Paintings of absence and melancholy (I) – Chairs and windows by Jim Holland

Some thoughts on Jim Holland’s work and some selected paintings

Jim Holland is an American artist, born in 1955 in Schenectady, NY. He works with oils and watercolours, following a style marked by stripped-down realistic depiction (sometimes photorealistic, and sometimes a little surrealistic to my eyes). Anyway his paintings transmit great serenity and a sense of melancholic solitude very much alike the one found in the mature work of Edward Hopper—an artist for whom Holland has had a lifelong admiration.

The enduring themes in Holland’s paintings are the light, the space and simple architectural forms near the ocean, in New England, where he resides; he is really fond of windows, chairs, isolated houses and empty boats, docks, deserted views of the beach, with a sea almost always calm… Very rarely there is any presence to be seen, be it human or not, but we can occasionally see some vestige of it more or less close in time: a shirt hanging on the back of a chair, an open book, a cup of tea or coffee…

There is not much originality in his work –but he does not seek it or pretend it, either–; just great beauty and an extraordinary technical competence (the play of light and shadows leave us amazed (have a look at “Light on a Chair” below) …; most ripples and reflections on the water are masterly as well). There is silence too and, very often –as much as in Ed Hopper’s paintings–, an open way to meditation and -at least for me- toward some disquieting excursion into philosophy.

(Of course, true art does not require at all to be original. Most artists in painting, literature or music are not. On the other side, many original -even never seen- works are not art. There is not the least doubt in my mind that Jim Holland is a true artist.)

The Blue Shirt (2012 – oil on canvas)

(Unknown title, oil on canvas)

(Unknown title, oil on canvas)

[Several chairs near windows]

Blue Shirt 3 (oil on canvas)

The Green Room


You will find a second post on Jim Holland -with a small gallery of his marine paintings- here down:

Paintings of absence and melancholy (II) – Jim Holland’s empty boats

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12 thoughts on “Paintings of absence and melancholy (I) – Chairs and windows by Jim Holland

  1. These are to me reminiscent of childhood, in the ’50’s, scantily furnished houses, space, breathing room, freedom.
    Thank you for sharing bro !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re most welcome as always !!
      If you like these paintings, you could certainly enjoy some of those by Ed Hooper I keep on G+ in a collection (for Ari’s sake, since she was enthralled by his work as well as me) You could read there the comments she left on some posts, answering to P. Davis… who, in those times was stalking me – or better said, quite openly flirting and flattering ; God knows why – . And also revealing to me and to Ariel (since she didn’t know Hopper at all) that her studies on Arts, as stated on her G+ profile, were most probably a lie 🙂
      (I’m not sure if you receive my replies to your comms here… I’ll ask you later by mail.)
      Big hugs, phral !!


      1. Thank you, phral !
        Somewhat like Gmail, Outlook has problems at times. I didn’t get an inbox email notice, and there was much latency in the email showing up in my inbox, even though it is stamped 9:01 am. I do like them, and I will check out Ed Hooper’s work; I can read Ari’s comments, but not the other, since I blocked her, which is fine. Otherwise, I’ve just been quite overwhelmed by events, getting off of schedule, and buried in my g+ stuff. Big hugs to you, phral !!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, John ! I’ll publish on WP a long post with many paintings by Hopper and all of the comments and views written by Ariel , including those -more private- she deleted long ago when you told her about ‘the other”s intention. Not my own comments or any other persons, of course ; only hers .
    We had a Hopper’s painting reproduction at home in Malgrat (“The Long Leg”), in the dinning room , and also a big book about him with lots of pictures 🙂
    About “The Donald”, please, try not to get so much overwhelmed . I don’t think his election will drive the world to a worse way it would have gone with Mrs. Clinton . Real commands and instruction come from higher above , and if fact , maybe the next president will be a bit more resilient to follow them that the Godfather’s own preferred candidate, which was Clinton . So I guess . And the risk of an imminent conflict with Russia is not as hight now …


    1. Thank you Li ! I look forward to that! As far as The Donald, I wish I could be quite not so pessimistic. Generally, the Illuminati controls them, and they’re pretty much talking heads, but it is possible for them to get out of control, as we found out with George Bush. I think the Clinton war risk was mostly Putin hype, but she certainly is a NWO puppet, and at least he’ll shake up the Establishment status quo,,, just hope he doesn’t trigger a racist civil war, which we’re already on the brink of with blacks.
      There’s nothing I can do about it it; I think I’m about done with politics. Thanks again, bro !

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Soon, in France, we’ll have to deal with Marine Le Pen, in Austria and Germany with declared Nazis, Italy and other countries are also approaching (again!) fascism and mutual hatred to each other … just a century ago we were all amid a big war … the next one is just at the doors, I’m afraid . But I do not care anymore now for this sewer of a world . I do still mind a lot for good people , animals , nature , art , but what can I ( or you ) do ? …


    1. I’m afraid you are right; I don’t know if Putin sees Trump as a potential ally, or an easy mark – I’m afraid – a stupid, incompetent hothead “commander-in-chief”. The biggest mistake Obama made there was sending U.S./NATO troops and missiles into Eastern European countries on Russia’s borders. Now the EU and NATO are falling apart, and as you say, about to turn on each other, and Putin has strengthened and modernized his military where he can win a war in Europe with very little use, if any, of even tactical nukes. He already has control of the Eastern Mediterranean sea and airspace. The smartest thing Trump could do for the U.S., which he has proposed, is to pull out of NATO, or at least Eastern Europe, but then what will Europe do?
      Trump’s attitudes and policies do not bode well for disabled or retired people, which will effect me directly if he slashes Social Security, or crashes the dollar, with the stocks & bonds market already WAY overvalued. As you say, what can we do? . . . I don’t really have anywhere better to go, that I can get to or afford. Maybe try to forget about it and just play my guitar . . . take care bro, and enjoy art, nature what good we can find in the world.

      Liked by 1 person

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