Artist picks paint and positivity over panic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Louisville’s International Festival of Film is back and bringing some incredible stories to town once again. One of those documentaries is called “Lines of Sight.” It features the story of an artist named Jim Hall.

Hall, 84, contracted shingles back in 2001. He said it was the worst pain he’d ever experienced in his life, and it lasted for about three weeks.

“I woke up one morning after all of the pain was gone, and I saw everything in lines. There were vertical lines through everything I saw. I thought I was going blind,” Hall said.

Instead of panicking, Hall stayed positive and picked painting. He decided to turn his disadvantage into a new style of his craft, thereby creating Lineillism.

“The lines went away after about three months. I painted them away, I guess, but it seemed like such an interesting concept that I continued to paint that way,” Hall said. “When I was trying to paint the very first painting, it took a year. I kept stopping on it because it was getting just too difficult to do, and I remember saying to hear, I don’t know why I’m doing this, it’s just too hard. She said I think you just answered your own question and that I was doing it because it was hard.”

Hall finished his first painting his newly created Lineillism style on September 11, 2001. He said he felt called to do something after seeing everything that happened that day. So, he went out to his back porch and finished what he’d started nearly a year before.

Fifteen years later, he’s still painting and has completed around 200 stunning works of art. Hall said they each take about a month to complete. He’ll typically spend hours every day and night to get the masterpiece finished.

The recognition for Hall’s talents and gifts may have come later in his career, but he’s been an artist nearly his entire life. He started painting when he was 14 and living on a farm in Henry County, Kentucky.

“I did it to start with because life on the farm was so dismal. There wasn’t anything beautiful. So, I wanted to do something that made life more enjoyable and I could make a barn look red even though it wasn’t painted red,” Hall said.

Hall even won a state art competition when he was a senior in high school in Louisville. He said coming back to Louisville for his documentary is truly a full circle moment.

“That was kind of the beginning of my art career, and now here it is 60 years later,” Hall said.

From depression to alcoholism, Hall said he’s had to suffer through a lot in his life. One thing has always been a constant for him, though.

“I guess you could say with all of the obstacles and disappointments I’ve had in my life, one thing that never let me down was art,” Hall said.

Hall hopes his documentary will help inspire future artists or anyone who is going through any type of hardship.

“It’s sharing with people how you don’t have to accept what life throws you. You can change it,” Hall said.

He’s already inspiring some of the youngest artists, too. Thursday morning, Hall visited the Heuser Hearing Institute. The children there have all watched his documentary and even started painting in his style. Hall watched a clip of it with them and then taught an art lesson. The staff there said it was like having their very own celebrity walking the school halls.

“As far as I’m concerned, they’re the celebrities. Every child, I mean the smiles on their faces, the little fist bumps, the high fives, the smiles, their eyes and the way they light up sometimes, there is nothing like it,” Hall said.

Hall will be at the Galt House on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are $5, and those attending the film festival will get a chance to see the three paintings featured in his documentary.

Here’s a link with more information: http://linesofsightdocumentary.weebly.com/about.html


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