commission: harbour town golf links, hole 18

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Commission: Harbour Town Golf Links, Hole 18  acrylic on wood and joint compound  24×40

Around October of last year I was commissioned by my cousin’s husband Brian to make this painting as a gift for his brother Scott, who lives in DC. Harbour Town Golf Links is course in Hilton Head, South Carolina that Scott and his dad play from time to time. For the commission, Brian and I worked out which hole to focus on and then I was told to “go crazy” with it. So I did. It’s really nice to be trusted in that way. I finally drove it up to DC last week to present to Scott, so now I can show it here.

This painting combines the basic structure of the hole with the pattern and texture of golf pants. I’ve never played this course, but I did some research. As it turns out, Hole 18 is the crown jewel of the course. Since it’s right on the water,  you are haunted its entire length by  a wind-swept tidal flat that looms left like a big hairy monster waiting to gobble any misplaced shot. As you approach the green and somehow dodge a snaggletooth-shaped bunker, a glorious red-and-white lighthouse comes into view. It was important to include this iconic lighthouse, but I didn’t want it to steal the focus of the painting. So I shrank it, multiplied it and “embroidered” its pattern on the upper right-hand side. Another little detail are the tee boxes – one for each member of the nuclear family.

I had a great time building and painting this hole (the biggest yet!) and am looking forward to the next round. Golf courses are such strange creations. They are as beautiful as they are absurd, and I enjoy making them. If you would like a commission in this vein (or anything else for that matter), please get in touch: joegolney@gmail.com

commission: harbour town golf links, hole 18

001-17 (Oh, quit putting dewdrops in your pocket!)

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001-17 (Oh, quit putting dew drops in your pocket!)

Acrylic, joint compound, marker, pen on wood  18.5×20  ($400)


Forgive the messy background in the main photo, but I’ve been having trouble shooting these textural paintings in a way that properly shows their nooks and crannies. Had to get the light shining down and oblique to the surface. I don’t like manipulating the images much, and these are all just as the camera took them except for cropping.

While making this piece it took a left turn, and I followed it down the rabbit’s hole, as it were. That’s pretty typical of my method, reacting to what comes, but this one ended up leaning somewhat representational and dipping into a surreal kind of thing. Not usually my cup of tea, but what the hell.

On a technical note, these pics were saved using the PNG file format. I opted for no compression, and I hear that less information (color/detail) is compromised when using this method rather than the JPEG file format which favors a smaller file size over image quality. I like how the colors came out (it’s been tough shooting green for some reason), so I think I’ll stick with this method. The only problem is that the PNG files are a bit larger, and when I apply online to shows, etc. they usually require JPEG. Probably best to save for both to cover all bases.

001-17 (Oh, quit putting dewdrops in your pocket!)

praying golf

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praying golf  acrylic and joint compound on wood  8×36

This is a painting I did for my dad for his birthday. I know these aren’t the best photos, but maybe you get the idea. Anyways, this one refers to the spot in the neighborhood where my dad and stepmom stop to pray on their morning walks. This year my dad got some good health news after an initial scare. Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t go into much detail except to say that it was an uncertain time and we all let out a big sigh of relief when the good news came his way. I’m sure the walking and praying did a lot of good for him. Whether there was anything metaphysical in the works is debatable and, from my point of view, irrelevant. It got him from point A to point O, and that’s all that matters. He moved his body, quieted his mind, and got on with it.

praying golf

ora et labora

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ora et labora  acrylic on wood  13×14

This painting is a pain to photograph so there’s a video on Instagram (@joe.olney) for another view. I got some inspiration from a Associated Press photo (photographer Tony Gentile) of the Pope visiting Cuba a while back. I was blown away by the composition and thought it was a good jumping off point. I might have to do a series of these at some point.

ora et labora