Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cherries Still life and a landscape

"Summer Cherries"
8" x 10" Acrylic on Canvas
Available at Picasso's Gallery & Gift Shop(Alamance Arts Council)
Visit their website at
"Mountain Road"
4" x 6" Acrylic on Canvas on Panel
Available at Raleigh Street Gallery
These are some recent small ones. I have been playing with still life paintings recently because my schedule hasn't allowed me to do any outdoor landscape studies before it gets dark. Don't know why the scans here look grainy. I sized these down from a high-res scan, so it must be the canvas texture catching the light. I will try to filter them and replace them with a smoother picture later.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas, Upcoming Events

Just want to say a quick Merry Christmas to all my friends and a big "Thank You" to all who have supported my growth as a painter. It is because of you that I am able to move forward and to keep growing and learning. Merry Christmas!

Also a reminder - I have an upcoming exhibit a the Asheboro Library in Asheboro, NC during the months of March & April 2010. I will post the exact dates when I have them.

Also, I will be participating in an exhibit titled, "Double Exposure" in February 2010. This exhibit was the result of the Chatham Camera Club issuing a challenge to artists to use one of their photos as inspiration for a painting. The resulting paintings will be shown next to the photographers' work that was used as reference. It should be fun to see how the painters interpret the photographers' work in paint. I will post the dates for that show soon. It will be at a gallery in Siler City, NC.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sketching, back to basics

I used to have a daily sketching habit, and due to painting for some recent exhibits and the busy pace of balancing my painting, full time job, and family, I have not been sketching like I used to. I have started again this week and just try to work in charcoal or conte crayon for just a few minutes a day. When I do this, it makes my painting time much more productive because the daily sketching helps to improve your skills... in the drawing area, anyway.

This unfinished conte crayon sketch pictured above was done by a stream on my inlaws' rural property in Siler City. I had my paint box out ready to paint, and ended up just sketching instead. It was a nice change of pace. I sketched enough to use it as reference for a future painting, but quit when my fingers went numb from the cold!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Country club show - one day only!

These are some small pieces that I sent to Raleigh Street Gallery in Siler City, NC. The owner is taking these and some of the gallery's other inventory to a one day exhibit and sale at Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, NC. This event is a ticketed luncheon and sale, so I hope I some of these pieces will move. The gallery suggested sending these smaller pieces because even the country club set have seen their share of financial downturn this year.

If these go unsold, they will be available at Raleigh Street Gallery. You can get their contact info on their website at .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

No paintings today, I am set to enjoy Thanksgiving with family tomorrow. Off Friday to take new work to a gallery for a one day sale/exhibit at a country club. Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. Thanks to all of those who have purchased paintings and supported my work. I am grateful. I will post some new work on Friday.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Alamance Arts Council Christmas Show

Here is a quick shot of the paintings I sent to the Arts Council Invitational "Christmas at Captain White's" show. I sent small pieces to have some affordable offerings for this show. They have everything at this yearly show from paintings to pottery to anything handmade. Sorry about the sunlight and shadows on this pic, I will post pictures of each piece when I have time. If you're interested in any of these, just call the Alamance Arts Council at 336-229-6995 visit their website at to get their email address.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trees Plein Air Study on Ebay

"Backyard Trees"
5 x 7 inches oil on stretched canvas, unframed
Click Here to Bid
A small plein air study done in late fall in my backyard. Enjoy!

Monday, November 09, 2009


This months drawing was won by Elaine Rothbauer. I hope you enjoy your painting. Keep checking the blog here for more chances to win FREE original art next month. Also, sign up for my e-newsletter by going to and click on "Email Newsletter" to receive my monthly letter by email. I include special offers for my subscribers, so be sure to sign up!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Late night painting in the studio

The main easel area

My acrylic palette during the middle of painting

Up late tonight finishing up a few paintings in the studio. I always finish the small studies in one go, but the larger studio pieces I usually leave and look at awhile and see if there are any adjustments I want to make. The pics above are of my main easel area. Artist Mike Rooney inspired the idea of using pegboard on my studio easel. His is the same way. It is easy to switch out paintings quickly with the hardware, and I can have multiple small paintings on the easel at one time. The pegboard is reinforced on the back with wooden boards so it will hold the weight of the paintings and stand up straight without bending. I works great for me. The idea came from seeing Mike's easel. I can't take credit!
To view Mike's blog, visit . His impressionistic style work is awesome!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Antique Teapot Still Life Painting

"Antique Teapot"
5 x 7 inches
Oil on Stretched Canvas, Unframed
Click Here to bid

I have sold many small studies in past years on Ebay, and list a small painting every now and then to advertise my studio. I generally do not put these smaller ones out in my galleries, and small past sales on Ebay have led to customers buying larger pieces from my I thought it time to list some again.


"Nassau Palms"
5 x 7 inches acrylic on slim gallery wrap canvas
Wired and ready to hang
The image continues around the sides to give you the option of hanging this unframed

Pictured above is the painting in this month's free giveaway. To enter for a chance to win, just email me at with the words "FREE PAINTING" in the body of the email with your name. I will leave it open for entries until midnight on Friday, November 6th. After that, a name will be randomly drawn for the FREE painting. That person will be notified by email and I will mention it here on the blog.

I do these at different times, so to find out when, go to and click on the "email newsletter" link to sign up for my monthly email newsletter. I also inlcude special deals for my newsletter subscribers. Good Luck!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Upcoming events, fighting a cold

Hello everyone. Well, I have been busy painting, but slack about posting to the blog here. We had a major fundraising banquet at work last week, and there were months of preparation before that. I am participating in 2 Christmas exhibitions and have been working on those, so I promise you will see some of those in upcoming posts.

Here are some upcoming events that I am preparing for:

Christmas at Captain White's
This is the annual Christmas exhibition at the Alamance County Arts Council and Picasso' s Gallery(Their gallery and gift shop). The beautiful Victorian mansion is decked out for Christmas and there are paintings, pottery, hand blown glass, and many other things to look at. For more info, visit the arts council's website at - they should have the info up soon.

Sherry's Shopping spree at Starmount Forest Country Club - Greensboro, NC
The gallery that represents me in Siler city will be taking a huge amount of inventory to the Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro, NC on December 2 from 1-5pm. This is a ticketed ladies luncheon, and I will be there with the gallery owner to sell my work and she will have work by many others as well.

All of this to do, and I am fighting a bad cold. Hope I feel better soon. Need to get in the studio and get cracking on some new work!
Stay tuned for some new paintings!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Painting at Cedar Cliff Farm

I was invited, along with other artists, to paint at Cedar Cliff Farm in Graham, NC today. Every year, the owners always have the artists there to paint all day and then they have a large group of friends over to celebrate their anniversary in the evening. They congregate outside at the original homestead cabin and eat and listen to live music. I couldn't stay for the celebration this year, but I did get some small paintings done and took lots of photos. I will post the paintings tomorrow when I can get a better picture of them.

Back view of the house

Front of the house

The original homestead cabin

The barn

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Working away and some excitement

Sorry not to be posting lately, but I have been working I assure you. I haven't been posting many small works to the blog here because I have been getting ready for two invitational Christmas exhibits and a solo exhibition for March and April of 2010. Add to all of that the fun of a huge tree coming down in our yard from a storm and one of our cars running over it, and this week gets even better. I just thank God that no one was hurt. So after dealing with the insurance company and getting the car fixed, I will be back with more paintings.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Smoky Mountain Farm land

"Farm Near Pigeon Forge"
12 x 12 inches, oil on birch panel
Work in progress
Email me at if interested in this one.
Sorry for the glare on this pic. I will re-shoot and repost when I have more time. This is a spot I saw when traveling near Pigeon Forge, TN. I have not decided if I am calling this one done. I wanted a loose, impressionistic approach, but I'm not sure the foreground doesn't need some changes. The foreground had cast shadows across it from a nearby grove of trees, but i'm not sure it reads as shadow. Maybe I''l tweak the color in the shadows.
This was a beautiful place, and I only had time to capture some photos from a moving car. This farm land was all lit up with afternoon sun, with patches of treeline here and there. I will have to visit the area again when I have more time to complete some studies of the area.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

White Lake Sunrise Study and an Adventure

White Lake Sunrise, 7 x 5 inches, Acrylic on canvas on panel
If you are interested in this study, it will be $50 unframed, but I have to touch it up first because of the adventure I had with this one. Just email me at if you want it.
I painted this study early one morning at white lake during sunrise. I was working quickly to capture the light and the acrylics fought me a little more than my oils - They dry fast, so little time to blend, etc. I finished this up and had lost the sunrise, so I took it back out the next day to add more passages of paint.
Well, I was walking down the boat dock and the winds were intense because of a coming storm and this little painting blew out of my hand right into the water! Without thinking I just jumped down the dock steps into the freezing water to save this one! It's not that it's a masterpiece of mine, but I wanted to use it for reference for a larger I rescued it, and it only got a scratch. These Raymar, museum quality canvas panels are tough! I will post some more studies tomorrow, and then hopefully the larger gallery works I did from them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Off on another trip, paintings to follow

My trusty travel companion for small paintings
Well, I am off again with Lucinda and Sophia. This time we are headed to White Lake with her family for a relaxing weekend. Since we have limited space (we are bringing food to cook), I am bringing along my smallest paintbox and hope to get small studies done. I doubt I will have time to get any finished pieces done, but I hope to at least get some studies done to use for reference as I work on paintings for my upcoming show in Asheboro.
The great thing about painting when I travel is that I really get to observe a place and soak it in while I paint, rather than just quickly snapping photos. I do use my photos, but feel I produce a better painting when I have time to also make sketches on site.
This has been a whirlwind year, and I hope it will slow down before Christmas. It can be really difficult at times to juggle family, a full time job, church involvement, and my art business at the same time, but the Lord has blessed me with a fulfilling life and a wonderful wife and family who support me.
I won't have access to Wi Fi while there, so I will resume my blog posts next week and will post pictures when I return.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Last day for FREE PAINTING

Tonight at midnight is the deadline to enter for the "FREE PAINTING." Just shoot me an email at with the word "FREE PAINTING" in it and your name. This was mentioned a week ago in my email newsletter. To sign up for future info on the FREE paintings, go to and click on the email newsletter link. Good Luck!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ocracoke Beach & Painting at 2 AM

"Ocracoke Beach"
5 x 7 inches, Acrylic on Archival Canvas Panel
$50 Unframed
To purchase, send me an email at and I will invoice you through Paypal.
Painted this at 2am this morning from memory of a trip to Ocracoke Island. The color in the pic is a little off, but I didn't feel like Photoshopping it anymore at 3 am. Why painting such crazy hours? Well sometimes, when I can't sleep, I just get inspired to do a quick study like this. Hope you like it!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2009 Studio Sale & August Newsletter

Justin Holdren Fine Art Studio
Studio Newsletter August 2009 - Justin’s website - Justin’s blog

2009 Studio Sale!
I am working on a large body of new work, so I really need space in the studio. This means a great deal for you! I have put up a STUDIO SALE portfolio on my website at . These are small plein air studies or larger, older work that has not sold after making the rounds. I am willing to let people “steal” them to get them out of the studio. Be sure to check them out! All of them have FREE SHIPPING, and if you live in Alamance County, NC I will deliver them.
PLEASE NOTE: As a general rule, I usually sell all of my work at the same price it is sold for in galleries. I do not undercut my galleries. The only difference in price is if a work is not sold with a frame as it is in a gallery. The only exception is a studio sale of this sort where the inventory is older or it is non-gallery ready work.

Monthly Free painting
My monthly painting giveaway starts tomorrow. The painting being given away is shown below. To enter, just shoot me an email with your name and the words “FREE PAINTING” in the email. I will leave the entry time open until Wednesday, Sept. 3 at midnight. Then a name from the entries will be randomly drawn. Good luck!

Visit my blog
Many of you visit my website, but be sure to check out my blog too. I post paintings there that sometimes aren’t put on the website. I also post pictures from my travels, and things about the life I lead as an artist. Check it out at .

Thanks to all who have supported my work as an artist by purchasing. I do not take it for granted!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cleaning out studio - Items for sale!

I am doing the "not so fun" task of cleaning out my studio. I have some art books that I have gotten my use out of and want to sell. The books I have right now to sell are:

  • The Big book of painting nature in oil (Allen Schaeffer) - Excellent book on painting landscapes step by step - Paid 29.95, will sell for 15.00
  • Fill your oil paintings with light and color ( Kevin Macpherson) - Wonderful book on painting with a limited palette and tons of helpful techniques - Paid 19.95, will sell for 10.00
  • Helen Van Wyks Favorite Color Recipes (Helen Van Wyk) - Great book on color recipes and palette strategies on all subjects . Packed full of info! - Paid 19.95 on sale, will sell for $10.00
  • The big book of Art materials - A great guide to art materials and techniques for every medium, Full of great info. - Paid 24.95, will sell for 12.00

All of these books will ship free! I just want my studio cleaned out. I might have more for sale soon! Keep checking!

These items go to the first person to email me at

Monday, August 03, 2009

Hectic week!

Hello all. No new paintings to post today, although I do have some completed I just haven't photographed yet. It has been a hectic couple of weeks! My daughter was in summer playschool, I have been getting new work done and sent to galleries, working on marketing and my web site, the list goes on and on.... New work coming tomorrow, hopefully!

Friday, July 24, 2009

FREE Painting Winner

Congratulations to Kathleen Gosman! She is the Free Painting winner for this month. Remember, I will be doing these monthly for at least the rest of the year, so keep watching for my monthly email newsletter to find out when to enter for the next one!
To sign up for my newsletter, just go to and click on the "email newsletter" link.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Free painting contest extended

Hey everyone, I've extended the time to enter for the free painting until Wednesday at midnight. I will announce the winner by email on Thursday. Quite a few have entered, but there's still time to get your entry in.
Just email me with the word "free painting" and your name in the body of the email. Good luck!

Email at

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Painting drawing now open!

"Bahama Breezes" 5 x 7 inches
Acrylic on Canvas
Click on the image to see a more detailed view
This piece is on gallery wrap canvas with 3/4 inch sides. The picture continues around the edges and it is already wired in the back for hanging so you have the option of displaying it unframed.

This is the painting I am giving away this month for free! To enter your name for the drawing just send me a blank email with the word "free painting" in it and your name. The contest will be open until Friday, July 17th at midnight. The next day, the names will be compiled and someone other than myself will draw a name at random. That person wins this free painting!
Remember, I am doing this monthly, but the time each month will vary, so sign up for my email newsletter by going to and clicking on the "email newsletter" link - the time I will do the giveaway each month will be revealed in the newsletter. Good luck!
To enter, email me at with the word "free painting" and your name in the email.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Asheboro Library exhibit 2010

Hello all! Just got off of the phone with the Asheboro Public Library. I will have an exhibit there for the months of March & April 2010. They don't have a large amount of space for the show, so I will probably be exhibiting smaller framed pieces. I will update you more with times and pictures of the exhibit as the date draws closer. It seems far off, but it will be here before I know it! I can't believe 2009 is over half gone.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Ocracoke Coastal Painting

"Ocracoke Surf"
8 x 10 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
$150 unframed, $200 Framed
Available by paypal at or by emailing me
This is a small painting I did in the studio the other night. Ocracoke Island is a place of great beauty. I could paint 1000 paintings there and never run out of material. Be on the lookout for my email newsletter this week about the free painting giveaway. You can sign up for my email newsletter by going to and clicking on the "email newsletter" link.

Monday, June 29, 2009

My own Stimulus package

Hello friends! As a way to uplift people's spirits in this down economy, I have will be starting a free monthly painting giveaway. I can afford to do this because I accumulate a lot of small studies that are small versions of larger, more detailed works I want to do. So Starting in July, I will be giving away one small 5 x 7 painting a month until I decide to end this promotion.
To find out when I will post these paintings and how to enter, sign up for my monthly email newsletter by going to and click on the "email newsletter" link. Good luck!

New painting, Tennessee Farmland

"Tennessee Farmland"
8 x 10 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
$200 Framed in Gold metal leaf Frame with carved corners
This is a new one I did recently from some sketches and photos of a farm in Tennessee. The landscape was beautiful with the Great Smoky Mountains in the background. This painting is available at Raleigh Street Gallery in Siler City, NC. If you want it, contact the gallery owner Chana Meeks through the gallery's website at .

Friday, June 05, 2009

Forgive my abscence!

Sorry I have not posted any new paintings folks. I have been traveling about every weekend and am getting ready to head out today to Ocean Isle, NC to the beach! I have new work photographed, I just have not had the time to upload it to the blog or website. More to come next week - I promise!!!!

By the way, I am starting a new project in July that will enable some people to win a free 5 x 7 painting. Stay tuned here and I will tell you how!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Santee Cooper Fishing trip

Here I am half asleep in front of our catch

I wasn't ready for the camera and have a stupid grin on my face!

Beautiful Lake Marion - Part of the Santee Cooper Lakes in South Carolina

My father in law with a big catfish!

Had a great weekend fishing trip with my father in law and brother in laws. We fished on beautiful Lake Marion in SC. We caught catfish from the teens up to about 25 pounds. Sunday night we battered and fried some and it was great!
Our guide was Lee Jackson and he was fantastic! His website is
I didn't have time to paint, it was a whirlwind trip, but I did get some photos and sketches from memory done. I will have new paintings soon!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Myrtle Beach Trip

My daughter Sophia ready to roll to the beach!

Our hotel - Did some paintings from the oceanfront balcony

Daylight starting to fade in Myrtle Beach, SC.

My family and I went to Myrtle Beach last weekend and had a blast. I did do some small plein air studies while I was there. I will post them as soon as I unpack and photograph them. I am off again this weekend to Santee Cooper, SC to do some fishing with my father -in-law and some others. I probably won't have time to paint as this will be a quick trip, but I will get some photos to work from later and can maybe get some pen or pencil sketching done.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Eastern NC Plein Air Study

"Goldsboro Farmland"
Acrylic on archival canvas panel
$50 unframed
To purchase by paypal, send me an email.
This is a quick plein air study I did on location in Goldsboro, NC on Saturday. I was in town dropping paintings off at the Wayne County Arts Council. I thought that before driving 2 hours home, I would paint. I did this quickly from the Wal-Mart parking lot, which was across the street from this farm field. The field had some sort of plantings that had already been harvested. The light was kind of hazy and flat that day.

Plein air painting and a day trip

Well, I drove 2 hours to Goldsboro, NC on Saturday to deliver paintings to the Wayne County Arts Council for a juried exhibition. I did a small plein air painting of a farm field, but I haven't taken a picture of it yet, so I will upload it tomorrow. I am gearing up for some painting at the beach this weekend, so my posts will be sporadic over the next week. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Plein air study and some news

"Backyard Trees"
7 x 5 inches, Oil on canvas
$50 Unframed
You can purchase by sending me an email or you can purchase through paypal at my website HERE
I have been getting ready for my upcoming trips. I will be in Myrtle Beach next weekend, Santee Cooper Lake in SC the next weekend, and two weeks after that I will be in Georgia for a few days. I have my smallest travel paintbox and supplies ready to go. These are family trips, but I will get some paintings done, usually before anyone gets out of bed! We always sleep in a bit on vacation.
Some news - My show at Tatum Optical Shoppe in Burlington, NC has been cancelled. Due to the economy, the place will be closing before the date my show was scheduled. I wish them luck and am thankful they wanted to show my work.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Show preparations and upcoming trips

I haven't posted in awhile, but I will have some new work to show you this week.
I have been working in the studio like crazy lately. I am submitting two pieces to a juried show in Goldsboro this week for the Wayne County Arts Council. I have also been preparing for an exhibit at Tatum Optical Shoppe in Burlington, NC. That exhibit will be in July and August.
Next weekend I will be heading to Myrtle Beach, SC with the family and to do some plein air painting. Then, the following weekend, I am supposed to be on a fishing trip with my father in law and brother in laws. We will be heading to Santee Cooper Lake in South Carolina. Hope to get in some painting time there as well. Hope to have some new work for you later this week!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Playing with tonalist painting

"Reflections at Dusk"
14" x 11" Oil on Canvas
Sorry for the glare on this photo. The paint was still wet. I will try to get a better shot of it later.
Well, this doesn't necessarily meet the criteria for a tonalist painting as far as the color, maybe, but I was interested in playing with this technique of using darker tones and trying something new. This is just a scene from my head of a small water inlet that empties into this creek running through this marsh or field. This was so much fun just to play with a different approach than I normally use. I need much practice with tonalist painting if I want to do some more of these. To see work by a real tonalist master, go to - her work is awesome! If you're interested in this, just email me at .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

New Plein Air Painting and small studio study

"Pond Grasses"
10" x 10" Oil on canvas
$200 unframed
This one above is a plein air study I did a couple weeks ago down by the pond on my inlaws property. The grasses where I was standing were still rust and ochre colors, but the pond grasses had already started to turn green. If you want this before it goes to a gallery, email me at - If you wish to pay by credit/debit card, go to my website at and this piece will be in the "paintings" section with a "buy now" button by the end of today.
"Coastal Marsh"
6" x 8"
Acrylic on Panel
$100 unframed
This is a small study I did in the studio last night from some photos I took of the marshes near Oak Island and Bald Head Island. I did this to work out an idea for a possible larger piece. Email me if you want it, and if you wish to pay with Paypal, go to and this piece will be in the "paintings" section by the end of today.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Plein air in the country

I went plein air painting on my inlaws rural 50 acre property last weekend. Everyone was gone so I had the whole property to myself. I did a 10" x 10" oil of some grasses near the pond and I got a 16" x 20" acrylic started, but had to retreat due to intense wind blowing my canvas like a sail! I will post the oil tomorrow. It needs a few color tweaks to add a bit more contrast.

Down by the pond

Here's my setup with the first marks of a 16" x 20" acrylic painting. I usually use a smaller paintbox mounted to a tripod when I am in the field, but I wanted the option of doing some larger canvases, so I hauled out the old french easel for this day. Due to the wind, I didn't get to work on any larger canvases except for this one, which I didn't finish!
If you have some acreage or land, I might be interested in painting it, just send me an email to .
I will call to set up a time and will clean up my mess and leave the place cleaner than I found it!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Plein Air Painting- 6 x 8 - $100

"Cedarock Tree Study"
6 x 8 inches Acrylic on panel
$100 Unframed
Purchase by emailing me at and you can pay by check or by credit card through Paypal.
This is a plein air study I did awhile back at Cedarock Park Historical Farm. I changed the lighting a bit, because the scene was really backlit and hard to make believable in the short time of remaining sunlight I had. I will use this to create a larger studio painting and try to make the lighting more dramatic.

More paintings tonight!

Hello all. I am in a rush today, but will post some new paintings and a work in progress tonight. Did some plein air painting on a 50 acre rural property in Siler City this weekend and had a great time. I will post those hopefully tonight once I get a picture of the paintings.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Hectic Schedule, no sleep, and a special project

Taken in the Smoky Mountians of Tennessee. I will have some large paintings of this trip soon.
Hello friends! Well, as we make our way into spring, my schedule is starting to fill up for the rest of the year. I will be talking with the owner of an optical shop next week about a 2 month exhibit of my work. They are exhibting the work of local artists, which I think is great. These alternative venues can sometimes yield great results and can get your name out to new collectors. I will still have work available at the Alamance Arts Council, Raleigh Street Gallery, and the Roasted Coffee Depot Coffee Shop as usual. Visit for more information on those venues. I also have a paint out coming up this summer that I attend every year, so I need to get promo materials ready for that.

Next, we are preparing for a birthday party this weekend - my little girl Sophia will be 2 years old! I can hardly believe it! All of this going on, and my body decides to stay awake at night lately. I am running on empty lately.

Also, I have a large special project that I have been working on, that I will soon reveal here. There will also be a press release about it if all goes as planned! Let's just say it will be a fantastic opportunity in this poor economic climate to get my original paintings for a steal, and there will be a lot of them available.
For now, I leave you with a picture taken this summer in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Plein Air Painting at Cedarock Park

Here a shot of me painting away at Cedarock park
This is my smallest paintbox. It is a converted cigar box and is great for doing small paintings on location at home and when traveling. It was also much cheaper than my commercially made paintboxes! This shot shows the painting after about 15 minutes of painting. I will post the finished painting soon.

Well, the weather finally cooperated over the weekend and Friday afternoon I stopped off at Cedarock Park and Historical farm on my way home. The pictures are above. I had my small cigar box painting kit with me and did a small 6 x 8 inch acrylic study which I think will work well as a larger piece. I will post the finished painting when I get a picture of it.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wishing for warm painting weather

Hello friends.
Well, we had about 4-6 inches of snow Monday night, which is a lot more than we normally get. I have been fighting a constant cold/flu that keeps coming back, hence the reason for posting no new paintings lately. I have been too sick and tired to post even when I have new work to show. I will have some new things for you soon. I promise!
Anyway, I am ready for some warm weather so I can get back to some plein air painting. I have been sketching on location, but usually from the car because of the cold weather and the way I have been feeling. I'll leave you with an image from Ocraocoke Island, a nice warm place to take my mind off of the cold weather.
I have some exciting things to tell you, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Siler City Art Walk - COLD!!!

Well, the 3rd Firiday art walk in Siler City was pretty well attended considering it was FREEZING COLD. I, of course was in a hurry to get to the gallery there that carries my work and ran out the door without my coat. So, I toured the artwalk with chattering teeth, but had a great time. If you are in the area, check out the NC Arts Incubator Gallery. A great artist I know, David Nance, has some absolutely incredible paintings at the gallery. I spent much time just studying his work. I learn so much by studying the work of artists I admire.
I am still doing my daily watercolor sketches and will post some soon along with some new oils and acrylics.

Friday, February 20, 2009

3rd Friday Art Walk - Siler City, NC

Hello friends! Tonight is the 3rd Friday Art Walk in downtown Siler City, NC. Come by Raleigh Street Gallery to see my work on display or just to say hello. Be sure and visit the other galleries and hear the great live music in the coffee shop courtyard. See you there!

For more info about this and future events, email me at

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Acrylic Painting Trees & Water

"Riverside Impressions"

18" x 24" Acrylic on Canvas ( Work in Progress)

I have been painting and sketching, but have not really finished anything lately. Life gets in the way sometimes! This piece I have signed, but I might still make some changes to it. I sometimes let works sit in the studio for awhile if I don't finish them right away. I look at them as I pass by each day and sometimes I will see some changes that can be made to enhance the painting.

I used a loose, impressionistic approach for this piece, but I will have to study it for a few days to see if I need to refine it a bit more.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some new Ebay auctions

Hello friends,
I have re-entered the Ebay market after a year long abscence. I started listing paintings last month again. Ebay is not what it once was in sales, but the pieces I offer there are generally small studies and miniatures that I do not send to galleries. They are great for the entry-level collector because they are more affordable than my gallery work due to their small size. Click on the link below to view my current auctions. Enjoy!

If you have trouble with the link just go to and search "Holdren Art" from the homepage.

Monday, February 02, 2009

The business of being an artist

Most people think an artist's life is nothing but painting and enjoying doing what you love. While it is true we must paint often to have work available, and it is our passion, it is not all that is involved in the business of being an artist.

I would venture to say that most people would be suprised at the amount of other work that is involved. Just this week I have been catching up on some of these things. I show in only two galleries at the present, so I have less paperwork than most artists who are full time, but there is work that must be done. This consists of not only creating the work, but pricing, making inventories of items in the studio and items at galleries. I also have to keep sales records of sold work, new work must be photographed before it leaves the studio so I have a record of my work and hi-res images down the road if I want to make prints, postcards, etc. I must maintain my website and blogs and keep them updated in order to keep marketing my work.
It's not always as easy as making a work available and then it automatically sells. An artist has to constantly study to improve their skill set, and constantly market their work to collectors. Some gallery reps will do this for you, but it is important for you to get in the habit of marketing your work.
Pricing is not always an easy task either. I still hold a full time job in addition to my painting sales, so my work is really affordable at present, but many people wonder why artists price work the way they do. Being an artist gets really expensive, especially when you use archival and quality materials and framing. Then there are marketing costs, website costs, taxes, and many other expenses. If you sell through a dealer, they may take anywhere from 30% - 50% of your sale price, then your expenses come out of what is left. So when you see a price you think is high, just remember - it is a one of a kind original, and artists don't sell paintings everday, and they need to put food on the table as well.

Anyway, just a rambling post today, but I thought some insight into the life of an artist's business, might be of interest to some. I will have some more paintings posted for you here soon!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some Watercolor studies

"Smoky Mountains"
Watercolor 4" x 6"

"Beach Study"
Watercolor 4" x 6"

"Arts Council Study"
Watercolor 4" x 6"
This study was done quickly on a cold day. The perspective lines are off, and there are some other problems, but I wanted a study of one section of this historical house that houses the county's Arts Council and Gallery. This will serve as a study for a larger piece. I will use this and studies from different angles to come up with a composition for a large painting.
My pocket watercolor kit has been put to good use. I have been keeping it in the car to ensure I get some sketching time in daily in case I miss my nightly studio time due to other circumstances. The house sketch was done from life, the other two from memory as I couldn't get out on my lunch break. These are loose and not wonderful, but I am an oil and acrylic painter usually. I am enjoying sketching in watercolor though, and may develop some larger work in watercolor.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Daily sketching kit and some Winter Snow!

We had about 4 inches on snow on Tuesday and temperatures never got out of the twenties, which is unusual for North Carolina, even in winter. Usually after low temps, it gets at least above freezing!

I spoke in my previous post about finding time to sketch daily, when I am rushed. I keep this pocket watercolor kit in my car with a small block of WC paper and a bottle of water. It is so simple - just open the box wet the WC pans and mix on the lid with the tiny brush which fits in the box! I am normally an oil and acrylic painter, but my gear for that is larger and takes longer to set up. With this pocket kit, I can sketch quickly on my lunch break to ensure that I get some painting time in, in case I miss my studio time at night.
These little paintings end up being mostly studies for oil and acrylic works, but they are fresh and stand on their own as a nice little watercolor. I will post some of these studies tomorrow. I may even sell these in the miniature/sketches section of my website for a reduced price after I use them for my larger paintings.

Here is our daughter Sophia on our front porch after playing in the snow. She was not happy when it was time to come inside!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Back to painting after artist's block.

Well, I have been absent from the blog for awhile, and one of my goals this year is to be more frequent in my posting. When I started the blog a few years ago, I was better about posting regularly, but since the birth of my daughter, who will be two in March, life has been so crazy and busy - BUT WELL WORTH IT!

I am back to painting regularly, I just have gotten slack in posting new work and comments to the blog here.
I did have a lull in December, where I would start a painting, and just wipe it down, or go out to paint on location and just pack it up. I think all artists go through this sometimes. I have millions of ideas for paintings in my head all the time, but I was just going through a period where I didn't feel inspired to paint, which is rare for me. I think it was the busy Christmas season coupled with the fact that I am balancing my career as an artist with my full time job and my family responsibilities. It can be difficult to move ahead in your painting when your painting schedule has been moved to late at night and you are tired. But I want to progress in my painting to move towards my goal of painting full-time, so being flexible in my painting schedule is necessary. Could I start my studio time earlier in the evening? Yes, but then I would miss out on the little time that I have in the evenings with my wife and daughter. I would rather spend quality time with them, and paint after they are in bed.
Anyway, I have found a way to get some daily sketching time in that doesn't take much time at all. I will share that and some studies in the next post.