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My beginnings as an artist

October 22, 2009

jim child magic

While going through a very old pile of negatives from my childhood, my Mom dug up a couple oldies that I thought were pretty cute and interesting.

I forget sometimes that one of my early childhood dreams was to be a magician, years before I thought about being an artist. I did make many of my own magic tricks which I painted with magic-like designs.

I guess, besides crayon drawings in school, that was my beginning as an artist.

This picture below is me with my teenage “Hell with the rules” attitude.

I am glad that my teen kids don’t have an attitude like I did. I think it’s because I have such an adult ” Hell with the rules” attitude, they rebel by acting normal.

jim child teenager


Woodstock…40 years later

October 12, 2009

woodstock book cover 10.09

I had just graduated high school and was two years into my career as an artist when this concert happened which featured much of the music that was an inspiration for my art. The concert was called “Woodstock“. The year was 1969.

Artie Kornfeld, the creator of the Woodstock music festival, has just released his first book (click for more info) telling the story of this historical concert on it’s 40th anniversary.

Artie, for those not familiar, wrote many of the classic songs of those times such as “Dead Man’s Curve” (with Brian Wilson), “The Pied Piper” and many others. He was also the Vice President of Capital Records for 12 years during the time I painted the album cover for Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” record.

And more importantly to me, he was responsible for signing Seger to Capital which, had he not, my album cover would not have won the Grammy for Best Album Package 1980, nor would I have had the experience that taught me how to paint the horses which I had no clue how to paint at the time!

So I am honored to have my art used to illustrate this book about the greatest rock concert in history, told by it’s creator. (the upper part of the book cover is from my painting “Good Morning“)

But there’s a whole backstory of how I came to know Artie and how the book cover for “The Pied Piper of Woodstock” came to be.

My good friend Victor Kahn approached me with an idea over 11 years ago. Victor, a graphic designer and writer amongst his many other talents,  had been an admirer of my work.  He thought up the concept of using my images as a visual portrayal for his thought-provoking  spiritual poetry. Hence, The Great Illusions was born. To this day, that site has gotten over 2 1/2 million readers, introducing countless people to my artwork.

Ok, so how does this tie in with Artie’s new book cover? Well, Victor has known Artie since 1967 at which time Victor designed a logo for Artie’s pre-Woodstock venture that was named  “Kornfeld Lang Adventures“. The relationship grew over the years and fast forwarding to 2004, Artie asked Victor to design a new website for him. One solely dedicated to Woodstock. Victor could not get one of Jim’s paintings out of his mind. And that is how Jim’s “Liberty Lives’ came to be on the page of Artie’s site “We’ve all come to look for America”(by Paul Simon). And also how many of Jim’s other paintings came to be on Artie’s site.

So it follows, that when Artie wanted his book cover designed, he called on his friend Victor Kahn. Artie, also a fan of Jim’s work, was struck particularly by Jim’s “Good Morning”. Both Artie and Victor thought it the perfect sky, with it’s romantic overtones and gentle rays beaming down, to represent the free love, peace and harmony aura of Woodstock!

* And one little side note.

I had a silly idea recently, which if I didn’t act on would have  stuck in my head so… I decided to write a song called “The Beach Boys Rule”.

While writing, which, by the way,  my kids wouldn’t help me with because they thought it was embarrassing,  I realized I didn’t know what I was doing, so I called the master Artie Kornfeld to help.

Well, having written or produced most of the songs of the 60s, this brought him out of retirement real fast and quickly he sang some tunes into my cell phone message, and emailed me some lyrics to go with mine, taught me some tricks of the trade and that is all I can say for now.

Jim meets Alice Cooper…25 years after

October 3, 2009

jim with alice cooper 2009 cropped

Last night  I met with Alice Cooper after his concert in Clearwater, Florida.  It has been 25 years since I painted the  album cover for his  “Raise Your Fist and Yell ” record in 1985.  I decided it was time I met Alice in person, so I  arranged the meeting through my local contacts.

Cooper’s assistant, who addressed  me as that  “Raise Your Fist and Yell guy” placed me and my two kids, Drew and Art, in the front of the line of die hard Cooper fans.  I forgot to charge the battery in my camera( Big Oooops) but Cooper’s fans were happy to take pictures of Alice  and I together and send me the pics!
At  this first face to face meeting between the “King of Shock Rock” and the “Master of Fantasy Art”, we discussed important biz such as whose kids have the messiest room. Alice says his do but I disputed that.
I told Alice and fans this never before told secret of the album cover:
because Alice wasn’t available to pose for the cover, I used my own face for the scream, mixed with Alice’s eyes.  I explained, “It’s a collaboration, like Frankenstein”. Alice replied, “That’s fine, your teeth are probably better than mine anyway”.
I will now be talking to Alice and his assistant further about doing my “Fame Wall” project as I recently did for John Stamos and for which I am gearing up to do with the Beach Boys.
jim with alice and kids 1small
Art Warren, Jim, Alice and Drew Warren

Art Warren, Jim, Alice and Drew Warren

Jim and Alice

Jim and Alice

The Wise Man and The Intellect

September 30, 2009
The wiseman from web The Intellect cropped to show frames

“The Wise Man”                                            “The Intellect”

“While shopping for an apartment in 1977, an 82 year old apartment manager came to the door and I was instantly struck by his very long hair and beard. He reminded me of one of my earlier paintings that I did in 1975 entitled “The Wise Man”.While outside by the pool I told him that I was an artist and asked him if I could take pictures of him and had him take out his wallet to read as if it was a book. I painted him completely as is, including every hair on his beard which took about 15 hours for just that alone.” – Jim Warren


As we move into October, Jim has been dividing his time between Florida art shows and working on portraits that individuals and families have commissioned him to paint. There’s little that Jim enjoys more than being able to create a client’s vision, whether it be their children riding dolphins or being mermaids or the wife having waterfall hair with a tiger laying next to her or the husband golfing in an ocean golf course! Every individual is unique, each person has their own dreams and fantasies.  Jim rejoices in that individuality and certainly is a master at recreating that uniqueness in his work.

With this in mind, Jim thought to feature two of his most beloved paintings, The Wise Man and The Intellect. The detail work on both paintings bears close attention. Each hair on the heads and beards of these gentlemen was individually drawn, consuming hours of time. The folds in the clothes, the wrinkles on the faces, even the old leather-like book tears represent some of Jim’s finest work. Can you see who authored the book in The Intellect?

The Original Oil of The Wise Man was reacquired by Jim a while back and is available for purchase. Both images have been reproduced as Giclee canvas reproductions in two sizes. And we can get them to you in time for the Holidays! If interested, give us a call at 800-975-9927.

Speaking of the Holidays, please ensure that if you are considering a gift of a Jim Warren Giclee, that you give us enough time to prepare and ship your print.(it can take 4-8 weeks). (Layaway plans available) Jim hand-highlights each Giclee personally for you in addition to signing and numbering. On his Artist’s proofs and Printer’s Proofs, he not only highlights the print but paints something special right onto the canvas making each unique and original-like! Check out the Fine Art Catalog, the What’s New and the Originals for Sale sections on Jim’s site . You can use the Index section to find his images alphabetically.  There may still be time for Jim to complete a portrait for you also. Please phone for details. (see the special portrait offer here: Portraits )

We invite you to come visit one of Jim’s studios in either Portland, Oregon or Clearwater, Florida. For a gallery near you that carries Jim’s work, click here
Jim wanted to include a wonderful poem authored by Victor Kahn (The Great Illusion) inspired by “The Intellect”


The world as we view it  is much like a dance,
you can take what is coming and live it by chance…
Or seek answers to questions and live it by choice,
just follow your heart and answer its voice.

Chance brings that karmic phenomenon,
manifested reactions from what you have done.
Look for a place that’s hidden within,
search for the message, that’s where to begin.

Talk to yourself, have conversation inside,
it’s a matter of choice, create from the mind.
Picture yourself in a world all your own,
then bring it to life from the seed to the sown.

Search & discover the source of white light,
don’t settle for anything, reach for the heights.
Your goals are the answer to what you achieve,
and it’s almost like magic when you start to believe.

Truth & intuition …bring gifts to rejoice,
go it by chance or live it by choice!

Victor Kahn

“Drift Glass” and a Jim Warren Reality Show?

September 23, 2009
Drift Glass
Drift Glass
Never before published Jim Warren classic!
Giclee canvas reproductions 20×30, 24×36 and 28×42

“Drift glass is glass that has been washed up onto the beach from the sea. Here I have the opposite, the ocean washing up from the glass.
To me this painting is simply a visual treat for the eyes.
To others it is a highly symbolic painting where the meanings behind it are boundless.” – Jim Warren
With all the traveling, shows, presentations etc that Jim has done over the last few months, his classic works from the days when he worked as an illustrator are getting more attention than ever before. At one recent show, a couple asked Jim if he was ever going to publish “Drift Glass“, a painting Jim completed in 1988 as a book cover for Samuel R. Delany’s “Drift Glass”. Then, over the week following, he received several emails from others asking the same thing. (for those of you who are not aware of it, Jim has illustrated over 200 book covers, movie posters and album covers) The result of all this interest is that Jim has decided to publish “Drift Glass” making it available as Giclee canvas reproductions for the first time.
As you know from Jim’s recent blogs, his portrait of actor, John Stamos is now hanging on the Wall of Fame in the Dopo Teatro restaurant of New York Times Square. But we haven’t told you what happened during the unveiling event! . Dale Badway,  the producer of Walls of Fame has put together a video to be shopped to TV producers, the goal of which is a TV Reality Show featuring different Jim Warren Walls of Fame going up in other cities. The idea is that Jim will paint various artists specifically  targeted for Walls of Fame in cities around the country. The unveiling events will actually be presented as Reality Shows hosted by Dale Badway.  So far, The Beach Boys are confirmed to be  the first on a Los Angeles Wall of Fame coming up next year! And Jim is meeting with Alice Cooper during Cooper’s upcoming Tampa Tour. As Jim painted one of Alice Cooper’s album covers years ago,  he thought it would be  a great idea to have Alice Cooper attend the unveiling of his portrait at one of the Jim Warren Walls of Fame!
Here’s a special link to the pilot video shot at the John Stamos unveiling. You can see our Jim all through the video, especially in the last half. Let us know what you think of the idea.  


(more event photos are included below)

And here is a poem by Victor Kahn wrote, inspired by Jim’s “Drift Glass”


Do you look at your horoscope that’s printed each day?
It’s amazingly accurate in a paradox way.
It has little to do with the planets at all,
but it’s a form of symbology …for things to recall.

You could slip through this life with your head up your past,
never realizing potential, like a piece of drift glass…
Or you could study life’s meanings and where you could be,
astrology is in symbols …to master destiny.

It can show you direction …a fate overhaul,
the way to change reality is not drift or think small.
If you’re looking for answers, start from within,
the circle of life needs a point to begin.

jim stamos crowd 5

jim stamos crowd 6

jim stamos crowd

Broadway Wall of Fame…the Unveiling

September 15, 2009
Dale Badway, Jim Warren and John Stamos with cameras rolling!

Dale Badway(Producer), Jim Warren and John Stamos with the cameras flashing!

The story here is I drove down to the the restaurant, Dopo Teatro which is one block from Times Square, with the owners of the Long Island Wyland Gallery.  There was a red carpet with Paparazzi hanging out early to get a good spot, fighting with each other…literally (one was kicked out by John Stamos’s body guard). Over 200 hundred people filled the restaurant including many day time soap stars and the whole cast of “Bye Bye Birdie” (and even the hair dresser for 17 years of the late Joey Ramone).

When John arrived the  video that Mike Love made backstage in Tampa(see my previous blog) was  played as a tribute to John congratulating him as the first on what is now known as “The Jim Warren Fame Wall”.  Not a person to be one-upped, Mike mentioned that The Beach Boys are right behind John for the Beach Boys’ 50th anniversary tribute on the Fame Wall Los Angeles!

When we finally did the unveiling around 11:30 at night, the camera lights were flashing like crazy. John Stamos gave a double-take at my painting and simply said “I want to take this home with me.”

John’s tribute portrait is now hanging  on the specially prepared wall as the first on this New York Fame Wall with room for many new paintings…the next inductee to be announced soon.

FAME WALL - JOHN STAMOS showing painting

Dale Badway, John Stamos and Jim

Jim Warren, John Stamos and the Beach Boys…the story!

September 9, 2009

john stamos wall of fame dopo teatro 9.09“The many faces of John Stamos”  Original Oil

Hello Everyone!

When Jim was introduced to NYC Producer/Actor Dale Badway,  at an art show last year, little did he realize the events that would be set in motion by that encounter. We thought you would enjoy reading the whole story. So here goes! Grab a cup of coffee, sit back…and enjoy.

Our story starts out when Dale Badway, Production Coordinator of the Wall of Fames at various NY restaurants, had the opportunity to meet  Jim at an art show in Florida. Dale was quite impressed with Jim’s talent, so much so, that when Dale decided to produce another Wall of Fame in NY Times Square restaurant, Dopo Teatro, he couldn’t think of a better artist to ask to participate. Dale contacted Jim with the proposal. It was, interestingly enough, at this same time that Jim was about to contact Mike Love of the Beach Boys to ask Mike if he would like to write the forward to Jim’s upcoming new book. As events would have it, Dale’s new project included adding a portrait of John Stamos who, as we’ve mentioned previously, is starring in the new Broadway production of “Bye, Bye, Birdie”. And, as fate would also have it, John Stamos had been playing drums with the Beach Boys on some of their recent tours!

It was planned that Jim would fly  to Las Vegas to meet with John Stamos when John was there drumming for the Beach Boys last July. (hence the photos we sent you a couple months ago). In Vegas,  Jim and Mike Love  spent time rehashing old times from the Southern California ’60’s ” beach scene” where the Beach Boys had first become a major inspiration for Jim.  The two of them worked out the details for the forward to Jim’s new book, Jim got the photos he needed for the John Stamos portrait  and Jim was  invited up on stage to sing background for the Beach Boys’ encore performance of “Fun, Fun, Fun”.

As you can see by the photo above, Jim is at the top of his game as a master of the paint brush. The skin texture, lighting and hair took hours and hours to accomplish…and those piercing eyes! A brilliantly executed portrait reminiscent of Jim’s emotionally chilling portrayal of Martin Sheen.

But wait..there’s more!  Jim was asked to attend the Beach Boys concert at Tropicana Field(Tampa, Florida) this last weekend. The Beach Boys were performing as the post-game entertainment for the Tampa Bay Rays. As a side note here, the editor of Tampa Bay Magazine, Aaron Foderman, has been a collector of Jim’s work for many years. In fact, Jim has been featured on the cover of Tampa Bay Magazine many times over the years with 6 page articles on Jim included in each of the issues. So when Jim was asked to meet with the Beach Boys and Dale Badway at the concert, Jim asked Aaron if he would like to cover the event. Of course, Aaron jumped at the opportunity. Jim took his two children Arte and Drew and off he went with Aaron in tow.

A brilliant idea came to “the guys” while at the backstage meeting with Dale Badway, Bruce Johnson and Mike Love.(see photo) Why not make a video in which Mike Love congratulates John Stamos on his starring role in “Bye Bye Birdie” and why not surprise John and play it at the unveiling of John’s portrait on Thursday night at Dopo Teatro? All around kudos for the idea..and the video was made  and will be played for John tomorrow!
jim BB with Stamos picture comp
Bruce Johnson, Dale Badway, Jim and Mike Love

And for the grand finale of this part of our story, Jim and his children, Drew and Arte, were asked to get up on stage in front of the 5000 people in attendance, to sing background with Mike Love on “Barbara Ann”. Here’s the proof!
jim, drew and arte on stage with bb 9.09
Arte, Jim, Drew and Mike Love
jim, drew and arte  bb on stage 3 comp

Beach boy audience comp

We hope you’ve enjoyed the show so far…lots more to come!

You can always visit Jim thru his website at or come on over to either his Portland, Oregon or Clearwater, Florida studio. Just give us a ring. 800-975-9927 or 503 235 0062.

Sherry and Jim
Jim Warren West Coast Studio