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Artists: Jim Beller

Born on Eric Clapton's 18th birthday, Jim Beller began drawing when he could first lift a crayon. He has since switched over to watercolors and oils. He has lived in Gainesville & Perry, Fla., Mobile, Ala., Richmond, Va. and the rolling hills of East Tennessee, where he currently resides on his 17-acre rural retreat with his crazy Jack Russell Terriers.

Beller continues to work on his series of Blues & Jazz paintings, combining traditional portraits with abstract expressionistic interpretations of the music itself. An avid blues fan, Beller has spent a lot of time on Beale Street in Memphis, a big influence on the artist's work. He cites Ernie Barnes and Ralph Steadman as major influences on his "Gonzo"-style work.

The artist's paintings utilize brilliant color, attention to detail and the heartfelt passion he feels for the music and his subject matter; his oil paintings are characterized by heavy impasto. He has exhibited throughout the Southeast, East Coast and at sea in the Carribean aboard various "Blues Cruises," and continues to work on his blues and jazz series

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