About

About the picture on the masthead

The picture above is a triptych. It was done in acrylic in 2010, using many of the figures I have been interested in painting lately. I like to take the fanciful costumes of Venetian Carnival revellers and place them in incongruous settings, like the wonderful cathedrals I have visited in my travels. You can tell by this that I got my artistic start as a boy, drawing comic books. Every picture tells a story, but you don’t need to know what it means in order to enjoy its atmosphere.

About egg tempera painting

I took up egg tempera painting about 25 years ago. It’s the most useful way to paint subjects that take a particularly large amount of development and refinement.

Usually I will start off with preliminary studies in much simpler and more rapidly-executed media – photography, pen and ink drawing, pastel, and various combinations of acrylic with these materials. These sketches are comparatively quick, even when they’re not necessarily very easy.

For the current carnival series of paintings, I have quickly built up a portfolio of pastel and acrylic paintings of Venetian Carnival costumes and their models. The studies serve as the basis of a complex, constructed painting, such as my next project – The Battle between Carnival and Lent (watch this page).

About this blog

Watch over my shoulder while I try to follow an idea from the beginning sketch thru a finished painting. Hopefully, it will look like I know what I’m doing, and never make any mistakes. But the truth is, a lot of times things change once you’re in a creative situation, and you can’t know where things are going to go.

I’ve already realized that much of what I do to make a painting is unconscious. In having to think about my work, and document its daily progress, I’m noticing things for the first time – like my assumption that I smear the paint with my left hand, when in fact, I caught myself smudging it with my brush hand just as often.

About the artist

I’ve been painting for over 60 years. I went to art school, won prizes, studied abroad, taught, did commercial jobs, got in a gallery, made a reputation, blah blah blah, and have painted daily since 1956. My storage spaces are lined with rack upon rack of paintings, representing five decades of daily artwork. I paint because I want to, what I want to, and when I want to, which means right after breakfast until lunch, and then back into the studio until dinner. My wife suffers the agonies of the damned trying to get me to go on vacation.

56 comments on “About

  1. Jim, this is Nancy Gorman, a voice from the distant past. I sat for you a couple of times in 1960-61 when I was dating Robert Croker.

    Since 1965 I have shuttled back and forth from Georgia to California with a year in Reno thrown in. I am currently back in Atlanta (don’t know for how long) and would love to see your “rack upon rack” of work.

    I am particularly curious about the first painting you did of me, a lifesize standing nude. Do you still have it? I still have the portrait (clothed) you did of me and my friend Loretta with guitar and banjo, as well as one of Robert’s early paintings.

    I ran into a guy at the botanical garden who says he “totally” knows you, I think his name is Richmond? He is a sculptor currently doing large wood pieces. Small world, no?

    If you are in town and receiving, I would love the opportunity to visit with you and see what you’re up to these days. Just ‘e’ me if the idea strikes you favorably.

    Cheers,
    Nancy G

  2. Trying to reach Jim Yarbrough. I recently acquired from auction your etching from 1980 “Serenade”, which I love. Very interested to know who the musicians are, who is the conductor, was this sketched from life? Any information will be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for any response. Kathleen Charla, San Diego, CA

      • Hello Mr Jim Yarborough,

        Slightly off this topic, I felt compelled letting you know that I’m the proud owner of your original pencil etching, “Hollow Crucifixion”.

        I acquired it from a dear friend and mentor named Rick Rowe.

        Rick worked as sound engineer for Leonard Cohen and it was at one of Leonard’s performances you gifted Hollow Crucifixion to him marking it ” for L.C.”…

        Twenty years later, L.C. & R.R gifted it to me after graduating as sound mastering engineer, both, remembering my reaction after seeing it for the first time 6 years earlier…..

        It’s been with me for nearly fifteen years and until just recently found someone able to decipher your signature (no disrespect intended)……

        Without dough this is undeniably the finest detailed etching a human can do and I cant thank you enough for it…….

        Sincerely,
        Salvatore J. Marino

      • dear mr marino, i actually have a pretty clear memory of taking three or four prints to mr. cohen on the night of a concert he gave here in atlanta, back in the days when my now middle aged children were little bitty kids and we all went to see him in a very small concert hall. i think it was very kind of him to repurpose the print, to get it to someone who could enjoy it over a period of time, as i’m sure mr. cohen has been quite a gypsy over a great deal of his life. i’m quite pleased to hear that the print has continued to be enjoyed by someone, that someone being you. i’m really pleased you’ve enjoyed the print over time. jim

      • Hi Jim,
        It’s a pleasure to chat….

        My ties to Cohen were distant, few, and through his sound engineer, Rick Rowe, who says hello……

        I as an outsider looking in, — Cohen’s gypsy-ness was defiantly well put !!,,, lol…

        U mm,
        I’m almost certain Hollow Crucifixion is the original since it clearly shows frame holders indentation and carbon rubs off on finger .

        Please forgive my ignorance in this area,

        I am only accustom to seeing prints that look like a glorified photo copy’s and this is not that.

        any clarification over process would be greatly appreciated .

        My best you and family.

        Sincerely ,
        Sal

      • your print is an original. the process goes back to medieval armorers. pieces of copper are coated with a thin layer of wax and scratched thru with sharp etching needles. then the plate is submerged in nitric acid, which gets down into those lines, and when the plate is washed, there are lines etched into the plate. you put printer’s ink on the plate and buff it off so there’s only ink in the lines, and then you take damp 100% rag paper and lay it on the plate, followed by several soft rag blotters and a few sheets of wool felt, and you run it under an etching press. this is the original that you have; it’s a print, but it differs in subtle (or not) ways from every other print made from the same plate. there are many many ways to vary this basic process. you might enjoy the history of etching, if you care to look it up.

      • Hello Jim,
        I have a beautiful trial proof of Sisters of Mercy. It was given to me most likely in the mid 90’s by a co-worker in Georgia who couldn’t keep it in his home because he had young sons growing up. I never framed it and kept it sealed in the plastic folder as it was given to me. I am 70 now with a 16 year old granddaughter. I have yet to put it out and would like to know if you are interested in buying it back. If not, perhaps one of the models might be interested in purchasing it.
        I snipped open the seal of the plastic to check the condition of the art and it is in excellent condition.

  3. 1976…where were you? I was sitting for your etchings. I would love to hear from you. I am living in Colorado and finally have my own studio. I am doing mostly surreal mixed media and beaded mosaics.
    E-mail me!

    V

  4. Jim, I came across a framed picture that I have been trying to get information. The Documentation Certificate was attached to the back and it came from the Fine Art & Publishing at 2500 South Main Street in Keenesaw Georgia. I tried looking to see if the company still exsisted but do no fined any information.
    The picture is title FULL MOON, dated November 1981 print# JYAAP
    edition# 217/350, the certificate was dated March 1982 and a Ms Gail Hammock name was followed as President

    • Hi Merlinda,
      Was it an Etching? The print came from a company called Transart. They had local sellers and had home parties where people would choose their own mats, frames and prints or Fine Art. I also have been enjoying one of his etchings. It has been in my entrance foyer for over 30 yrs, It’s called “Light and Movement” Mr Yarbough must have been in his 40’s when he commissioned the piece. Hope this helps. Just saw this post today, First time visiting this blog. Best to you
      Patrick
      Shout out to you Mr.Yarbrough, (Jim) Thank you! I have enjoyed this for decades.

  5. Hi Jim… I am so happy to “find you” in cyberspace. How are you? How are Mike and Grace and Jay? Do you ever see Terry and Martha. I “see” Cassie on Facebook. I am doing well… still teaching. I like teaching as much as you like painting ;- ) Your paintings are getting more awesome all the time.

    Send me an email message at jtwing@vtc.edu and let me know how you’re doing.

    ~ Joyce

  6. Hi Jim,,,,,,

    Its a pleasure to hear from you.

    Thank you for explaining this print process, unfamiliar to me.

    To the best i know,,,, the most modern computers or Intaglio presses couldn’t reproduce as a carbon print and why i believed otherwise,,, completely fooled—Wow…

    Furthermore,,,
    What totally shocks me is how an idea to re-capture in such fine detail came to be for such a long time ago and is still in use today ,,,,, likely forever….

    As always, my best to you and family..

    Sincerely, Sal..

    PS: Yes,,, I’m defiantly looking up the History of Etching,,,,,
    just wish i had skills to draw. my expertise and passion is audio engineering and music composition…

    PSS: COOL knowing you have made what found it way to me;
    a pretty special , ” Hollow Crucifixion “!!

  7. Hi Jim,

    I went to art school during the time you were there. Others that you might remember were Ron Taylor and Conroy Hudlow. I have on my wall a small signed sepia study you gave me labeled “Goya painting the Black Paintings”. Even at this early date it shows your skill in perspective, values and composition and were far ahead of your classmates. Glad to see what you
    have done with your talent.

    Best regards,

    York Glass

    • dear york, i’m glad to know that you still have the drawing, and hopefully have enjoyed it over these several years. i do remember both ron taylor and conroy hudlow, as well as quite a few others from those years. the only one i am still in contact with is robert croker, who was in that same class for only a year. a number of other people from that class i have received news of their demise in recent years, as well as most of our faculty members there. you might find it amusing to hear that our entire art school has been acquired by savannah college of art, which is now a mile up peachtree road from where the art school was at that time. it isn’t infrequently that i think of things that occurred during those late ’50s and early ’60s, altho i am not yet old enough to get really preoccupied with the past, having more than enough to keep me busy in the present tense. thanks for sending word, back to work for me – on a painting. jim.

  8. I just stumbled across your blog. another voice from the past; conroy hudlow. York Glass got in touch with me recently also. Croker was one of the guys that shared the grotto with Ron Taylor and some others. I quit painting and practiced architecture for 30 years and started painting again about 4 years ago, have an etching press set up and am doing prints again. I’ve kept inb touch with Mari Eagerton and Jeanette Knox Connah. See them occassionally though they live far away. I feel like a 20th century painter stuck in the 21st. I’ve wondered what happened to you and others. hope you are well and happy. noticed you were born in Chattanooga. don’t think I ever knew that. So was I 4 years earlier.

    • dear conroy,

      i’m amazed that i have taken as long as two years to respond to your email (i blame the wife). it’s really nice to hear from you. i spoke to croker on the phone just last night, and hope to speak to him again this evening, as he is living in philadelphia, working at a government job, coordinating a bunch of government records to try to evaluate what’s worth keeping and how to get them all on line so they’re accessible to scholars. since he mentioned something about spending time in the studio, i assume he is doing some kind of visual art, tho he didn’t discuss it. as for me, i am sitting in a rented house in venice, italy, watching the pigeons outside after a rain. i’ve been painting all morning, and plan to try to get the piece i’m working on finished this afternoon or tomorrow. i have been in venice for about six weeks with my wife and a grandchild, painting and collecting a lot of material for a lot of future paintings back in atlanta, where i’ll go in another six weeks. i’ve discovered over the years that ‘m not much good for anything but painting, but fortunately my wife thinks i’m good for her too (he had to say that). in may upcoming, we will be back in atlanta, and i’ll have to start doing some larger works as well as some other amusing activities that i have scheduled. i’m doing a lot of work these days in pastel, some of which i buy and some of which i make. and that’s generally the kind of work i’m doing here in venice. oddly enough, i have become available as a figure model, since i’m such a craggy looking old thing now, and have also done a little bit of work as a movie extra. it’s been interesting getting into my later 70s, because a lot of the people we knew in art school are now deceased. but the ones that are tsill around, it’s really interesting to hear from. i understand whit connah is still in atlanta, not necessarily painting, but working avocationally as a jazz musician. in case you want to know any more about what i’m up to, my wife has put together a blog that is right up to date about what we’re doing here in venice. http://www.irishitinerary.wordpress.com. feel free to write back, and i’ll try to be more timely in my response.

      jim

      • and I just found your response. Your blog just pops up on my computer occasionally. Sounds like an interesting time in Venice. I am craggy but have never had an offer to figure model. I have past the middle aged Greek god phase. They do a lot of movies here in Mobile and I’ve thought about going to an extra call but never have. Maybe next time I’ll do it. I’m 81 now. Did a stint at Ga. Tech and the army before going to art school. Have become an avid bike rider and can ride 30 miles at 12-13 mph which I think is pretty good for an old fart. I hear about Whit from Jeanette and still keep in touch with Mari. Would love to see your work.

        conroy

  9. I’ll look forward to hearing. I’ve found Ronny Taylor’s email but haven’t written yet. York got in touch with me a few months ago. those were good days. it pisses me off that SCAD bought our art school. take care.

  10. It seems that Gallery Rodin has closed. I would like to sell one of your old paintings and donate the proceeds to charity. Whom do you suggest that I contact?

  11. Hello, Mr. Yarbrough.

    I acquired a beautiful painting of yours from our decorator Nadine Justice in 1999. It’s a back view of a woman toweling off near her bed. Circumstances dictate that I find it a new home. Do you have a dealer or other fans that you can put me in touch with?

    Thank you,

    Adam Shapiro
    404-798-8397
    adamshap66 at yahoo dot com

    • i’m afraid my dealers tend to go the way of all flesh faster than i do. you might contact mason murer, who has handled my work recently. good luck

  12. Mr. Yarbrough – I am wondering if you are the painter of a painting entitled “Grey Studio “. I am appraiser in GA and trying to ascertain the artist of this studio nude. There is also a well-detailed sketch of three nude male torsos twisting that I like signed by the same artist. Thanks, Valerie Hale, ISA CAPP

    • dear valerie,

      it could be me, but i’d have to see it to make a response, as the titles generally don’t mean anything. but i would have to see an image of the paintings in question.

      hope to hear from you,

      jim

  13. I inherited an etching. . firelight Figure. . Final proof. Can you tell me anything about I
    . The female nude looks native American. Is she? I love it.
    Pamela Martino
    Clarksburg, wv

    • dear pamela,

      the title, ‘firelight figure’, suggests an etching i remember doing, but if you could send me a photo of the print, i could be sure, and could give you more detail.

  14. Hello, Jim. I am Gayle Cater’s oldest daughter, Shelley. I have been packing up to move and was about to wrap up one of your etchings that hangs over my bed when I decided to do a search and see if I could find you. Et voila! I hope you are well. The etching I have is of two young women on a carousel. I’d love to know if it has a name, or is part of a series, and I’d be glad to send you a photo. I found it in Mom’s things after she passed in 1993, and had it framed. My mother really adored you and your whole family. I remember when Grace went with us to the beach on our family vacation sometime in the mid-70s. I also remember visiting your house and studio, and the thing that stands out the most to me was your record collection. So glad to see you have been tirelessly painting for so long and that your work still evokes some childhood nostalgia… a flavor of something familiar and loved. Best wishes to you and all your kin.

    • dear shelley,

      i think i remember the etching you’re speaking of, and it was as far as i remember, not part of a series, but just one of many solo pieces that i did at the time when i was doing a lot of etching.

      it’s really nice to be reminded of the time when grace went away with you and your family. it seems like it was another world so long ago, doesn’t it? grace is living in orlando now, working as a craftsman doing etching on glass (and has a business at the weekend auburndale market. you can find her on facebook – reds custom glass). my esteemed record collection has become all cds now, and i have an appallingly large number of pieces of music on cd. no more vinyl records in my collection; i gave them all away (actually, gave them to a friend to digitize, and haven’t seen them since). i spend a number of hours most days listening to the music, as i am doing at the moment.

      best, jim

  15. I found a Final Proof of what looks like an etching of an exotic nude woman reclining in front of a fireplace. Any info on this lovely piece?

    • i’d have to see it. if you will send me a picture…

      it sounds like an etching i made of a model that i worked with a good bit some 30 years ago. my recollection is that there was a fire in the fireplace, and the piece was a long horizontal design.

  16. Hello Jim,
    January, 18, 2015

    I recently acquired one of your lovely etchings from an estate sale. I would love to know when it was done and if it is an original. It is the etching of an antique doll or young Victorian girl. The piece is named “Vanessa” and is in black ink on paper. Also would love to know what the appraisal value might be. I love your work and love the Venice pieces with the mask I saw on your blog.
    Where could I acquire one of the pieces?

    I look forward to hearing back from you-

    Warm regards
    Camille Bovee
    camillerbovee@aol.com

    • dear camille.

      vanessa was one of a series of six etchings of antique dolls that i did for transart industries between 20-25 years ago. all of those editions were sold out within about six months. because i’m no longer in the business of manufacturing or marketing etchings, i do not keep track of what they might sell for on the open market. a professional gallery person could look these prints up on the internet and find out what comparable prints might have sold for in the last four to six months.

      i am in venice at the moment, and will be doing more of the venice pieces, and they will be available on our etsy site – https://www.etsy.com/shop/JeanneOfArt. as for the ones you saw perhaps further back in time, i have several in stock, and if i know which one you like, i can find it and ship it to you. of course, this will have to wait until i’m back at home, in mid-april.

      thanks for your attention, and i hope you will continue to follow the work we put up while we’re here.

    • dear pamela,

      if you’re discussing the etching i remember, i would have etched the young woman from life, sitting in front of the fireplace in my living room when i was on johnson ferry road in east marietta. i remember her having a lot of very dark, near black hair, and i can see how you might identify her as indian, but i do not think she was. i think i did a number of pieces of her, and i remember them fondly.

      jim

    • why yes i am. i’m glad to know you have a print of it. if it was published by transart designs of marietta ga, then i am sure it’s me; otherwise i would need to see a photo of the print to make sure. they always changed the names on the prints i made them…

  17. Just acquired Daughter of the moon 11/75 out of estate sale , would like any info about it , looks Art Deco style, thanks so much john k

    • i remember the print reasonably well. to the best of my recollection it is a mezzotint, and i thought it was a very effective print when i made it. it’s interesting to me that i can remember etchings and what their titles were when they were done over 20 years ago. hope you enjoy it.

    • I have a large panting or his wife in a 3/way mirrow brushing her hair. Beautifuly fraimed that I bought for $3900.00 15+yrs. ago. I called him soon after and he told me about the history. I bought it because It looked exactly like I did on my wedding day. We talked a few times and I even offerered to sell it back to him for what I paid in case his family wanted it.We were supposed to get together but time & schedules got in the way. He was such a great soul and so funny talking to him. I’m computer stupid so since I can’t find his heirs I’m ready to sell it for &5500.00 OBO anyone else interested is welcome to reply & bid Thanks, Irene ph. 4048734984

  18. Hi, I recently framed a limited edition print of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. I posted on my FB page, under ReneEifeAbray just this AM. I’ve relocated from Philadelphia area to St Marys, GA. I’d love to find a listing of Jim’s shows in I want to see more of his work. Please advise website, etc. where I can better follow. Thank you.

    • sorry, there are no shows. jim is still painting, and this is currently the only place you can see his work, unless you drop by the studio.

  19. Dear Mr. Yarbrough,
    I was looking for a public domain painting of Moses & Aaron with the golden calf for a poster & Scripture when I found yours. I would not want to usurp your rights of course, so I’m not going to use it. I just wanted to tell you that your work is beautiful. After seeing the painting, I looked through your gallery. Wow. Just amazing work!

  20. Dear Mr. Yarbrough-

    I hope you remember us! You painted a huge (81×91) painting for our home in Suwanee about 13 or 14 years ago. We had it proudly on displayed over our fireplace until we moved 5 years. I have it safely stored in my garage at the moment. Unfortunately, we’re moving again and I will not have the space to hang it. I’m at lost as to where to start to find your beautiful painting a new home. Please send me your email so I can send a picture of your painting. Warmest regards, Melanie

    • dear melanie, downsizing is such a bother. you can contact me at demotivation at hotmail. i’d love to see the painting again. all the best, jim

      • I can’t find you on hotmail..must be something I’m doing wrong on my end. Please contact me. My cell is [snip] or you can reach me via email at [snip]. Thank you!

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