Some friends of ours, Larry Vellani & Peg Boswell of Mebanesville, and Al & Carol Engler, would host birthday parties for Joe Thompson. That’s where I met him. What a gentle, friendly soul. At the time he was enjoying a second round of celebrity, having been rediscovered by the Carolina Chocolate Drops who were interested in learning from Thompson about black string band music.


Fiddlin’ Joe Thompson, Oil, 24 X 36, $500. 

There were many musicians that showed up at those parties and they were too photogenic to not want to paint. I did many paintings of several of them including, fiddler and banjo player Paul Mitchell, all three of the then Carolina Chocolate Drops, Lightnin’ Wells and Joe.  Those paintings are all sold, however, I kept this one in my studio. I am now ready to let it go. If you have an interest, email me. art at jude lobe . com.

Here’s an article about him when he died at the age of 93, that appeared in the New York Times.  CLICK



MOORED, Oil on masonite by Jude Lobe

MOORED, Oil on masonite by Jude Lobe

An artist’s hardest decision is deciding on a frame for the artwork. For a time, I didn’t frame paintings and they looked pretty good as long as they were deep canvases. However, I always thought the frame enhanced the art and brought the viewer’s eye more directly to the painting.

Why frame: Frames make the artwork look more professional. They protect it and make it more sturdy. A proper frame can enhance the visual allure of the artwork. And finally, what would convince most artists is framed art sells more easily.

 An easy no-brainer for deep canvases is the Floater Frames. They are fabulous for canvases and cradled boards, like the ones I use in my cold wax and oil paintings. The have a clean, contemporary look and don’t fight for attention with the art. 

My quandary: My dilemma  comes when I’m looking for a frame for a oil painting, like Moored, the oil painting of a boat moored at Hilton Head pictured above. It was done on masonite. I don’t want a too decorative frame that will detract from the artwork, but I also don’t want it too plain so that it doesn’t add anything. There lies the perplexity. And then there is the consideration of who would buy the painting and would my expenditure for an expensive frame pay off in a sale.

Why to not Frame: Then there is the idea that perhaps the frame would effect the viewer negatively. Suppose the viewer is a light maple wood person and dark mahogany has them running in the opposite direction.  It is certainly impossible to find a frame that matches every decor. And if an art buyer wants their frame to match the decor, well, that’s money the artist spent paying for a frame that flows down the drain. 

What to do: Well, for the art above, I’m asking you to give me your opinion of the three considerations I have above for the frame for Moored. Which do you prefer? I really want to know.


MEDITATION, Cold Wax and Oil painting by Jude Lobe

With Cold Wax & Oil, you are building up layers. The beginning layers allow a cushion to impress your base textures some of which may or may not be visible in the final stages. You can obscure some parts of layers with painting over with brushes, brayers, scrapers, etc., and reveal layers beneath by scraping, applying solvents, scratching (sgraffito), etc.

It’s a process of adding and subtracting. Along the way, your vision will begin to appear.

You can add materials like fabrics, metal, papers, and so on and embed them in the layers or make it more 3-D.

To me, working in Cold Wax and Oil represents the history of a life that becomes the compilation of bits and pieces of one’s past experiences.

This piece on the left includes an enameled piece of copper, a patinaed copper and etched copper (the water lily).  Click on the image to visit my website. And feel free to comment on this blog.


Marsh at Dusk, oil painting, by Jude Lobe, 20X60, $1250.

Marsh at Dusk, oil painting, by Jude Lobe, 20X60, $1250.

You walk into a gallery, store or even restaurant, and see a painting that grabs your attention. You relate to it. It takes you somewhere else. It makes you feel. But did you also know art has healing benefits.

Scientific studies have shown that art heals by changing a person’s physiology and attitude. By looking at artworks or listening to music, a person’s brain wave pattern changes. One becomes less stressed and moves into relaxation. Think about the last time you were at an art gallery. How refreshed and calmed did you feel?
Also effected is our nervous system, our hormonal balance and our brain neurotransmitters. With all of our cells in our body instantly reacting to the art or music, our body’s physiology is altered and the immune system and blood flow to our organs is increased. After you walked out of that gallery, or spent time in the morning drinking your coffee while gazing at the picture you have hanging on the wall, ask yourself, “do you feel better and ready to face the day with a positive attitude?”
The next time you are having a stressed day, take some time off and go to a local art gallery and enjoy the art. When you walk back out the door, I bet you will find yourself in much better spirits and able to handle whatever it is you need to do.
Our physiology is deeply effected by feelings and emotion. Try to keep a balance of good feelings in close proximity to yourself during the day. Perhaps a small painting on  your desk, or larger one on the wall. Maybe a piece of art at home in your kitchen to look at before you walk out the door. Or a calming artwork on the wall of your bedroom to send you off to a peaceful night’s rest.
The artwork above is available at Anthm Gallery in Black Mountain. You can see more of my artwork at Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, 121 N. Churton St., Hillsborough, NC; Carlton Art Gallery in Banner Elk, NC; Carolina Creations, New Bern and on my website