Artist Jim Velnosky

On Feb. 9, 2012, Gilpin County artist Jim Velnosky hung his paintings in the Nederland Community Library. His pine trees silhouetted by moonlight, his sunsets, his stark, naked aspen trees glowing warmly against blue white snow, The vivid, brilliant, colors of a lifetime of mountain scenes seen through his eyes.
He was over the top happy that his work would be seen by many people. He lived for his painting and he loved sharing his work with friends, neighbors and strangers. Jim said he felt his art was going through a change at that time, that he was in a creative surge, even working on two paintings at a time.
About a month ago, Jim was in Nederland and said he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He said at the time, that he was content; he had lived his life the way he wanted to and was happy that he was leaving behind his legacy of haunting, dramatic landscapes of the forest and mountains he lived in.
He was appreciative of the Hospice care he was receiving and enjoyed the attention of the staff who cared for him.
Jim died last Wednesday, April 3, after a brief stay at the Hospice Center of Boulder County in Longmont.
He has been a resident of the area for the past 30 years, living a humble lifestyle in his cabin in Gilpin County. When he first came to the area, he started a band called the Poisoned Squirrels and became locally popular.
For the past couple of summers, Jim set up a small studio, covered by a tent, at Roy’s Last Shot, where he painted and sold paintings. He was always delighted to sell his work, not so much for the money, but for the fact that people wanted to own his creations. He also had a booth at the annual Holiday Market put on by the Nederland Area Seniors during the Christmas holidays.
He was a warm, caring, gentle person who will be greatly missed in the community, as an artist and as a friend.
Jim is survived by his long time companion, Erik Beltran; by his siblings, Kathy Hogan, Marie Hamilton, Peg Cantera, and Charles Velnosky; his son, Joshua Mulloy; two granddaughters; and by his nieces and nephews.
Jim’s artwork, beautiful original oil paintings of the local scenery, is on exhibit at Susan and Jeffrey Green’s Very Nice Brewing Company, at 20 Lakeview Drive, Unit 112, in Nederland. They will be hosting a celebration of Jim’s life and artwork at the brewery, at noon on Sunday, April 21, which will be open to Jim’s many friends, and the general public. With Jim’s love of nature, it is fitting that this celebration of his life will coincide with Earth Day observances.
His art was also regularly featured in a number of local art shows and establishments, including Roy’s Last Shot in Black Hawk, at the Art Mart in Boulder, and at the Mutual of Omaha Bank in Nederland. At Jim’s request, there will be a tree planting and celebration of his life, which be held up at the cabin in May.  Plans are in the works.  Anyone interested in coming to the tree planting can call Erik Beltran for further details, at 720-891-6422.
Links to Jim’s art work can be found at:; and