Artist’s mural inspired by British ‘dazzle ships’ of WWI

Harold Hollingsworth’s wall painting will be on display until June 2 at the Schack. (Video)

What’s it like to create a work of art, knowing from the moment of your first brushstrokes that the image will be erased in five weeks?

Seattle artist Harold Hollingsworth said not only does he not mind, it adds to its fun.

“There’s a looseness about it — almost like drawing in a sketchbook,” he said of the work, painted in a hall of Schack Art Center’s mezzanine.

He was asked to create the wall painting as part of the art center’s exhibit, “The Intersection of Art + Math,” which runs through June 2.

“It’s a good opportunity to take on a tight space and make it look different or interesting,” he said. “I think it’s more kind of adding a flavor to the show.”

His mural, a mix of bold diagonal black, white and gray stripes, was inspired in part by the designs of the British “Dazzle Ships” of World War I.

“If you look online at some of the photographs of the Dazzle ships, they can be rather confusing to look at,” Hollingsworth said.

The ships were painted with black stripes and gray accents — a step taken to try to confuse enemy ships on their position and bearing. The visual effect resulted in the hull of a ship appearing bent in or out.

“So in a sense, you couldn’t tell what was the front or the rear or the height of it,” he said.

British painter Bridget Riley began using similar techniques in her works from the 1960s, which Hollingsworth became familiar with before learning of its World War I antecedents.

Before enrolling in art school at Western Washington University, Hollingsworth toured faculty art shows at schools throughout the state looking for “who was the most interesting or dynamic.”

He chose Western based on the work of Bob Jensen, “who pushed me out of my comfort zone continually.”

As a painter in Washington, Hollingsworth said he sometimes felt an expectation that his style carry on the traditions of famed painters from the Northwest School, such as Morris Graves, Guy Anderson and Mark Tobey.

Hollingsworth didn’t feel compelled to take his direction from this expectation. “I was going to Europe and seeing shows in Berlin and London,” he said.

He wanted to develop and follow his own style, saying his attitude was: “I belong to the world community, not this the Northwest School you want me to tie into.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or

Talk to us

More in Life

Andrew Vait, left to right, Annie Jantzer and Linzy Collins of The Little Lies rehearses Monday evening in Everett, Washington on May 16, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Music, theater and more: What’s happening in Snohomish County

The Music at the Marina series concludes today with The Little Lies, a Fleetwood Mac tribute band.

Josh Haazard Stands inside his workspace, the HaazLab, where he creates a variety of cosplay props and other creative gadgets, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at his home in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
This contraption crafter turns junk into sci-fi weaponry

Joshamee “The Chief” Haazard is a costume prop maker in Monroe. He transforms trash into treasure.

For your kids’ sake, stress less about their grades this school year

Don’t make a big deal over grades. Instead, encourage out-of-classroom activities and remember, learning is supposed to be fun.

At the prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus, the dramatic west cliffs of Ireland meet the turbulent sea as Europe comes to an abrupt end. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Enjoy the simple life on Ireland’s starkly beautiful Aran Islands

Three limestone islands make up the Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer.

American Queen changes COVID protocols; can I get a refund?

fter American Queen changes its COVID protocols, Patricia Voorhees Furlong and her husband want to skip their river cruise. Is that allowed? Or, will they lose out on $7,858?

Erika Weinert, an Everett-based mother, editor and now author, sits at her home workspace and holds her first published book, “Cursing with Style” on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
What the @#$%! Everett mom publishes a dictionary of curse words

Erika M. Weinert, 42, a copy editor who does business as The Werd Nerd, wrote “Cursing with Style.”

The 2022 Lexus GX has a 301-horsepower V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, and full time all-wheel drive. (Lexus)
Updated 2022 Lexus GX 460 expands list of standard features

Navigation and a 10.3-inch multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included.

Bruce Johnson has an exhibit on the history of clowns at the Lynnwood Library in Lynnwood, Washington on August 11, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Clown historian takes the funny business very seriously

Bruce Johnson, a.k.a “Charlie the Juggling Clown,” wants to pass his craft down to future generations.

Ella Larson, left, and Simon Fuentes sort through blueberries at Hazel Blue Acres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fruits, flowers and bees aplenty in Arlington farm fete

First-ever event highlights local growers’ bounty and contributions to local community

A bald eagle flys over Howarth Park back to it’s perch on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Learn how to photograph birds in three-part workshop

Participants will learn to make appealing, sharp bird photos even if they are new to photography.

The Snohomish County PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building.
PUD installs fast chargers for electric vehicle drivers

Funding for the t62.5-kilowatt chargers came in part from fines paid by Volkswagen over its 2015 diesel engine scandal.

Airbnb host cancels, and now he has to pay $1,300 more

When Curtis Rahman’s Airbnb host cancels his reservation a day before his arrival, he tries to find a substitute apartment. But the new property is smaller and costs more. Is a $200 credit enough to make up for the trouble?