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James C. Christensen - Man Taking a Leek on a Tiled Wall for a Walk -  OPEN EDITION PRINT Published by the Greenwich Workshop

          Man Taking a Leek on a Tiled Wall for a Walk
by James C. Christensen


Image Size: 16"w x 11"h.
Published: April 2015

There are times I paint a painting for no reason other than the delight of a silly or absurd word. Sometimes, it works in reverse. While we were living in Madrid, I began working on an image of a man taking his pet shallot for a walk. I asked my wife, Carole, if she would buy a shallot so I could finish the painting.

“Can’t you use a green onion?” she asked.

“No,” I said, “that’s a silly pet. Nobody would have a green onion for a pet.”

Carole looked for weeks. I think she even had regiments of her friends scouring surrounding counties for shallots. There were no shallots anywhere in Madrid. I think they even checked parts of Barcelona.

Finally one day, Carole came home triumphant and excited. “I’ve found what you wanted,” she said and handed me a paper sack from the new grocery store.

It was just a bunch of leeks.

“No, that is not right,” I said, returning the sack. “These are leeks, not shallots.”

Carole looked me square in the eye, handed the leeks back and said, “James, finish the painting.”

So, that’s how "Man Taking a Leek on a Tiled Wall for a Walk." The play on words came after the fact.

So, yes, the image is great fun. The question is where would you hang it? In the kitchen? The bathroom? The man-cave? Really, it goes anywhere a little laughter is in order. Each canvas comes with the title silk-screened on a brass name plate to be sure that the title of this gem is part of the presentation. If you can’t decide whether you want to hang yours in the kitchen and the loo, let us recommend one for each.

James C. Christensen
James C. Christensen was born in 1942 and raised in Culver City, California. He studied painting at Brigham Young University as well as the University of California at Los Angeles before finishing his formal education at BYU. Since then he has had one-man shows in the West and the Northeast and his work is prized in collections throughout the United States and Europe. Opulent, colorful, Shakespearean, extraordinary: All words that aptly portray Christensen’s most popular artworks that have also been described as “creations from the land a little left of reality.” He has created a Shakespearean Island, an entire undersea world and a village of Mother Goose characters. But when he isn’t giving life to other’s worlds, he paints a place of his own. The result is a unique kinetic kingdom where recognizable human emotions are often manifested as fish or fowl, utilizing the viewer’s own imagination as no other artist can. His art includes unique people, places and things that exist somewhere between adult dreams and childhood memories. “I don’t think of myself as a fantasy artist,” said Christensen. “I certainly have an affinity for myths, fables and ancient lore, but I also find time to create landscapes and other subjects which include commissions. Recent projects, for example, include a mural commission for a conference center in Nauvoo, Illinois, a poster for the 2001 Utah Shakespearean Festival and a sculpture for Nu-Skin. “What’s truly important to me is that my art is introspective and in turn challenges the mind’s eye of those who view it regardless of the subject matter.” The artist has been commissioned by both Time/Life Books and Omni to create illustrations for their publications and his work has appeared in the prestigious American Illustration Annual and Japan’s Outstanding American Illustrators. Christensen has also won all the professional art honors the World Science Fiction Convention can bestow, as well as multiple Chesley Awards from the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists. Christensen’s fine art appears as works of art in porcelain and brass from The Greenwich Workshop Collection; artist-inspired products such as note cards, silk ties and books are also available. His first book, A Journey of the Imagination: The Art of James Christensen, was published to great acclaim in 1994. His second, the adventure fantasy Voyage of the Basset, has more than 75,000 copies in print. His subsequent book include the inventive Rhymes & Reasons, published in May 1997, Parables (written by Robert Millet, 1999), The Personal Illumination Series and The Personal Illumination Journal (2000), a series of interactive journals, A Shakespeare Sketchbook (2001) and James Christensen, Foremost Fantasy Artist (2001). Christensen was recently designated as a “Utah Art Treasure,” one of Utah’s Top 100 Artists by the Springville Museum of Art and received the Governor’s Award for Art awarded by the Utah Arts Council recognizing the significance of Christensen’s artwork to Utah’s cultural communities. He was inducted into the U.S. Art magazine’s Hall of Fame. Jim and his wife, Carole, co-chair the Mormon Arts Foundation.


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