by Claudia Johnson

Bobby Goldsboro is a true Renaissance man. He’s enjoyed a long career as an entertainer, composer, producer and publisher. Many people remember Goldsboro’s early 1970s television variety show or his string of 16 Top 40 hits, including “Honey,” “Little Green Apples” and “Watching Scottie Grow.”

They may have watched “The Swamp Critters of Lost Lagoon” series on PBS with their kids. And they could have caught his musical performance on Burt Reynolds’ vehicles like “Evening Shade” and “Gator.”

But Honest Abe Living wanted to know more about his second, very successful career as an artist.

“I never dreamed I would be a painter,” said Goldsboro, who turns 80 this month, in recent exclusive interview with Honest Abe Living. “I said ‘I’d really like to do that’, so the day I turned 65 I bought a camera, brushes and oil paint. “Like with music, I just started doing it and had no training. It’s a lot of trial and error, and I have learned from each one. In June I completed my 200th oil painting, and I learned as much from painting it as I did from the first 199.”

Goldsboro’s paintings now hang in galleries, commercial buildings and homes throughout America.

Honest Abe Living thought that he would be the ideal artist to provide some direction for those who want to use original oil paintings or high-quality prints in their log or timber frame home.

Not only did Goldsboro offer very practical and thorough advice, which can be read below, using photos of homes created by Honest Abe, he placed his paintings and prints on the walls – a service he offers for customers and designers so they can visualize how the art will look in their own space.

Goldsboro chose Chief Blackbird Shirt for the Teslia timber fame home by Honest Abe.

The Wilson home’s great room showing Goldsboro’s Sagebush & Thunder oil painting.

Honest Abe’s Cambridge model in Crossville, Tennessee, is shown with Goldsboro’s Legend of the Fall oil painting.

Q&A with Bobby Goldsboro, Writer, Singer, Producer, Painter

HAL: Let’s say I want to commission you to do an original painting or purchase one from your website that you’ve already painted. Tell me how to get started.

Bobby: You should measure the maximum space that a painting can occupy, including the frame. Then, you need to decide on the “theme” of the room.

Are you in North Carolina, but you like a “western” theme? That will work if your furnishings match. A moose painting with contemporary furniture usually doesn’t work.

But, quite a few home owners live in the southwest and don’t necessarily want southwestern artwork. That’s o.k. too, because there are no “rules” when it comes to artwork.

Some people simply want something that picks up the colors of the room. Others want something that reminds them of their childhood.

If you want something specific or personal then an original commissioned piece may be the way to go. That way you get exactly what you want.

When I do a commissioned piece I work with the client and send photos and concepts back and forth until I have an idea of exactly what the client wants. Only then do I start painting.

HAL: If I have commissioned or purchased an original painting, how do I keep it clean to ensure that it will be beautiful and preserved throughout the years?

Bobby: Most artists varnish their paintings when completed. There are several reasons for doing this. The varnish protects the painting from dust particles. It also “evens out” the painting. Otherwise, dark colors won’t have the same sheen as light colors. A varnished painting can easily be cleaned with a damp cloth and a feather duster.

HAL: I cannot afford an original painting, so I would love to invest in several high-quality prints that I can use throughout my home. What do I need to look for so that I will know they are of good quality and accurately represent the painting from which they are derived? Are prints likely to fade in time?

Bobby: Obviously, an original means the painting is more valuable since it is one of a kind. However, the advancements in printing in the last few years have made it difficult to see the difference in an original and a print, or Giclée.

I have many clients who might love a painting of mine but either can’t afford the original or the size doesn’t work for them.

That’s the beauty of a Giclée. You can make it pretty much any size you need. It’s easy enough to simply ask the artist where their prints are done and even get a sample. The process used today pretty much guarantees that the print will not fade in our lifetime.

How will an original painting look in your home?

Goldsboro provided examples of photos from his clients with paintings and prints placed on the walls for their review. Those are presented below.

At the top of this page is an Honest Abe Log Homes timber frame with a painting by the artist displayed on the wall of the great room.

Interview by Claudia Johnson, Honest Abe Log Homes Director of Marketing

HAL: How important is framing and how do I select the right frame for the painting, both in terms of enhancing the painting and protecting it?

Bobby: Certain paintings are intentionally left unframed. They are called “gallery wraps.” The sides, top and bottom are also painted. 

However, I compare an unframed painting to a tuxedo. If you don’t have the bow tie or the cummerbund, then it’s not complete. An unframed painting that is not a “gallery wrap” is incomplete. You won’t find unframed paintings in art galleries unless they are gallery wraps. The frame is crucial to the painting.

Personally, my wife, Dianne, and I discuss every frame for every painting I do. Each painting requires the right color and style. I usually give the client several choices of frames to pick from. I can put a painting in several frames and send the client photos of each one to show what the painting looks like in a particular frame.

From Music to Painting

By Claudia Johnson

Reprinted with permission of Country Reunion Magazine

In recent years Renaissance man Bobby Goldsboro has pursued his passion for art that began when he was in 10th grade when he nabbed his brother’s drawing pad and started creating. His first works were a  portrait of Jesus and a still life of a bowl of fruit.

With all his other creative endeavors, visual arts were forgotten until he and his wife, Dianne, began visiting museums and galleries.

With no training, the singer-songwriter started painting. Goldsboro’s wife, Dianne, was first to recognize that her husband’s paintings were not only beautiful, they were marketable.

“When I first started, I would have three or four paintings going at a time,” Goldsboro said. “Dianne started researching sizes and pricing. The first four paintings we offered for sale on the website sold in less than 48 hours. We’ve been doing this for 15 years now, and Dianne frames every painting.”

Goldsboro’s work has been featured at one-man art shows in galleries around the country, and he is considered one of the premier wildlife artists in America, with his paintings hanging in places like the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, which now houses one of his hummingbird paintings and The Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, which commissioned two pieces.

Goldsboro said that he and Dianne spend a great deal of time in Wyoming, where they photograph wildlife for future paintings. Camera in hand, they are willing to go were the animals live, waiting for hours to get just the right shot.

“I’ve been in the middle of a heard of bison with them scraping my car,” he said. “That’s the way I can see every detail. I’ve now painted every major animal in Jackson Hole.”

In addition to original creations, the artist does commissioned work. Ray Stevens secured Goldsboro to create an 8’ x 4’ oil painting of Stevens on stage for the main entrance of the state-of-the-art CabaRay Showroom in Nashville, Tennessee.

When the Hubble Telescope turned 25 years old, Goldsboro was commissioned to create a series of large oil paintings based on photos returned to earth from the telescope. A Florida bank acquired 28 paintings for use in its facilities.

The Goldsboros regularly donate paintings and giclée prints to charities for fund-raisers, one of which recently raised $25,000. A martini glass he designed and painted for  the Celebrity Martini Glass Auction in Naples, Florida, sold at auction for $14,000.

On galleries of his paintings may be viewed and purchased, and there’s contact information for commissioning work by Goldsboro.

Before Covid 19 closed down many performance venues, Goldsboro had announced that he was taking a break from performing due to his art commitments and says that because of how he works, quarantine has not changed his daily schedule.

“I walk over to my studio and paint in my bathrobe all day,” he said, perfectly content with the company of his oils and brushes.

To read more of the Country Reunion Magazine interview with Goldsboro, click here.

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