AMP Blog: Tell us about the artwork you submitted to our international juried art competition. Is this part of a larger series? What are some of the ideas behind that work.
James: I have entered two pieces of abstract art to the International Juried Art Competition. My painting “Acid Rain” was painted without a specific initial design. The painting evolved as I used my knowledge and talent for color and shape and blended them in a thought provoking way. The selection was done to entice the viewer’s eyes to move around the painting. The painting invokes questions about the environment and the effects of acid rain on it. My painting “Abstract Self Portrait” came about while pondering the items I enjoy and find important in my life. I wanted to incorporate myself into this piece in an effort to let the viewer have insight into the artist. This painting captures the viewer’s interest as they embrace the life of the artist. Neither of these is part of a larger series but are individual pieces of art.
APM Blog: Tell us about the process and materials of your work.
James: My process is to first decide on a subject for my painting. I then launch into the piece using the uniqueness of the watercolor media to enhance the subject. I use Daniel Smith watercolors almost exclusively. The pallet I use is a bit unconventional. I use what is called a Possum Pallet. This pallet has small cups with lids that fit in the paint wells of the pallet. This allows the paint to stay fresh and moist between painting sessions. I found that with conventional pallets the paint in the wells dried out and could never really be reconstituted to it’s original state. The moist paint allows me to get the vivid and bright colors I desire in my paintings. I have paint in these pallet cups that have been there over a year and they are just as moist as when they came from the tube. I do not have a specific brand of brush I use but I do favor a half-inch flat brush. I try to use various techniques to manipulate water and paint in my art. I am always searching for new and innovative techniques.
APM Blog: Tell us about your background (this can include schools, history, unrelated jobs that led you to the arts, etc.).
James: I’ve spent many years in my occupation of computers and software design. I think that background taught me diversity, complexity, patience and other attributes. These all play a part in my art mentally, but without a conscious decision to do so. It’s a subliminal thing. I’ve taken lessons in the Central Florida area for many years. In most of the classes I “do my own thing” with suggestions and recommendations from the instructors to guide me along. I believe that art should be for everyone, and without explanation. I revel in the freedom of my eclectic education. I am often asked “What is your favorite thing to paint?” I always answer “I don’t have a favorite thing to paint.” Viewing my body of work you realize that it is diverse in content. I basically paint what I like and what motivates my talent. I enjoy the challenge of painting in watercolor although I have dabbled in acrylic a bit. Water and paint often have a mind of their own when applied to paper and this is both exciting and challenging at the same time. Three of my paintings were recently accepted for the international publication “Eyes On: Abstracts” by Blaze Hill Press. I’m a member of the Central Florida Watercolor Society and the Florida Watercolor Society.
APM Blog: Are there other artists, ideas, or fields of interest (such as science, literature or music) that influence your work? Can you describe how they influence you?
James: My inspiration for a “can do” attitude comes from my very talented mother. She could succeed at any craft she tried and she did many diverse pieces of art. My love of watercolor came from my mother-in-law who was talented in watercolor. She taught me the basic techniques of watercolor and encouraged me to explore the medium. I consider myself blessed to have had some of the finest instructors in Central Florida to guild me along. These instructors helped me form the basis of color, composition, and technique that I use in my art.
APM Blog: Who are some of the artists that influence your work?
The artists that influenced my work the most are two family relatives, Dorothy Lockwood and her twin sister, Marjorie Sinclair. These British twins are well known for their watercolor paintings. Dorothy Lockwood displayed her work at prestigious venues in both Brittan and France and received many honors. I am the proud owner of a collection of paintings and sketches by the twins. The twins also illustrated and authored several children’s books. Another artist I try to learn from and whose techniques I attempt to use in my art is Robert Taylor. He is a wonderful watercolor artist and author in the United Kingdom.
APM Blog: Is there somewhere we can see your work, such as an artist website or an upcoming art show?
Yes, I have developed my own web site. On this site I have included not only my art but the art of other family members including those who were an influence on me. I’ve also included some very interesting stories about the re-discovery of lost family art.
My site is http://jimandsharynp.tripod.com/jimsart