Fort Collins CO 1963
University of Colorado Boulder 1981 – 1984
Art Students League New York City 1985 – 1986
Colorado Institute of Art 1990
John Pence San Francisco 1990
I Wolk St. Helena CA 1991
Gateway gallery Vail 1993 – 1996
Aspen Grove Fine art, Aspen CO 1996 – Present
Masters Gallery Vail CO 1997 – Present
Galerie Züger Santa Fe NM 2005 – Present
Galerie Züger Dallas TX 2009 – 2014
Masters Gallery Denver CO 2010 – Present
S.R. Brennen Fine Art Palm Desert CA 2015 – 2016
WALL Dallas TX 2016 – Present
Museum of Art, Fort Collins CO
Museum of Contemporary Art AR
The Yakes Collection, Denver CO
The Murdy Collection, Denver CO
Singleton/Biss Museum Santa Fe NM
Raised in Northern Colorado in the home of an artist, at an early age I found my environment to be a magic place. As a child my father’s art studio was my home, brushes and paint, once toys would become tools. Growing up with the encouragement to be creative gave me a head start in learning art theory and experimentation with materials at a young age.
The first conquest was, of course, drawing, which led me to an early career in the pastel world, which I saw as a colorful extension of drawing. Eventually becoming a signature member of the American Pastel Society in New York City. This could have been a very complete journey for the rest of my career, but the restlessness that comes with being an artist soon took me to a whole new medium… paint!
Envious of painters that who worked with abandon, chaotic, expressive… I started exploring paint without rules and using this new medium in a totally opposite manner than the precise technical skill asked of the pastel in still life work. The new works were large, freeform to begin with…yet my sense of structure and architecture started to wrangle in the erratic paintings to finish them off with a great play of free form gestures that meet a wonderful balance of geometric themes.
I was encouraged to spread my wings, experiment and grow. Soon, the contemporary works would become a large program in all of their galleries and would spin off into interesting projects such as multiple one man shows, album covers for big name musicians, billboard size works for the entertainment industry, and large installations for clients that exceeded 60 ft diorama paintings.
All of this while not forgetting the skills of the classic painter, for today, I still paint joyfully, the classic still life work right beside a splashy contemporary piece just an easel away.
Documentary – Colors of Life
An intimate look behind the scenes of one of America’s greatest artistic talents. James discusses his process, motivations and thoughts about the journey as an artist.
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