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Jul 28, 2010 12:29 AM by Andy Koen

Local artist to be featured on Rachel Ray

If you are a YouTube fan, then there's a good chance you've watched local artist Jason Baalman in action.  The Old Colorado City artist has a knack for creating with unusual mediums. 

His recreation of DaVinci's Mona Lisa using the comptuer software MS Paint has been viewed over 12 million times. 

His drawing of Elvis Presley with Cheetos earned him a spot on the Late Show with David Letterman.  He has since created cheese puff portraits of Conan O'Brien and on Wednesday he'll present one to daytime talkshow host Rachel Ray.

"It has an appeal to people because they could relate to the medium versus most art mediums that are kind of a little out there, so there was instant relateability so I started looking for things," Baalman said.

Jason says his most challenging piece was portrait of army soldier made from over 1500 toy army men as  a fundraiser for the USO.

"If you laid it down on it's side it looked like a panorama you should see in a museum."

But when you step inside his modest studio in just behind the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, you'll find the creations that launched him to internet stardom just spoiling away on the shelf.  Jason says the YouTube paintings are for fun.

"The general public likes the YouTube videos, the art world probably could care less about them. I see it as fun and it's a fun way to interact and play with people, and people my constant feedback is about being inspired to try and do it."

His real passion is changing the way people view, literally.

"Well I have a dream that it may be possible to make a 3d picture that doesn't require 3d glasses as long as your looking at the right spot and standing in the right spot the picture will start to feel 3d."

Whether he realizes that dream or not, something tells me jason has aready changed many opinions of what we see as art.

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