Jim Mickelson paintings

Local Newburyport phenom/artist, Jim Mickelson, who passed away several years ago, will be the featured artist in the new year at the Connor Summers Gallery in Nbpt. Jim’s work has experienced a resurgence of interest and a corresponding increase in value, and the collection at Connor Summers is definately worth viewing by any serious collector of contemporary American art.

38 Responses to “Jim Mickelson paintings”

  1. Kelly Tomke Says:

    Jim Mickelson was my uncle and I’m thrilled at this post mentioning “a resurgence of interest and a corresponding increase in value”. I just happened to be thinking of him last night and came across this. I am hoping that someone can tell me more about the Connor Summers exhibit and his collection of paintings. His two sisters are still living as are his children. Thank you so much.

    Kelly Tomke

    • I have a charcoal sketch by Jim Mickelson called “One live oak,one dead oak” 1973 ,Gainesville,GA. its stamped and has a limited edition seal and signature. can you help me with information in it.

      • Nancy- I know of only one limited edition that Jim did during his lifetime; it was not of the subject matter you describe. However, his
        son did some giclee prints after his father passed away in 1998. If you
        could send more information about the sketch, and indeed confirm that it is an original sketch rather than a print, perhaps even include
        a photo of it, I’ll ask around among those here in Newburyport who knew him. I am sure we can find out more about it if you can tell us a little more. Thanks for joining in the discussion.

      • I will send you a pic of the drawing “One live oak, One dead oak at the old taylor store, Gainesville, Ga. dated 1973, where can I send you a pic to? thanks

      • Nancy-
        you may correspond directly with me at:
        I look forward to trying to help you find out more
        about the piece you have.

  2. The Connor Summers Gallery is located in Newburyport, MA, on Market Street. There are currently 5 paintings by Jim Mickelson available. During the recent holidays 3 were sold. They may still be viewed on the SmartArtMarket website, http://www.smartartmarket.com.

  3. Zachary Mickelson Says:

    Jim was my grandfather, a pariah, a piece of history, a memory of mine. I still remember him beating me thoroughly at chess, and him giving games away to me… I remember him, but regret having seen so little. His paintings, his work, hang published on the walls of my family’s houses, but he, elusive, never spoken of, dwindles.
    To Kelly: He being your uncle, would make me your great nephew (I believe), family is family is. Feel free to post here again. i can’t just spew out my email, but with a response i would love to get in touch.

    • Betsy Tomke Says:

      Hi Zachary–I have come across quite a few photos of your grandad–also some of your family in general if any of you would be interested..

      hope all is well with you. My son is named Zachary as well, he is 22.

      I am Joan’s daughter , Kelly’s sister.

  4. Dear Zachary,

    I am so happy you’ve written on this blog! it’s been wonderful being back in touch with Aunt Marlene and Cousin Nancy Gogg. Do you know them? One of my first cousins is your Mom or Dad. I don’t think you are my great nephew…my sister Betsy’s kid, another Zachary, is expecting his first child and HE will be my great nephew. At any rate, please tell me more about your family and the rest of the Mickelson clan back East. I met Laura, Kate(?), Luke and Jeff way back when when I was a little kid. I remember they had a trapeze in their living room, but that’s about it. I saw your Grandpa only a handful, maybe 3-4 times my entire life, yet his paintings, too, hung in our home in Iowa and now in mine, also. He was certainly gifted and the fact that I’m writing you is due to the Connor-Summers Gallery and my timing in finding two 8×10 oils on New Years Eve. I did an internet search that night and was just stunned to see that the Gallery was planning an exhibit of Jim’s work. On a personal level, I live in San Diego, single with a 14-year old Poodle named Bonaparte. Sisters Betsy and Johnna live north of here in a city called Oceanside. Sister Sue and my Mom, Joan Tomke, live in Arkansas. Mom is ecstatic about this whole thing, as is Aunt Marlene and her family. My phone # is 6 19-239-2571. Lately I’ve been busy with a charity I call “Keep Woofy Warm” and my current Craig’s List post can be found at this link: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/pet/1574759263.html. Looking forward to keeping in touch with you.

    Kelly Tomke

  5. Betsy Tomke Says:

    Hello to all–I am just overwhelmed to hear from Zachary Mickelson -I am guessing you are one of Laura’s or Kathe’s (sp) children. What a treat to connect under the circumstances of Jim’s art. This has been a wonderful few weeks communicating with everyone and the exchange of our paintings. Look forward to keeping in touch and thanks again to the Connor Summers Gallery for what they do.

    Betsy Tomke

  6. Johnna Tomke Says:

    I am Johnna Tomke, sister of Kelly and Betsy and Sue. It is so wonderful to see such an interest in Uncle Jim’s paintings. As Kelly said, they hung throughout our home in Iowa. He was such an interesting man, I loved it when he visited us. I had the pleasure of seeing him about 8 or so years ago in Newburyport, we met at the Grog, went to the beach and had a lovely time. I will never forget it. I do have one painting here in my home. I really look forward to hearing any more informaton on Uncle Jim!

  7. Phil from Newburyport Says:

    I have corresponded with Sue and Kelly and have several works including a few that I can offer to the family should there be interest.
    Phil Gardella

  8. Kelly Tomke Says:

    After re-reading these posts today I’m reminded of Zachary Mickelson, whom we have yet to be in contact with. I am wishing he were available to us so he can be updated on what unbelievable work Richard Summers and The Connor Summers Gallery have been doing the past few months in regard to assembling and disseminating information about Uncle Jim, his history and his art. There’s more to come, it sounds like, and if you, Zachary, read this post, I hope you will be in touch with the Gallery via this blog, or call me at 619-239-2571. It would be reassuring to know if Jim’s entire family were aware of what Richard is doing in preserving your grandfather’s memory and reviving interest in his art. Thank you all.

  9. I found piece in my attic this morning, little boy with a red balloon, reads “mickelson” on the bottom, could it be this artists?

    • Ryan-
      Thanks for following the blog. Your attic find sounds promising. Jim did paint
      children with balloons frequently. There is an image of one on our SmartArtMarket.com
      website. Have you seen it? How does it compare to what you have. I would love to see
      a picture of your painting. Are you a collector?

  10. i am not however i may have a second painting as well, i am only 22 but like art and paitings, too broke to collect anything seriously i am and amateur photographer with bw 35 mm film, i will have to check it out, my mother said someone gave them to my grandfather long ago, we are mass residents

    • Ryan-I agree with Kelly. Your paintings may hold some clues to some of the mysteries of Jim’s artwork. All of us would love it if you could share some of the images with us. You mentioned being a Massachusetts resident. Anywhere near Newburyport or Rockport where Jim spent his time? We have been trying to piece together different timeframes and acquiantances in Mr. Mickelson’s life. Anything you could add to that conversation would be greatly appreciated.

  11. Kelly Tomke Says:

    I own the 8 x 10 that is on the SmartArtMarket website. It is also a painting of a little boy with a red balloon. Here’s the link: http://smartartmarket.com/Mickelson_BeachGirlBalloon.html

    I would love to see a picture of the painting Ryan has — most likely it’s the same little boy with the same red balloon. I have studied the picture of my painting on my computer, so that I could zoom in on it I have often wondered what the bright, white item was that the woman or girl in the background was holding. After enlarging the picture, it became a bit eerie as I found out that the girl was wearing a veil and she was kneeling, perhaps ready to bury the white item. AND, the man/boy in the background, who has hairy armpits, wild hair and chains flinging from his neck, seems to be doing a type of ceremonial dance. Or is it my imagination? I am so interested in having a chance to see a picture of Ryan’s painting in case it holds any clues. Wondering where he might have acquired the painting and if there are any more that he knows about. It is so terrific that you, Dick, have provided a space like this where people like Ryan can find out about my uncle and his great paintings, wherever they may be. Thank you so much!

  12. Betsy Tomke Says:

    This is wonderful, looking forward to more if it should come about–a big hello to all

  13. Betsy Tomke Says:

    Checking in, signing up for updates

  14. Zachary Mickelson Says:

    One Year Later, leaving an update. I hope the show was a success. I just couldn’t get too involved in a public conversation at that time. Honestly my memories of Jim are hazy at best… except for the chess, and his apt. in newburyport.

    Painting wise, I wonder what the balloons were about. Any Ideas?

    Art is strange like that. It is not a profession; there is no satisfaction to be gained but through a confirmation of your own concept of beauty.
    What is built? What is gained?
    I believe, Kelly, that the swing you mentioned was at my grandmothers house in Rockport. I think that he built that swing for his children, as well as the house.
    Then he left them, my whole family, to fend for themselves. I am not allowed to feel about what happened without bias, time does that to facts, but that fact stands.
    I am an artist and I have always loved his paintings though I do not paint.
    To be loved for your creations after your death, despite your life, is a heady elixir indeed.
    I will say this:
    There is more physical beauty in the world because of Jim’s life. Beauty engenders beauty, and resists chaos. Thank the creators of beauty! But in terms of human impact, I just dunno.
    He went on

    • Very nice to hear from you, Zachary! I hope you and your family are having an enjoyable holiday season. Curious as to what type of an artist you have become. I have enlarged prints from pictures of Uncle Jim’s “yachting action” paintings and they adorn my pet grooming salon, Salty Dawg Salon & Boutique. Also, larger-than-life, is the one of Duncan Chase, Newburyport’s “Town Drunk”, which is the first thing people see when they walk in. Such a dramatic capture of this man who you’d never believe was NOT a sea captain with his weathered face and intense, piercing blue eyes.

      My mom, Joan, just yesterday moved back to Oceanside, California from Arkansas and sadly, Aunt Marlene passed away this past year. Give your family my best wishes. I hope someday we’ll meet.

  15. Ashley M. Rushing Says:

    We are very interested in someone contacting us about his work.
    Please email if you can – we would love to know what works of his are available at the value they hold.
    We are artists ourselves and love this work.

    • Betsy Tomke Says:

      Hello–I am Betsy Tomke, Jim’s niece….was notified of your posting on my e-mail….pleased to hear of your interest in Jim’s work. And thanks to Richard and Cathy for having this venue for us and all the others he showcases. I have a number of Jim’s paintings, mine however are quite dated and not up to the quality of his later work, though I have a few beauties.


      • Betsy-
        Let me say that I think you may be mistaken about the works
        of your uncle Jim that you are in possession of. From what I remember, they are excellent, especially the floral pieces. All
        artists evolve; but having lived with one for many years, I can
        attest to the fact that many artists believe their best work was done when they were young. I am not entirely sure I agree with
        that; but know that Jim’s work changed as he got older, in terms
        of its subject matter, but his technique and dedication to his
        artistic expression remained constant throughout his life, and the body of work that we have left to us by him is a testament to that fact. Hope you have been well. Have missed talking with you and Kelly.

      • Betsy Tomke Says:

        Hi there–thanks for setting me straight, you are right…I love my little collection and feel fortunate to have some of the older ones and yes, I love the florals….

        I am doing well and hope you and Cathy are too…


  16. Dorothy (Moellering) Russell, Mechanicsville, Iowa 52306-0308 Says:

    How can I find Joan Mickelson Tomke’s current address?
    We are planning a reunion of the Clarion High School class of ’47
    on June 9, 2012. I just received the invitation back from the
    Oceanside address that I had.
    This has really been an interesting set of messages!

  17. Robert Dalquest Says:

    Hello to all. I am trying not to get to excited and I am fully prepared for disappointment. However, I have had a painting in my living room since 1995 that I obtained from a backroom of a second hand store in Lancaster, TX that was clearing out after a tornado had leveled most of the area. When I saw this painting I was, and still am, enamored of it. I have looked for the artist off and on for years with no luck. Having not tried in years, I was looking at it today and decided to try again and stumbled on this blog as well as a few paintings with a signature very similar. I am hoping that someone here may help me know if i have indeed found the artist or whether I need to continue to look. This is what I have. An oil on canvas approx. 14×20 framed with the signature and year ( I assume) Mickelsen 74. The subject is a profile of an old man taking a nap in his chair with an open newspaper in his lap. There is a draped window in the foreground. The colors are dark greens browns and grays. I will be happy to fwd pictures, just not sure how to do that on this blog.
    Thank you for your time and consideration and will look forward to any input that anyone may have.

    Robert Dalquest

  18. Kaethe Flynn Says:

    Hi Robert it could be from my dad Jim Miickelson. He was out in that area for awhile a couple of times during his life and one of them may have been around the early 70’s I was only 14 then so not sure. He always signed his name on the lower right corner slanted to the Rt in a sort of script/print text usually in black. The M the K and the L usually look slightly larger in perspective, often in caps, than the rest of the letters

    • James davis Says:

      Hi, I think I met your dad!!! Did he live in new hampshire ? And did he play the piano? If this is all true, then I here a great story for you and the family.

  19. Kaethe! Wouldn’t it be great to someday see each other again? Barely remember you and my other 1st cousins. Most of my family is here in San Diego County — maybe you’ll be out this way sometime. I’ve adorned my pet grooming salon with prints of your dad’s “yachting action” paintings along with my all-time favorite, Duncan Chase, the ultimate “salty dawg” that probably wasn’t. Nice to hear from you after so long!

  20. James davis Says:

    I belive I have 5 sail boat paintings by Jim I met him at a place called rye on the rocks, I think it is the same Jim, does anyone know if he played the piano, if so I have a great story about our meeting

    • Hi James- Thanks for your contribution to our ongoing discussion of Jim Mickelson and his work. I have a cd of Jim playing the piano that his nieces shared with me. I would be happy to copy it for you if you are interested. I’m also certain that we would all love to have you share any stories or images of Jim’s work that you are willing to post here.

      • James davis Says:

        Hi Richard , that would be great to hear please let me known how that can happen. Also, I have not seen any reference to any of Jim’s sail boat paintings, the ones I have are done in oil and I have had them for 35 years and I love them like a close friend, they have become a part of me and my life as a sailor. I will share my story about my meeting Jim. I work in the film industry and we where scouting locations in portsmouth and we where having lunch at a place called ” rye on the rocks” and I being a sailor saw these paintings on the walls and had to know who the artist was, I found out he played piano at night so I came back that night and got very drunk with Jim, I asked if he would sell any if his art , but most of the night he was saying no untill he found out we where doing a movie. The More drunk Jim got the more we became great friends and he confessed he all ways wanted to bein a movie and if I could get him a part he would sell his paintings, I told him to show up in the morning at 10 and I would introduce him to the director, he said cool he would be there and we made a deal on the paintings, well if anybody knew Jim he did not show up, so I went to the bar that night to see him play again and see if he was alright, he was there and pretty hungover and said, I don’t get up that early and number two I really don’t want to be an actor anyway, but we made a deal so you can have the paintings. From that point on I spent many nights at the bar with Jim and always wished he would of taken me up on the offer, because he would of been a great actor, but he became a friend and an actor in my life story that I will never forget, thanks Jim

  21. Betsy Tomke Says:

    Hello to all–love the recent activity and thanks for the notification..so enjoyed your story, James Davis, and shared with my mom, Joan who is Jim’s sister. Texas to New Hampshire, stories and paintings, I love the reach of this…thanks to Richard and Cathy again for the site and hope all are well

  22. Betsy I do hope we meet someday. These postings are wild. Jim Davis I think you explained my dad well. He was an enigma. Thank-you for the story.Sad but it is true to him as I know him. I am glad he turned into a friend for you. I wish he was not an alcoholic. He was very special to me when we were young but the alcohol destroyed our family. I try to recall the good parts of my dad. Alcoholism is a disease and he suffered much from it I believe. He is at peace now.

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