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Jimi grew up in a small town outside Seattle in the 1950s. His youth was spent playing sport, going to the coast and being in and amongst nature. Anyone familiar with his songs will know the inferences relating to the Pacific Northwest with its dramatic landscape and uncertain weather, and these were both things that impacted on his sense of the world and informed his creative genius both in terms of music and art.

His earliest artworks were produced while he was still at high school; detailed pictures of college footballers kitted out in their team uniforms, and the famously exciting and dramatic hydroplane racing on Lake Washington. He was meticulous about each image, writing on dates, and annotating them with comments such as Ďthese are the exact colorsí. Looking back, some of the work is easily dismissed, but closer examination shows that as tine passed a definite style began to develop in his water colours. What makes these works interesting is not so much the honed talent of an artist at work, as a life-moment captured and transformed into a visual statement, in the same way that Jimiís unique musical gift transformed life into a soundtrack. As his creativity gathered impetus and he began to write songs, his paintings underwent a change. The subjects moved out of focus and the backgrounds began to take centre stage; with this change a more intense, dreamlike mood began to take over.

After he achieved fame Jimiís artwork tailed off; he was busy with writing and touring, and of course his life was cut tragically short at the age of 27. His brief career was not an easy one and he was buffeted by a music industry that used and abused him to make maximum profits as fast as possible. Yet he would find a moment here and there to open his sketchbook on the tour bus and later to turn to his paints.

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