James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix (born Johnny Allen Hendrix; November 27, 1942 – September 18, 1970) was an American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music; and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”.
Bob and Kathy Levine, Hendrix’s publicity agents in the U.S., say that Jimi carried sketchpads and art boards with him and was often seen drawing his vivid images. Some of the paintings appear to have begun as small doodles which he developed into intricate highly involved images. Those familiar with his method of painting say Hendrix worked with 5 or 6 watercolor pens held between the fingers of his right hand as his other hand deftly created the amazingly intricate designs.
Jimi’s outlook on art took a different turn when in 1965 he met Arthur Lee the musician and producer of several psychedelic record albums. This experience, along with his starting to use acid and other hard drugs in 1966 began the change in Jimi’s style of dress and his expressions in fine art. His paintings represent brightly colored fanciful figures and inventive forms in various sizes, with the smallest being about 4 inches and the larger ones approximately 18 inches. All are powerful, highly creative and unique hallucinogenic works of art. One of the reasons Jimi’s art works are always immediate, intimate and precise is because he was extremely nearsighted and never wore glasses. Oddly his biographers report that as a young boy in school Jimi displayed special talent in art, but had no early interest in music.