincinnati Art Club
“I was invited to a private painting day at a friend’s studio. Kim English was there so I got to paint right alongside him. Kim was very personable and fun to be with. When he came to Cincinnati the following Spring I attended his one-day workshop at the American Impressionist Society National meeting.”
“Kim English’s workshop was like no other workshop that I had ever taken. I loved his laid-back attitude. His approach is to move fast, and this helped me focus even more on his approach to art. He taught lessons that needed repetition to sink in. It was work. We repeated the exercises over and over and over. We had little time to think about completing a painting. Little time to grumble at the messes or savor the successes. Some of my results were dreadful and some were dynamite. I loved it and thought his approach would be a perfect way for Club members to elevate their work.””
I have the attitude that if we are alive we need to LIVE and LEARN!
Here is a small representation of Kim English’s work:
A long-lost work by Caravaggio was rediscovered in a leaking attic in Toulouse where it had sat untouched for 150 years and could be worth $120 million. Rembrandt’s The Storm of the Sea of Galilee was one of the 13 artworks taken in America’s biggest art theft and is still missing after a 20-year hunt by the FBI.
Is Carin Hebenstreit’s painting, Innocence, about to join this list? It went missing after it was shown at ViewPoint 47. Like any of us who have lost something treasured, she wonders if Innocence is also to be found in an attic in another 120 years or if it will come home.
If anyone has a clue of its whereabouts, do not call the FBI, just send Carin a message so she will stop imagining all the places this painting could be; perhaps still in a transport truck hanging or mistakenly hidden in the Club’s Historic Vault, or in the den of a Saudi prince. No reward. Just peace of mind.