Landscapes are my primary subject and painting with mind-eye magic is the goal. Our mind and eyes selectively ignore portions of what we see, isolating what catches our interest from the rest of what is in view. Interesting adjacent scenes remain 'in sight' in memory as we turn to survey a wide panoramic view.
And yet, when the scene is reduced to a photograph, we can't seem to use this mind-eye magic. The mountains often lose their grandeur, power lines intrude, and wide expanses of uninteresting foreground or sky may now stand out.
My objective is to capture some of what my mind thinks I see, rather than the absolutes that come from a camera, and to do this while maintaining a sense of the environment in which the scene exists. If someone familiar with the region looks at one of my paintings and comments both that it's a nice painting and that they recognize the area being represented, then in my view I will have made a successful painting.
Jim was born and raised in New York State, attended Middlebury College for two years and served in the Army for two years. He worked for the State of Vermont for thirty-eight years in the fields of transportation, data processing and geographic information systems.
During that time art was an occasional hobby, mostly relegated to community workshops. Family, jobs, competitive shooting, local elected positions and house remodeling all took precedence. Jim and his wife Kate moved to Cody, Wyoming in 2001.
He credits the Buffalo Bill Center of the West's program “Learning From the Western Masters” as the major factor in his decision to turn to painting full time. Artist M.C. Poulsen's tutelage and the rich learning environment of the center's Whitney Western Art Museum brought together the bits and pieces of painting knowledge picked up over the years.
Jim formalized and expanded his art education by taking oil painting and watercolor classes at Northwest College. He continues learning via workshops with artists such as John Budicin, Ned Mueller, Denney Neville, Frank Serano, Ralph Oberg, John Potter, George Strickland and Jim Wilcox.