Two and one-half years ago, musician-turned-artist, Chris Coleman, became a sought after artist by accident. Driven by a sudden urge to finger paint two cowboys, Coleman let this self-described “craving” inspire his first piece of art. When he showed it to his wife, Holly Williams, the granddaughter of the legendary Hank Williams and daughter of Hank Williams, Jr., she could not believe her eyes. Williams, a fashion and home style enthusiast, immediately knew it would sell in the modern day general store the couple owns together in their hometown of Nashville, Tennessee. After getting the 11×14 painting framed, they hung it up in their store, White’s Mercantile, and it sold for $150.00 within one hour. Since then, in between tours, Coleman has continued to indulge himself in his art, which he continues to sell on the side.
Coleman, a native of Georgia, moved to Nashville to pursue his music career in 2002. Since then, he has traveled the world playing music with rock band Luna Halo, his wife, Williams, a country music artist, and most recently the Kings of Leon.
Coleman and Williams married in 2009, and they have two daughters, Stella June (2) and Lillie Mae (8 months). They live on 2 ½ acres in the middle of Nashville. Coleman describes their property as a place where he can let go and let his imagination wonder. While art comes naturally to Coleman, he credits his wife for the spectacular interiors of their home. “All you have to do is marry a good looking girl with good taste,” Coleman laughs.
When he’s not touring, Coleman trades in his stage talent as a minimalist modern artist whose style reflects old western history. His art was recently exhibited at The Rymer Gallery in Nashville and The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. According to Coleman, he is hesitant to set aside time for his paintings because the urge to paint is often a quick reaction that comes first thing in the morning or in the late evening.
“Art is personal and subjective,” Coleman states. “I have learned from several collectors their opinions and reactions to art…I try to keep the color palette simple and leave it up to the buyer’s imagination.”
Coleman’s paintings are raw, lone images featured on a blank canvas. Black abstract lines, sometimes decorated with subtle hints of color, leave buyers able to hang his art in nearly any setting.
Along with his music, Coleman draws inspiration from world renowned artists, including French artist, Henri Matisse. Coleman was able to see Matisse’s original artwork while touring with the Kings of Leon in London. “His ever-changing art with the simplicity and dead space is intriguing to me,” Coleman adds.
At just 36, Coleman hardly falls into the old figure of speech that a man of many trades is a master of none. While Coleman has seen great success as a musician, his career as an artist may just be his own rival.
Check out more of Chris’ work at chriscolemanart.com