MANATEE- What started off as a regular open house, turned into what seemed like walking through an art gallery for many people.

Marine Veteran, James Henley, has been painting for 14 years. He put his house on the market and expected to sell it and move somewhere else, as you typically would. What he wasn’t expecting was the influx of people more interested in his paintings than his house.

After separating from the Marine Corps, Henley moved to Los Angeles.

It was there that he discovered his passion for the art created by Jackson Pollock.

For the past 14 years nobody has seen his art except for friends and family.

After hosting an open house, many people thought Henley’s work was original Jackson Pollock’s.

“It was a really big surprise when we started having a realtor saying ‘people are flipping out about the art. People want to know who is the artist. We even had some people saying are those original Jackson Pollock‘s. I'm really, really happy about it. It came out of nowhere, I wasn’t expecting this,” said Henley.

Henley says inspiration strikes out of nowhere.

He’s even gotten out of bed in the middle of the night to paint.

Some of his paintings take as long as years to complete.

“Some of them take months. There’s times that I step away from them and they just kind of sit there and one day I’ll pick them up again. The one that’s to the right of me right now, I went back-and-forth with for a couple years. And they tell me when they’re done. I can just look at them one day and I’m like, OK you’re done,” said Henley.

Before the open house, Henley hadn’t thought much of his future plans with painting.

Now, he would be interested in getting a sponsor and presenting his work in a gallery.

Someone has even flown in from Kentucky to buy a piece of Henley’s art.

For more information, you can contact James Henley directly at (941)592-7011 or [email protected]