My Favorite Artists

Since my college days I’ve liked my art works to be largely from people I know. Many musicians have the good fortune to meet and resonate with other musicians and artists, and I am blessed in that regard. All but one of my paintings are done by friends. I met a fine water color artist in Boston in the ’60’s, ended up being his roommate for a time, and learned much about the water color technique from him, as he was pursuing the Andrew Wyeth style. That whetted my appetite for good art of all kinds… pictures and paintings by people I know, and it remains with me to this day.

Paintings, photographs, music, jewelry, pottery… it’s all art to me, and it means so much more when it’s personal, and shared. I’ve shared my music with many over the years, and they’ve shared their art with me as well. Producing art of any kind is such a beautiful manifestation of human kind’s creative spirit, I have the utmost respect for anyone who is insightful enough, and courageous enough to submit their concept of art for public consumption, and of course, public criticism. If you don’t think it takes a certain amount of courage to do this, try it sometime.

It’s a great feeling… warm, reassuring, comforting, when we surround ourselves with art, and artistic jewelry, pottery and furniture that our friends and loved ones made. It’s reassurance, in a way, that we’re not on this planet by ourselves, being constantly bombarded by moronic know-it-alls. To know that there are many among us who are driven by the same creative and spontaneous forces that we give ourselves to, and that they are our friends… well, that means the world to me.

There are a ton of talented folk on the East Coast whom I love and respect…. talented beyond belief and successful in the rough and tumble world of big city  commerce. There are far too many for me to list and honor here, but they know I love them and appreciate their brilliant contributions to the art world.

All my artist friends featured here are from Montana or Washington state. I apologize in advance to all of them if I picked pictures they don’t like, or featured some of their work they’d rather not show, as many of these are a year old or more. This is what I could find, gang; it was the best I could do.

Patrick McClellan

Patrick is a fine painter, working with oils. Here are two of my favorites –




Christina Blackledge

One of my favorite paintings was done by Christina. That’s our little dog that passed away last year, Susi, in my old truck, Iron Jack.


Karen Hathaway

Here’s another one of my favorites. Karen takes great photos, and makes beautiful jewelry.






Jack Waller

A truly unique person in many ways, Jack makes magic with naturally deformed wood, along with playing guitar and being a writer. This is me sitting among a small sampling of Jack’s work.


Sheri is one of my favorite artists, in several mediums. She has no fear, will try anything. Her work is high quality and consistent, and sometimes surprising!

Sheri Jarvis















Will Hardy

Will is an excellent, young, self-taught classical pianist, tackling the most difficult pieces known, those of Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies. He played this piece over a year ago. Will is brilliant, even though it’s only a passionate hobby for him right now. Here is his Transcendental Etude #3 – Paysage


Ruby Waller

Ruby is a multi-talented young lady who has made jewelry, is a wonderful spontaneous dancer, and plays piano beautifully. I’ve known her since she was 5 or 6 and she has surprised and delighted me on several artistic levels over the years, including dance! She now plays my favorite piano in her living room. I am so proud of her!

Click on Ruby to hear her and see her play her own song!



Jon Lodge









elastics, gesso, 3M Super 77 brand spray glue, Fuji photo polymer emulsion, graphite on aluminum
11 x 14 inches

Jon is a fine jazz trumpet player who got into art almost by accident. He has shows all over the Northwest now,

Helium Neon Strata No. 1
—1221 sheets helium neon laser film, ambient light


MJ Williams

MJ is an award-winning jazz singer and trombonist. She composes, draws and paints as well, as she and Nancy spend time in Paris every Spring, painting and enjoying life there. I have one of her pieces, unfortunately it’s deep in a storage room somewhere, to be proudly displayed when our new living room is complete.


Betty Johnson

She will deny being an artist every time, but Betty is an artist, with an artist’s heart. Along with being a fine cook, she re-upholsters furniture and boat seats to perfection; She sews and knits beautifully.  She is a fine photographer who could easily show her work. And no, I’m not at all prejudiced.

Taken on  her trip to Africa

Beautiful work, Betty Ann. Take my word for it!

I encourage you to check these artists out. Some of them have websites… Patrick, Sheri, MJ, Jon. I hope they all continue to develop their abilities. Whether a lifelong dream or simply a hobby, giving in to one’s creative instincts brings personal growth in so many ways. Thank you, my creative friends, for your beautiful gifts, for sharing your art, and your heart, with the world… and for simply being my friend!

Steve Hulse

One Reply to “My Favorite Artists”

  1. Wow, what a unique article and a lovely tribute! I am honored to be included in both categories, friend and favorite artists! I think of you every time I pass through VC and see your old “cabin” on the hill. Hope you and Bea are doing great!

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