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Local teacher chronicles new art form in award winning documentary

Local teacher chronicles new art form in award winning documentary (WKRC)

SHARONVILLE, Ohio (WKRC) - A local filmmaker has partnered with a Sharonville artist and a small, northern Kentucky school to produce an award-winning documentary.

“Lines of Sight” tells the unique story of painter Jim Hall and how his triumph over serious vision problems led to a new style of painting. It also shows how art history was still being made one stroke at a time.

Jim Hall was painting at his home in Sharonville Wednesday morning like he does every day. Steve Oldfield was teaching documentary filmmaking at Villa Madonna Academy like he does every day. They were worlds apart, but a few years ago they crossed paths and Oldfield noticed Hall's painting style. It's called lineillism. Every brush stroke was a vertical line. Hall developed the technique in 2001 after a stroke and case of shingles wrecked his vision.

“I literally thought I was going blind. And everything I saw had lines through it; the TV, everything outside,” said Hall.

Oldfield said, “He thought he was going blind and instead of panicking he started painting and he created a whole new art form. So I thought, ‘I can't believe I'm the guy who gets to tell the story.’”

Oldfield's documentary “Lines of Sight" debuted August 2016 at the Indie Gathering International Film Festival. It won the documentary division and the festival's viewer's choice award. It was the story of Hall's triumph over a myriad of challenges for his family and his art. It took a year to produce.

Jim Hall did three paintings for the documentary. All of them were speeded up with time lapse photography. Half a million vertical paint strokes were captured by Oldfield's cameras. Villa Madonna Academy was sprinkled through the 90-minute-long version and hour long festival cut. Villa 6th grader, Asha Bosley, read a short story written by Hall for his daughter. Jan Herrman's art class got a lineillism lesson from its creator.

The documentary will spend the next year at film festivals and then be made available to the public. A lesson in local art history and reminder that beauty can come from pain, if you just keeping moving down the line.

Jim Hall is 84 years old. He paints every day. His vision has improved, but he still paints everything in the lineillism style.

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