Monday, February 2, 2009

Tuning Into Reality

Painting wildlife, I strive for realism. One day I may obtain it. Meanwhile, I admire artists like Carel Brest Van Kempen ...among others. I just finished the collared anteater traipsing across the river basin. The alligator with the butterfly attached I painted from a photo I ripped off some wildlife magazine (it's in my collection). The alligator probably doesn't know the butterfly is there and the butterfly probably thinks he's sitting on a log, and that's probably the best thing. The beetle painting is from a series of 24 beetles I did on 8x10 just for the fun of it. When I experiment with new methods and subjects, I find myself still "working tight" and have big difficulties loosening up. I so admire the looseness and open and free style of other artists, and I would love to have more versatility in my bag of tricks, so I'm working on it.
But realism and surrealism are my passion. My favorites among the artists that have gone on to galleries beyond this existence are Maxfield Parrish, Alphonse Mucha and Salvador Dali. I visited Salvador Dali's Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida the first time I took the kids to Disneyworld. They were pretty young then, and didn't want to go to "AN ARRRRT MOOOOSEUM" . Couldn't hardly drag em away...had to have "Liquid Watches" t-shirts. Each piece was a wonder to behold. We spent 30 minutes on the shaded block painting of Abraham Lincoln. My son Mark. at the time, 12, backed up and walked up a dozen times checking it out. And the supersized "Discovery of America" is a breath-taking 14 feet tall. Today there are so many incredible artists it would be hard to choose a favorite. But I will. My favorite is Nelson Shanks and I linked his site with his name if ya want to click and check out marvelous work. Lemme know what ya think. And check into WTTW. Later.......


  1. Dang Jim... may I call you Jim? I love that beetle. You've rendered that metallic jewel shell of it perfectly. I had to squinch my eyes to study your perfectly painted shadows under those scrawny and spiny beetle legs. Awesome.

  2. Wow, your art is amazing James, I'll be visiting again no doubt!

  3. hi from Spain!! maybe you speak spanish. i don´t know. so i gonna write in english. i wanna say that your work is excellent, really good. we can always learn something about nature!
    really good work!