The knife is in your teeth, you are on the side of what is to be, you will not falter at the throat of this cold night. Taking that one dramatic leap to what really is, you will emerge as an important figure. Your heart and brain are steel, and this city's a magnet. How did it get to be so late in the day, or early in the morning, your angel or devil. The light pulls itself up for the last time and I put down my paintbrush in a hurry of color and flash. I have a memory of something that happened to me many years ago and I put down the brush for good and know that it's all over for today. Yours is the beat generation of the future. It's details unclear, and its meaning undeclared. Like an undeclared war. What was I? What happened today? What have I become? The seperate history of all, the future history of each: A head modelled after the antique. I imagine the future as an oil stick drawing, the outlines blurry and familiar. A few details appear, just a few, strengthened with charcoal, a complete lie. I don't see anything at all, except a set of teeth modelled after my anxiety, then lost in profile.


trick or treat

Typically a Tuesday at work is a low caliber affair. I have a weekly meeting that takes an hour or a little more, and then I organize the events of the week and set about getting a crew scheduled, or sequences set up for art coming down, or art going up. Today was a "fun" surprise day. I go about doing site visits to various parts of the campus, often to see entry and exit points, how large some of the works are that are being moved, etc. Well, today as I was taking a site visit in, I passed by the Ursala Von Rydingsvard sculpture we have here and found that some of the employees had made, and attatched to the sculpture, some signage. As the pictures show, it had a theme. I don't have issue with people inter-acting with the works of art as long as they don't stab, stick, or poke into the works. Well some of the signs were stabbed, poked, and stuck into the wood. Chips of the sculpture, which is made of cedar, were on the ground around the work. It can take the wind out of your sails somedays. I love the collection I tend to here, and it's getting to a point sometimes where it makes me hostile to the idea of making anything that the public could have access to. I again don't mind dialogue, in fact, I believe I'm pretty gifted about talking, or explaining what, where, and how such works exist. The part of the double edge I get cut by is when folks feel the need to act out on works of art. It feels at times, like I'm back in high school out here.

burning memories

1991 Galleria Potatohead - for my second show at Potatohead I proceeded with a body of work that was part homage, and part fly by the seat of my pants. I had made up my mind at the time that I was going to make a big splash, or at least, a less than boring show at the gallery. I was using roofing tar, gold leaf, and found tin and lead as a medium, and setting it a blaze in order to get a surface that was unique. It was all that alchemy stuff that was in the air at the time. I titled the showing of this work, Angels And Devils[ying/yang, up/down, a common thread for me]. For the opening of the show, I walked in with a smoldering can of roofing tar, giving the gallery both a flavor of what my studio often smelled like, and to add a little incense. Incenting it did, plenty of folks left, but those who stuck it out were entertained by the wonderful music of Roland Barker[turning down Pearl Jam for their first show], and some fine artistic legends of Seattle of the time. Steven Jesse Bernstein, Jay Steensma, George Chacona, Spike Mafford, Billski, Stare, Ann Gerber[also purchased a piece, which is part of the Seattle Art Museum Collection], R. Allen Jensen, Brandon Zebold, Michael Spafford, all in attendence. It stays in my mind as a wonderful moment, and really one of the few times I felt nearly invincible.


page IV

Page 4 from the new sketchbook for August. Warm ups are go!


page III

Just to keep you all up on the ongoing sketchbook warmups, I present page three for your enjoyment, or horror. It's been cracking me up to play again in my sketchbook. It feels like a timewarp; I can't explain it any better than that. Enjoy!

stirring the pot

[sketch for hotel lobby painting]

Here is the beginning of some sketches for the commission that I've been asked to do. The client wants some sketches to look and then choose from. So here are the first two, and I'm working on four more. They saw this work below...

[Certain Shots - Oil on Canvas - 30" x 40" - 2004]

...from my show in Minneapolis a few years ago, and wanted to know if I could throw in some baseball and football elements. This is one of those moments that one swallows thier pride and says, alright, if Andy Warhol can do it, well so can I. Choosing to remain liquid is a very difficult choice I'm finding as I get older. I actually like to be dared, so, I look at this circumstance in that manner, and proceed at both what I do, and perhaps what the client will enjoy. I'll keep you all up to date on things as they progress.


Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork

Been having a ongoing debate with an employee where I work, here is the gist of it...He sees an anti-christian artwork, and wants it taken off the campus, never to be seen again. The work is a woodblock on paper titled, The Shillelagh Tree[pictured above], by artist John Buck. I have had to remove so much art in the last two years from the walls, never to placed again, and I think, well I know, I've hit a wall with it, so exhasted of people projecting some idea outside the artwork, that I have drawn a line in the sand. Here is the ongoing email exchange that I'm embroiled in...


From: [unamed employee/offended by artwork]
Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 3:48 PM
Harold Hollingsworth
Subject: FW: Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork in Building [removed]

Sent: Monday, August 21, 2006 3:44 PM

Subject: Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork in Building [removed]


While going to the [remove]rd floor in Building [removed], I noticed a very offensive painting in the stairwell. It's called "The Shillelagh Tree." It is overtly anti-Christian showing:

1) a Cross stuck in a pot of gold
2) a skeleton-face in an Irish hat, holding a scepter with a Cross at the top
3) Churches burning in the background

4) an "unhappy" human head with a Cross etched or painted on its forehead

5) a large Cross in among much smaller headstones in a cemetery, clearly not indicating a Christian cemetery

This is without question anti-Christian and extremely offensive. I strongly suggest it be removed and not displayed elsewhere.

Would [company name removed] find it more acceptable to have a Star of David in place of the Cross, or possibly any number of Islamic religious symbols, with Synagogues and Mosques burning in the background? I'm sure not. So why would [company we work for name removed] find it somehow acceptable to denigrate Christian religious symbols?

The time I spent writing this email was not charged to [company name removed] - strictly on my own time.


[name removed]

From: Harold Hollingsworth
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 3:10 PM
To: [employee name removed/employee offended]
Subject: RE: Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork in Building [removed]

Named after a village in Ireland, the Shillelagh is a short club (approximately 20-24") that was carried as a defense against muggers and thieves in days of olde. Also known as a Cudgel and still very popular today, they are kept in homes and cars throughout Ireland for the same purpose. On rare occasions while searching for Walking Sticks, Staffs, or Canes, and using a very keen eye, Behold! A Shillelagh.

John Buck's work is about all things Irish, not anit-christian. The Shillelagh Tree is a tree by which all walks of faith reach for a branch and create a cane, for walking. What you see as a church burning is actually a chuch illuminated, celebrated, and the pot of gold is as Irish as it gets, and the cross is a tie in to both Irish Catholic faith being tied to Irish folk culture The evil character that you see with the cross on his forehead is often noted as a reference to resitence images used thru the years in the north to the rule of the English in the Territories to the north The other charactor is just wearing a common Irish Stove top hat. This is so far from anti Christian, it is inspired by Irish folklore, so get your facts straight, and don't be afraid of the art collection. There are no anti Christian, muslim, or Jewish works in the collection, and I should know, I've worked with the collection for three years now.

Harold Hollingsworth

-----Original Message-----
From:[offended employee]
Sent: Wed 8/23/2006 3:49 PM
To: Harold Hollingsworth
Subject: RE: Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork in Building [removed]

Hello Harold,

I still have aunts, uncles and cousins in Ireland. So I'm somewhat familiar with Ireland. [family last name/something Irish] is an Irish name, related to several other families in Southern Ireland. Some of my relatives a couple generations ago ran guns. So I know a bit about it.

The Shillelagh is not what is shown in the "artwork," nor is it a walking stick. The "artwork" depicts a staff, and not just a staff, but a staff with a Cross at its top. I'm sure you've seen the Pope carry his staff which looks "oddly" very similar.

The Cross in the cemetery is clearly being shown as another tomb stone, not representing the cemetery as a Christian cemetery in anyway.

Where you got "The Shillelagh Tree is a tree by which all walks of faith ..." I have absolutely no idea. No other faiths - zero - are depicted, other than Christian.

As for "illuminated" Churches - based on viewing the entire "piece of art" that is completely unlikely.

The "character" as you call it wearing the Irish hat is a skeleton. The "artist" picked a skeleton for a reason. It depicts death - not joy, life, celebration or happiness. It is not some joy filled character as you are alluding to.

Placing a Cross in the pot of gold is not "Irish." It's offensive, extremely offensive, and denigrates all the Cross stands for.

Replace the Churches with Synagogues and with Mosques, and replace the Crosses with the Star of David and with any Islamic symbol you like - then proudly display that and see how it is responded to.


[name removed/offended employee]

-----Original Message-----
From: Harold Hollingsworth
Sent: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 5:40 PM
To: [unamed employee/offended by art by John Buck]
Subject: RE: Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork in Building [removed]

[named removed/offended employee]

Always enjoyable to have a heated and passionate exchange on the art in the collection. A broadening of ones ability to see things differently makes this campus a wonderful place to work, sometimes challenging. I see it, and probably others as well, a bit differently. The collection is a challenging thing at times, and just because you see it the way you do, doesn't mean it's evil, and should be hidden from view, is that really a solution? Is that the American or [unamed company] way? Do I, or others see the art collection as you, probably not? I have followed John Buck's career for sometime, He lives in Montana with his wife and fellow artist Deborah Butterfield, a very talented scuplture artist in her own right. Here is a few links to other works by him, take a look for just a second, and see if you get a bit of where he is coming from...





I just hope you take a moment to think a bit outside the box, look from a different perspective, it's how we here at [unamed company] have been so successful with what we do and how we do it. I apologise if I was passionate, and defensive in my response, but I react out of love for this collection of art that we here at [unamed company] have spent years putting together. I hope you take all this in, and really think about what you are saying.

Harold Hollingsworth
Art Preparator

-----Original Message-----
From: [offended employee]
Sent: Wed 8/23/2006 6:12 PM
To: Harold Hollingsworth
Subject: RE: Concerns with Anti-Christian Artwork in Building [removed]


Your view of the "art" is yours and yours alone. Majority rule doesn't apply - "I see it, and probably others as well ..." Art is individual. This artist found it necessary to misuse and clearly abuse a key Christian religious symbol - the Holy Cross. I did not call it evil as you suggested. I call it blatantly abusive and derisive. Meaningless but for the ill will and pain it is meant to cause.

Note he does not use a Crucifix which would denote the Catholic faith. He repeatedly uses a Cross denoting all Christians, which includes Catholics.

[name removed/offended employee]

Dear [name removed/offended employee]

I would say the same, it's your view, and yours alone. The artist did nothing that is abusive, and just because you see it as a christian symbol that is being abused, another can say it is a tie in to both catholic/christian and Irish heritage. I say it isn't blatantly abusive and not derisive, and to conote it as meaningless but for ill will, again is your, and your view alone, as you are the only one I'm currently chatting about this with. People, artists, and writers have for years used symbols as a part of their works. Again, stating something as evil is a big jump, you better know your facts, and be prepared to back them up, and part of that is knowing what the artists intent is, and in this case, it ain't anti-christian, and certainly is not created to cause pain. John Buck is a great American, and International artist, sweet, caring, and a very pleasurable person. We have over 4500 artworks from artists of national, and international talent in the collection, if one wants, one can see and place their own meanings and interpretations on every single work in the collection. Causing pain is not this works intention, it's more in line with Mexican Day of the Dead folklore than that of Anti-christian sentiments, so again, Fear No Art! Pain is trying to get caught up with [removed competing company]and taking back market share from [another competing company]. This piece is inspired and rooted in Irish Folklore, and perhaps some semblence of play with those symbols, nothing more, nothing less.




-first page of the new sketchbook

-second page of the new sketchbook, oilstick on paper

-CD-R cover for some available artworks

Here are the first few pages in my August Sketchbook and a CD-R cover page for a disc of images that are available as of August. I feel like I'm picking up from where I left off years ago when I last kept a sketchbook, drawing like a primitive. It's something that I stopped doing so many years ago, as I felt that it was to much in fashion, and that I had to play the oppisite side of the road. I must say it does loosen me up to begin work on canvas's though, and thus I look at it like stretching. It feels like the work that Randy Jones now owns, one section down from this posting, so it is like riding a bike I suppose?
The last picture here is of a cover to a CD-R that I made for some folks around Seattle here that were asking about works of mine that were available. I haven't placed myself out and about in town in a long stretch, so it felt good to get pro-active and burn some CD's of images and pass them around to some dealers here. I'm working on another commission for a lobby of a new hotel here in Seattle, it should be fun, and I'll of course let you all in on the progress as it goes. I submit sketches here in a week or so, then the client will pick, and I'll set it up, and knock it out.



I recieved a wonderful email yesterday, and attatched was a picture I made over 15 years ago, which was great to see. I was hoping in some small way that perhaps by starting this blog, I would encounter some of my lost sheep, works that sold or I traded, or found their way into someones life. When I was with the Linda Farris Gallery, I never knew, and that was the deal with her, who had my work. In this case I gave this drawing to a friend of mine, Roland Barker, a very talented musician, whose music was very impactful on me right after college. My friend Blaine introduced me to his stuff, which at the time sounded a bit like Harold Budd, or Brian Eno's Music for Airports. My first solo show at Galleria Potatohead in Belltown in 1991, I picked Roland to play his music, and the other choice I had was to allow a newly put together band that was practicing below the gallery called Pearl Jam. I went with Roland.

Hi Harold,

I've been reading your blog for a little while. I looked you up
because I have a painting of yours, and I was interested in who you
were. You seem like a stand-up guy. I hope you succeed with
whatever transformations you're working on in life. Maybe you'll be
happy at this point to hear from a total stranger and to know that
your painting is one of my prized possessions-- i really get along
with its post-apocalyptic cave painting vibe. Here it is in my studio.

Roland gave it to me a number (5?) of years ago when he was getting
rid of everything and moving to Findhorn. We haven't spoken for a
while but I think he's still happily shacked up in Hawaii.

Well, keep up the good work, and maybe we'll meet around town one of
these days now that I'm aware of your cultural events and such. I'm
working hard on composing a show of visual music I'm playing in a
month, myself. So I guess part of what i'm doing now is

all the best,
Randy Jones

Tell me when you play Randy, I'll come see and listen.


studio panarama

My turn to show a 360 of the studio here on Capital Hill, all cleaned up and in action


hung out with Dennis Hollingsworth

While at work today, I was informed that some labels were missing from some artworks in a building I tend. Now the way I get the info is in an email from the Art Collection offices. It is usually a number code, so only when I go to the database and look the number up do I know who, or what artist it is. Well, once I typed in the number, low and behold, two ink drawings by one Dennis Hollingsworth. So off to the location I went, labels in hand, to spend a very little bit of time with one Dennis Hollingsworth; actually made my afternoon! Left to right, China Canal, and Holland, both are sumi ink on paper, dated 1996. Exhibited at Meyerson & Nowinski Gallery.



Oil On Wood Panel
Oil, Acrylic, Collaged Paper

I've been staring at some work I did a few months ago, and find myself a touch puzzled by my own actions. Unlike many starts, I know the origins of this body of work. It started, in of all places, with me discovering some early Bauhaus fonts, and then solidified after visiting the Bauhaus Archives when I was in Berlin Germany a couple summers back. I took the X from the alphabet, and basically looped it. I was also going thru a intense love affair with slot car racing here in my studio; I had the space to build large tracks, using 1/32nd scale scalectrix track and a variety of new and vintage slots, made available thru purchases on eBay, and made some rather large track variations, that of course, looped.
I strung this idea together for a good couple of years, and then hit a wall earlier in the summer, when I felt I was getting to tight, to pre-occupied with set pattern, and went about loosening my work again. I also felt I had a dead end on my hands and the energy to do work was less exciting, or interesting, then of all things, going to my job. I now feel like, with the studio all clean
[pictures of the new, minimal clutter studio to follow soon], junk thrown away, and work really rolling along I can look back and see the clutter, both in the work I was making, and in my space here on Capital Hill. It doesn't probably exist on the surface of these paintings, and I still like this work, but it is now like looking at a scrapebook, a memory, a snapshot. These hooks one can snag upon are probably common to artists, and I think it good to remind myself to keep myself loose, work a bit harder, and let certain associations bounce, and if they don't then let them sink to the bottom. I think I'm in a good space these days. But fuck it, I could go back to doing these again, just watch me...



Starting where I left off, in my new sketchbook, doing more automatic drawings. Like stretching old muscles, feels awkward, and uncomfortable, I think this is good, I've spent to long working with very set patterns, and edges, I'll keep this as part of my starting ritual. It's good as well, to be using oil sticks and charcoal like I once did, loose, and gesturally.


sketchbook pages

I'm still at it, cleaning the studio, making edits in my personal workspace, getting myself down to minimal distractions. I came across a sketchbook from a show I had at the Linda Farris Gallery in 1993. I was reading lots of Rimbaud, and Artaud, a carry over from college. I was very excited about automatic drawing and the results of not editing myself, using almost pure instinct to guide me. I miss doing work this way, it is liberating. Results always varied, ususally to a negative end, but when things came together, and I knew when to stop, well, I can still see the results as a success, even 13 years later. I have a new sketchbook here thanks to Laura Matzer bringing me one back from a conference in Indianapolis recently. I liked having one before, and just sort of drifted from having worked with one for the last few years. I'll keep you posted on what might be cooking.



More cleaning, and more found images from my not to distant past, a nice Sepia print from my photographing brother, Johnny Hollingsworth. This reminds me, I should go out and skateboard soon, I loved how it got my legs burning, and gave me a really good aerobic workout. Now the flipside is, I found that my mind liked to push, go for higher air, kick that backside air out, push harder, and then, SNAP, wrist breakage! So just carving, perhaps a backside grind or two, just a nice flow and I'll see you at the Burien Bowls!


cleaning up

I'm in the midst of cleaning my studio up and came upon a 1988 photo of myself taken while I was at Western Washington University. It cracked me up, all that hair, especially now that I'm nearly bald. I recall how I had this look, thought it part of the act of being a painter, or an artist. I even recall how full of myself I was, it was common to hear folks refer to me as an asshole.

Invites and Ads

Esther Claypool Gallery 2001

Esther Claypool Gallery 1999

ARTnews advertisment 1998 for a show at Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Some various invites from some of the shows I've had over the course of the last 8 years.


First Thursday

Jeffry Mitchell at the James Harris Gallery

James Harris of the James Harris Gallery

Director of the Microsoft Art Collection, Laura Matzer and her husband Tom

Collin Shutz, Jeffry Mitchell, and Mary Ann Peters have some really good drawings up at the James Harris Gallery. The gallery is collaborating with Jill Newhouse in New York to present a show titled, Junctions: Selected Drawings from Contemporary Artist and Modern Masters.
Davidson Contemporary has two shows up, Works on Paper, and a solo show of Dan Gualdoni, who did a
Ballinglen Art Foundation residency in County Mayo in Ireland and his paintings capture a beautiful atmospheric quality that is formed by translucent layers of color.
G.Gibson Gallery is showing Iain Stewart and Alicia Berger. Seems like an odd pairing, Alicia Berger is doing pop paintings using polk-a-dots, and Iain Stewart does very quiet photographs
captured in the early morning light, or as the daylight was fading at the end of the day. I liked both sets of work differently, and in the end, that works.
Howard House Gallery continues a show titled, New Sculpture Survey. Eric Geschke had a fun piece titled Idealized Explosion made of
polyurethane plastic, styrofoam, plaster, wood, aluminum, and acrylic. A charming piece by Diem Chau of carved Crayola's titled, Story Telling, was one of my favorites in the show.
Again it was a fun night out, weather was great, always good to see friends, both showing, and bumping into.