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The Nick's Paintings

Help Justin Jay McIntosh become Nuvo’s Best 2-D Artist of 2015.  It is real easy too!  Just click the link below, and click the box next to “Justin Jay McIntosh” under “Best Local Visual 2-D Artist”.  Your help will allow him to take the next big step in his career goal to becoming a full time artist, and he needs you.


Help Justin share his art with more of the great state of Indiana.  Cheers!



My Bar, Brewery, and Beer related artwork all started when I was in college.  I was working at a campus cafeteria at IU Bloomington, and I was not happy.  I was good at my job, and the money was good at the time, but my stress levels were building to a boiling point.  My dedication to and quality of my artwork were suffering, so I quit my job as a Student Supervisor.  It was not a quick fix, but it was a needed start.

Nick's Main Bar paintingWhile I was taking a needed break and trying to rediscover my passion, it quickly became apparent that I still needed a job.  I received a voicemail from my old manager asking me to come back as a full time supervisor with a raise, but I could not even consider it.  The cafeteria life made me bitter to other college students, and I wanted a job where people smiled.  To my surprise, I found that at Nick’s English Hut, the oldest bar in Bloomington, IN.

A group friend had worked at Nick’s for years, and overheard that I was looking for something.  He told me to come in and talk to the owner Rags, and that he would put in a good word.  Next thing I know, I got a job working morning prep for the kitchen and food for the future days.  And when open, I watched the deep fryer and salad station.  Rags took a liking to me, mainly because I came in on time and was willing to do a lot of grunt work.  The people were fun, got a free meal everyday as well as a weekly check, and the atmosphere was awesome.  It felt like home, even though I did not drink at the time.

Nick's Main Bar hanging on ceiling at Nick'sWhen it came time for my final semester for school, I knew I had to do something big or go home.  I had a canvas in my studio for the past year that was 8 by 6 feet. Not only was the piece large, I knew I had to do something challenging. Students in the BFA painting program always did something really impressive for their final semester, I was not going to change this now.  Being fascinated with the ability to see multiple rooms and different colored lights from nearly any angle at Nick’s, I asked my boss if I could paint the bar.  He told me to go ahead.

I took a bunch of photos, did some sketches, and went to work on the canvas.  The paint flowed across the piece.  I focused on perspective to make the place come alive.  I used painting tricks to make details appear in places that were relatively shapeless.  I was mixing paint in the caps of 2 liter soda bottles so I did not have to keep walking back to my paints. It took nearly all semester, but I finished the piece the night before my final college art show.

Drink StationDuring final semester art critiques, I was told by my instructors that all students applying to get into the BFA Painting program stated the piece was their favorite of the show.  It’s a piece I am proud of, and it is currently hanging at Nick’s English hut to this day.  Every time I go back to Bloomington, Nick’s is a needed stop.  And now that I am a drinker, and head of a craft beer group, It is great to have a pint and see the changes over the years.

But this is not my only Nick’s painting.  A few years after moving to Indianapolis and buying a house with my wife, I took one of the remaining pictures that I had of Nick’s and made a second painting.  This one was much smaller than the first, but it was also of the main bar, viewed from the kitchen.  Not much of a story with this, but it did hang at the IN State Fair and take home an honorable mention.

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