Thursday, December 31, 2020

Thanks for Listening 2020

In what has been a remarkable and difficult year for us all. 

I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for visiting the website and the Studio Blog. 

Your support and interest in my work is greatly appreciated.

I hope you had a great Christmas and that 2021 brings all the good things that you wish for.


Happy New Year!

Have a spectacular 2021.

And to my loving wife, Linda

These have been the best years of my life.

Happy Tenth Year Anniversary.

Your devoted husband.

Explore - Question - Learn - - Enjoy, Jim 

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Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Independence Day

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 
Artist John Trumbull, American, 1756–1843
Oil on canvas, 12 ft x 18 ft, 1818

This painting depicts the moment on June 28, 1776, when the first draft of the Declaration of Independence was presented to the Second Continental Congress. The document stated the principles for which the Revolutionary War was being fought and which remain fundamental to the nation. Less than a week later, on July 4, 1776, the Declaration was officially adopted, it was later signed on August 2, 1776

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." 
                                                         -Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence

Happy 4th of July

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Wednesday, May 20, 2020


I had not done a full underpainting in a while; I forget how magical this process can be. Glazing color over the grisaille creates an illusion of depth that is hard to achieve in any other technique. Progress shots, drawing, umber wipe -out, grisaille, color pass.

Grisaille – (griz-eye’) fr.- grey an underpainting done entirely in monochrome shades of gray.

Craftsman, oil on linen panel, 11 x 14 in, Jim Serrett

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Saturday, May 9, 2020

Art in the Age of Quarantine - Spring of COVID 19

Hello friends, as I write my Spring newsletter, I cannot help but think to myself is this essential? It just seems like there are much more pressing events happening in the world today. That talking about art; well, may not be that important in this Spring of Covid 19. This crisis is unprecedented, I cannot think of anything that compares to it in my lifetime.

How dramatic the changes to daily life are for most people, just think of the battery of new (detaching) phrases that have been added to our vocabulary, social-distancing, quarantine, flatten the curve, essential and non-essential workers. The media is flooded with advice, news and commentary. My wife and son both are working, one as an essential worker and the other remotely, it has certainly tested their limits and their strengths. How can I not help but feel some uncertainty, anxiety and concern? I try to not let it dominate my mind. No wonder finding personal balance during the shutdown is a challenge for each of us.

Honestly, as far as work, I have not been directly impacted much by the pandemic. But I completely recognize how unfair this coronavirus has been to so many. Those daily death tolls are stark reminder that there is a real difference between tragedy and inconvenience.

For me, Art has always been that place to escape to. I have been self-employed most of my life as an artist and spent thousands of solitary hours in the studio. Even back when I was doing advertising art, we had a saying, “no news was good news” meaning when a project was delivered if you did not get a call on it from the client you just assumed that they were happy and you moved on to your next project.  I would go days buried in my work without speaking much. As it turns out I’ve all been self-quarantining for years!

And these days as a fine artist working on the art I want to create, I probably am even more isolated, but that is quite ok with me. We all need interaction with others, but the truth is that art is not a group activity.  Nor a spectator sport or is it created by committee as some current trends want to imply.  Meaningful art is created through the internal reactions of an artist to the world.

The catch is that what gives art meaning…is its capacity to connect with other people.  

I see painting as a very contemplative experience, but it is also the investigation of the world around me. The thoughts, feelings, and experiences of this time of isolation.

So that big word “Art” cannot exist in a vacuum.  Art illustrates the human experience—the wonder of it, the bewilderment of it, the whimsy of it, and yes even the tragedy of it. We would not be who WE are (or connected so deeply) without the essential existence of art.

It's nice to be able to share some positive news with you. My painting Japanese Teapot was accepted into the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS) 2020 Best of America Small Painting National Juried Exhibition.

-Best of America Small Works exhibition hosted by the McBride Gallery, 215 Main Street in Annapolis, MD 21401. For those that like to know the numbers, 150 paintings were selected from 1096 entries.”

The show has been extended until June 7, 2020

At last count, 15 paintings have sold from the 2020 Best of America Small Works Exhibition. With so many galleries, exhibitions and events being forced to close or cancel due to COVID-19. I want to thank Cynthia at the McBride Gallery who has been working diligently at promoting the exhibition online and extending the physical exhibition, so thankful for her efforts. 

To view the paintings in this exhibition please visit the gallery's website,
or for more information on NOAPS, and a video tour of the show check out.
Show extended through June 7, 2020 at the McBride Gallery, Annapolis, MD

As always, I have several new paintings going in the studio. For frequent updates and works in progress please check out my Instagram or Website. 

Stay safe, stay well, remain vigilant and be kind to each other. 
Jim Serrett

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

"Is not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

I seem to paint a lot of bottles. A friend recently asked me why? I see a still life as a visual meditation, and glass can be a mental challenge in that you must decide what is effective and what is not in explaining the image.  It is walking an edge of what is optical information (that what we see) and conceptual information (that what we know) to express form and imagery. 

The simpler explanation is that old glass bottles are cool.

Marbles with Bottles, oil on panel, 10 x 8 inches, Jim Serrett

"Is not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- Henry David Thoreau

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Marbles with Bottles - WIP

Current work in progress. Progress shots, drawing, first pass, color mixing, final pass.

Marbles and Glass, contour drawing

First Pass.

Palette, color mixtures.

"Is not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." -- Henry David Thoreau

Final pass.

Marbles with Bottles, wip, oil on panel, 10 x 8 inches, Jim Serrett

Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim 

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