James Hartzell

Who Loves the Arsenal?

More fun with lettering and footy crests. Here is the entire first team player roster for Arsenal Football Club, shaped into their iconic badge.  Part of the pen and ink drawings done during Ink’tober.  Done with FW inks, a pro quill or dip pen and brushes.

New Chalk Art at Zaytoon Grill

New pastel art for the sidewalk sign at Zaytoon Grill at 1618 Central Ave in St Pete, FL. Finally autumn weather has been kind enough to arrive in sunny Florida, a welcome relief.  Everyone have a safe and enjoyable Halloween out there. And no, you’re never too old for this holiday.

Happy Ink’tober

Woefully behind on the thirty-one drawings of Ink’tober challenge. But the idea of doing team icons made up of only player rosters for the Tampa Bay Lightning art contest spurred on the idea of doing soccer crests in the same style. Enjoy this lettering piece done with FW inks, a double image of the AFC Bournemouth club badge comprised of the entire player roster.  The club nicknamed the “Cherries” are in their second season in the English Premier League. They call Vitality Stadium home, one of the smallest stadiums in the league and the club is managed by Eddie Howe, the top division’s youngest head coach.

Kerouac Night, New T-Shirt Design Contest

The bi-annual Kerouac Night was a smashing success at the Flamingo Sports Bar this past Saturday. The poets and live bands brought their fiery passion to the fore upon a small front porch stage.  Enjoyed meeting new faces and seeing some regulars at the event planned around the anniversaries of the famous beat poet, Jack Kerouac’s birth and death. Someone usually brings a cake and the mood is celebratory and never somber. It’s quite the scene if you’ve never been, come and check out the next event in March. Or just stop on by the Flamingo Bar to shoot pool, have a drink, or check out my mural in the parking lot. There is an interactive game to play with that mural, find the initials buried sneakily into the background.

The Friend’s of the Jack Kerouac House Charity have been gathering money for years and negotiating with members of the Kerouac estate to purchase and preserve the local St. Petersburg, FL house Jack lived in, which has stood practically untouched like a time capsule since his death in 1969.  T-shirt sales are a big part of how this 501C-3 charity collects donations. 
I will be hosting a design contest for fresh ideas on the traditional Kerouac shirt. The famous “mad ones” excerpt from the novel “On The Road”  remains on the back. The front of the shirt is open for a redesign contest: two color design in Black and White, without the portrait of Kerouac, something that evokes his spirit, journey or unique style. Calling all artists to submit work either in person or via email ( james@artbyjamese.com ) deadline is December 1st 2017. File types excepted are .png, .jpeg, .pdf, .psd and vector files. Dimensions 8.5 by 11 inches.  Top three finalists will receive a prize for their efforts and compensation for the winning design, subject to final approval by the FOJKH Charity board.  The new shirts should be available for purchase at the bar by the holidays.
Please help to spread the word about this shirt design contest to any artist you know of, both near and far.  Jack Kerouac is a part of the often untold history of St. Pete, events like this one, run by a grassroots charity help to breathe new life into understanding the roles artist played in shaping the tradition of expression in this city.  By looking backward we can appreciate the past more and illuminate what the future holds for the next generation of artists, writers and “mad ones.”
Kerouac Night, New T-Shirt Design Contest

SHINE Mural Festival 2017

Much anticipated return of a local mural festival happens this weekend.  Biking around in the mornings has to be one of my favorite parts of the day.  I was able to take some pictures of the first artist at work in the streets, bumping her music, sharing the groove on 17th Street S.  Of course being able to see the eventual, final product, a powerful finished image, one of twenty or more being done in less than two weeks is just amazing. An experience that just witnessing moves me like the energy of a live concert. Feeling blessed, and looking for positives and inspiration in a week of bad news headlines.  So the timing of the SHINE festival, moved back from the September dates of last year, couldn’t come at a better time for me personally.

Hopefully the announcement that SHINE will also be doing smaller paint projects on electrical boxes around downtown during and after the festival is intriguing. Where do artists apply to get in on the action?  It would be fun to share in the joy of local artists getting a chance to paint their style onto a smaller canvas and beautify the city with art.  Having seen the results in Decatur, GA of how gorgeous and thought-provoking art is when it covers everyday objects, trashcans, crosswalks, electrical boxes, even MARTA overpasses.  Public art helps us connect with our surroundings and community, something we could all use more of.

Find more at their official IG and Twitter account @SHINEonstpete
SHINE Mural Festival 2017

New Menu Item at Zaytoon

New lettering project with pastel chalks for Zaytoon today. Biked around and checked out the beginning of a mural for the SHINE Art Festival which kicks off this weekend.  More on that in another post. A new item graces the menu at 1618 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg FL at Zaytoon Grill.  Shaksuka is a breakfast/lunch dish severed with poached eggs, garlic, onions, tomatoes and green peppers.

Always a joy doing lettering outside for the sidewalk sign on the 1600 block of Central Ave. Breathing in the scene, passersby, occasionally dodging rain and moving indoors.  Nu-pastel brand chalks, pastel pencils and a ruler used in this piece.  If you know someone who needs hand-done lettering for their menu boards, signage or beer list please email james@artbyjamese.com as I am open to commissions.

Rowdies Fan Art Unvieled

Unveiled last night at the Tampa Bay Rowdies, local professional USL soccer team, a large banner was unfurled before kickoff in tribute to the team and its ownership.  Even though this is not my art and I had nothing to do with its creation, ultimately found this to be inspirational and a symbol of the continued emergence of soccer culture in the United States. 

The painting itself was produced by a local fan group, but the quality of design and the fan’s positive reception of this unique banner is usually reserved for larger overseas clubs with a hundred plus years of history and support. Overall design and font are similar to a video game cover for Grand Theft Auto, with its own twist, soccer style, unique characters, and Rowdies color scheme.

Pardon my progress on the lack of posting in September as Hurricane Irma interrupted life. I evacuated the Tampa Bay area. Forever grateful for the little things as the localized damage could have been much worse considering others areas of Florida were harder hit, blessings are being counted.  Thoughts and prayers with those in Texas and Puerto Rico still recovering. 

TB Lightning Art Contest

Hand-painted, custom-lettering piece for an art contest hosted by our local NHL team the Tampa Bay Lightning.  This was a hockey inspired project wherein a rewatching of the Mighty Ducks occurred. It was fun shape to play with and a bit tedious to work on those tiniest of letters.

Every single player on the team’s roster for the 2017-18 season has been incorporated into text. The letters blend at a distance to form the club’s iconic lighting bolt logo.  Done with FW inks and watercolor pencils.

Manchester Tribute

Nothing will truly be a fitting tribute to the lives lost during the cowardly terrorist attack at a concert in Manchester, England this past May.  The idea of going to an event like that an not coming home, disturbed me greatly as have many other incidents of terror attacks or the rise of violent, radical groups both here in the United States and abroad.  The nightmarish scenes of torch-bearing racists and vehicular homicide of a peaceful protester in Charlottesville, VA last weekend has also shaken me to the core.

Art is often the best therapy for me in tough times and in good health.  Taking part in the creative process is a fitting outlet for pent up energy or emotion and allows me to de-stress, almost like mediation. This ink and watercolor piece was done to honor the victims and how both halves of Manchester, often rivals in sport, came together in such time of adversity.  Symbolized by the blue of Manchester City FC, the music note, heartbeat of the world, and brush all within elements of the Manchester United Red Devils’ crest.
“We should be careful of each other. We should be kind, while there is still time.” -taken from Phillip Larkin’s poem, The Mower.

Tribute To Rayzilla

The paragraphs below are from an an entry of mine to the SHINE Mural Festival. The last few months have been crazy, I personally have suffered a loss and grieved the passing of my grandmother. In turn so has the local community that knew RayZilla and his musical influence on the hearts of so many.

Ray “Ray-zilla” Villadonga sadly passed away June 10th and it would be fitting to piece together a painting that honors the music history of St. Pete and Ray was certainly a larger than life figure.  One of my favorite things to do is draw local bands at various venues around town. One night I saw the musician in his element, had the pleasure of showing a sketch I’d done to Ray and really enjoyed the reaction. The warmth of artists supporting one another’s craft shone through, he was such a positive, radiator of energy, a storyteller and bear-huggable guy.

Binge Music is on 1st Ave North, the wall faces the flow of traffic, gets plenty of sunlight, and would be great large canvas to pay tribute to musicians of the past than grew up, lived in, or had influence in the St. Pete music scene or community.

A Godzilla theme would be fitting, but the project doesn’t need to focus solely on Ray-zilla’s passing but the beauty of the music scene here as a whole. To make people proud of the past, grateful for the present, happy to keep on barefoot dancing and twisting the night away.

Thank you for your time and consideration. Cheers.”



P.S.  A few weeks after creating and saving this post, the actor who played Godzilla, Haruo Nakajima, passed away. Although the image above is a work in progress for new clients Cali Tacos To Go. They have a Godzilla burrito on the menu, so upon hearing of Mr. Nakajima’s passing I pushed for this idea.  Not exactly a literal tribute to Ray Villadonga, but I sure am listening to his albums while painting.