a little something about Jim
Presently, I’m the Artist in Residence at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park – a position I’ve been awarded each year since 2003; an opportunity that has literally exposed my work to the world. I often think about how I wound up here. Living in Wyoming since I was a year old, a state my grandparents and great grandparents homesteaded, started the journey.
I don’t have an MFA or a BFA or even an AFA and quite frankly, I don’t know what the BFD is anyway….OMG, LOL. I’ve attended and completed college level art classes but my degree is in Fire Science. Why? Well, after supporting my art interests since the age of 6 and allowing me to take art classes all through school, my parents felt it important I earn a traditional living and weren’t totally behind a degree in art.
My paintings are dry brush watercolors on canvas and many of the techniques I utilize today I learned in workshops with Carl Brenders, Morton Solberg, Robert Bateman, Rod Frederick and Stephen Quiller.
So, in 1978, I virtually tripped, stumbled and fell backwards into the fire service. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. It was exciting work, it was unbelievably rewarding and it made a better person out of me. It also gave me an immense amount of time off to paint. The first 13 years of my fire service career I moonlighted as a commercial artist and the last twelve years I started pursuing a career in fine art.
My fine art career started in 1990 when my girlfriend, now wife, Donna (yes you’re correct, that means I’m married to Donna Reed) signed me up for my first art show without my knowledge; that single act started many years of traveling to art shows from Kansas City to Sacramento and all points in between. I vividly remember, while traveling to a show in Wyoming, watching my first cargo trailer come unhooked and pass me on the highway. Then, there was the time our cash box was stolen during tear down in Chicago. I’ve progressed from having show applications rejected to finally being accepted to nationally ranked shows like the Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show in Seattle. I’ve gone from producing weak pieces to having my artwork in the top 40 for the Wyoming Conservation Stamp Contest. I’ve been awarded People’s Choice, Best Watercolor and Best of Show Awards and have been chosen as the featured artist for the Wyoming Chapter of FNAWS, Wyoming Cares, Wyoming Chapter of Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s Affiliation of Wyoming.
In 2003 I left the fire service to produce art full time and as a friend of mine put it “I went from rescuing people to confusing them”.
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