Holiday Exhibition: New Paintings of Italy, Oakland & San Francisco

Join me in my studio the weekends of

Dec 11-12  &  18-19 from Noon to 5 PM

View my recent work and enjoy

wine, cheese and cappuccinos.

351 Lewis St. Oak. 94607



My ongoing  Global Warming Series led me to an interest in the depiction of water. I took full advantage of  the breathtaking, blue-green waters of the Ligurian Sea during the five days I stayed in Portovenere, Italy. This port faces the Bay of La Spezia which was a playground for the Romantic poets. Italy is a touchstone for me. Here I can reflect on most of western history and also paint reflections of that history in its landscape and its buildings.

Scroll down to the previous blog or click here if you wish to view the eight paintings I created in Italy.

The waters of the Pacific enter an ultramodern port along Oakland's shores:


I decided to return and re-paint the Chronicle from a slightly different angle than just over a year ago. Last year I spent March and April painting the building as more than a hundred employees left the struggling newspaper. My stimulating exchanges with reporters, editors and other employees (as well as that painting) may be viewed at News in the News Pt 2: The Once and Future Chronicle in the archives of this blog.

View many more paintings like these in my exhibition.

I look forward to seeing you!

Global Warming Paintings at the San Francisco Federal Building: March 18 - June 1, 2010

My two Global Warming Triptychs, set in San Francisco and in Oakland, will be on exhibition at the San Francisco Federal Building, 90 7th St (at Mission) from March 18 to June 1. The exhibition will occupy the ground level of the lobby. To purchase prints of the paintings shown in this blog go to "Featured Works" in the Shop.

Across a Hundred Years, oil on canvas, 2007

This is an appropriate location to showcase the Series for two reasons.

1. This building, designed by Thom Mayne, is the first 'green' Federal Building in the country.

2. The idea for this series occurred to me while I was painting this building  from the corner of Mission and 7th St. That painting "Across a Hundred Years" is included in the exhibition.

The Global Warming Series is an invitation to you to actively imagine our future if global warming remains unchecked. These paintings are not  predictions. They are science fiction. There are too many variables for us to predict the future of our planet with any precision. Only by exercising our imagination can we begin to grasp the enormity of the effect our species is having on this planet, and, perhaps, take measures to lessen our impact.

Here are the central panels of the two Triptychs:

For San Francisco

San Francisco Global Warming Triptych # 2, oil on canvas, 2008

For Oakland

Oakland Global Warming Triptych # 2, oil on canvas, 2009

Also on exhibition will my recent painting of the Chronicle, and a ten foot wide painting of the Bay Bridge both created on location in San Francisco:

Storm Clouds over the Chronicle, oil on canvas, 2009
Bay Bridge Panorama, oil/canvas, 2007

The Federal Building is open to those who wish to view my exhibition. Please inform security at the front door of your interest.  If you intend to bring a large group contact Conference Center manager, Mike Ladd, in advance at 415.625-2756 , 415.948.8531 [email protected]

Shoeshine at 13th and Franklin, downtown Oakland

"Interesting painting." the old man said as I was working on this canvas today. "Well it's an interesting place to work. Shoeshine stands are like barber shops. Always good conversation."

"That's what I tell my friends. Forget the soaps on TV. Go to downtown Oakland: it's a lot more entertaining."

The old man is right and here are a few excerpts from my diary which prove it.

Holdsworth Painting Shoeshine 13th Franklin Oakland Jim Hines
Holdsworth Painting Shoeshine 13th Franklin Oakland Jim Hines

January 14th

I started my painting of the shoeshine stand today just a block away from the site of my last Oakland painting. Early afternoon a handsome, elderly gentleman sat down to have his shoes shined. Glenn had barely started when an older guy, a retired shoe shiner, came up and started criticizing his work.

"Not like that! You gotta clean em properly first!"

He began working on the customer's other shoe. Two shoes. Two shoe shiners. Quite a sight. Glenn finally stepped aside and let him finish the job. The handsome gentleman stepped down and looked approvingly at  his sparkling shoes.

I'd only been partly attending the conversation but my ears perked up when I heard the retired shoe shiner say "...two Olympic gold medals right?"


" This man was the fastest man in the world at the Mexico Olympics in '68. He held the record for fifteen years. We both went to McClymonds High School here in Oakland."

Turns out the man with the sparking black shoes was Jim Hines.

The conversation moved on to his running against race horses in '85.

"I won four out of the five races. The fifth race was at Golden Gate Fields. If I'd won that race I would have collected a large jackpot. But they set me up. You see I was supposed to run on a wooden track next to the horse. There's no way a man can run on the same surface as the  horses at the track. But when I got to Golden Gate Fields they told me the trucks carrying the wooden track had been delayed. Delayed. Can you believe it? I lost that race. Golden Gate Fields got a full house and they never had to pay me the jackpot."

January 20th

It's Obama Day in Oakland. People are in a festive mood. There's a preacher who stops by everyday. He's explaining the numerical significance of Obama's election.

"Forty years from Martin Luther King's assassination to the election of Obama. We've been wandering in the wilderness like Moses for forty years, but our time has come." He goes on to cite the forty days and forty nights that led to Noah's flood." Then on to many other instances that illustrate the significance of this number. His numerological musings become abstruse, talmudic. My head starts to spin and I turn all my attention back to the painting.

Feb 3rd

Today, just back from Clearlake, I hurried out onto the street to continue the shoeshine painting. I'd been interrupted by rain and couldn't finish it before I left. I was hoping to put Glenn in the picture but neither he nor his stand were here. People told me he wasn't here yesterday either. Someone suggested he might have gone to visit relatives in Chicago. How am I going to finish this painting? A shoeshine stand with a customer already in the seat and no shoeshine man. I suppose I could title it "Waiting for Glenn."

Feb 4th

I phoned Blade, the barber, this morning. His business is a couple of doors down from Glenn. He told me Glenn was back so I returned to my site. While he posed I asked him where he'd been.

"I was asleep."

For two days?"


Turns out he wasn't feeling so good Sunday night so he took a Tylenol and a Vicodin to relax and go to sleep. The preacher arrived as he was explaining this to me.

"Did you know Glenn just slept for forty eight hours?" I asked him.

"Yes, I had to tell him what day it was this morning. He thought it was Tuesday."