This is a really big adventure painting for me. I have decided to devote all my energies into figurative work for the time being as it has been a focus ever since I started my formal studies with an Illustrator when I was just 14. I used to see figures as exacting portraits but now that I have been at it for a very long time and fell under the spell of studying the work in museums and national exhibits, I see the figure as landscape and abstraction. When a painting becomes that, the artist, in this case me, becomes an exercise in composition, line, form, and color. I am no longer copying the perfect photograph hoping that all the details are accurate.
So here’s what happens: I go to the beach, wait for people to assemble, move around, and then bring out my sketch book and iPhone camera. The ideas are laid out, the color notes are described along with my feelings about the day. Was it overcast? Bright and sunny? Did my subjects seem to know each other? (I love to make up stories about that one!)
So then I head back the studio and think about what the theme might be. Sometimes I get stuck on that until one morning, over a good cup of coffee, it all comes together. I write it down as those moments can be fleeting. Then the work starts. I begin with line only then move to form and color. I have been known to change this many times but I am showing you the points I have landed on this week.
More to come…….
James is a member artist of Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. More about Jini James
If you’ve heard my story before, I’ll try to add more flair. My Dad once told me about trading a new pair of roller-skates for a sailboat, I think he called it a Snipe, and he kept it hidden at a local pond. Much later, while he was still living, I came home from work and told him I just bought a boat. Imagine the look on his face. The Annapolis Sailing School experience gave me a great start but the decision came to me with Dad’s old story.
Time passed and I always found myself living near a body of water with a boat. Colleges, a brief stint in art school, then graduate school, followed by art workshops and mentorships all influenced how I approached art making. I love chemistry and discovery of the nature of things. I have to understand it, everything about “it” before the subject or idea goes down on paper, canvas, sandpaper or whatever the supply stores sell.
We lived in Bucks County, PA with a circle of artist friends. The exposure was breath-taking. I got to see how they worked at art for a living and collected art for their pleasure. It becomes my mission then to spread art-awareness to everyone I meet especially in communities that know little about the visual arts. If you cross my path, there will be either talk of sailing or art.
My watercolor shown here is part of a local hospital collection and is referenced by our boatyard on the Eastern Shore of MD. The photo is of me at the boatyard using my art skills to paint a Bermuda Longtail on the transom of our 42ft Grampian. The paint job has held up for over 20 years. I try my best to do it right the first time.
“Travels”:A Solo Exhibit of Landscapes from America and Abroad by Jini James
Conch Key by Jini James
April 1—April 28, 2013
Gallery member artist Jini James is exhibiting in a solo show for the month of April. James has created all new works in oil from her “endless list” of visual inspirations from the Chesapeake Bay, the American Southwest, Central America, Paris, and Iceland. Her first painting trip was to Honduras, loaded down with a heavy French easel and at least 30 tubes of oils, plus canvases. “The exploration of Mayan ruins in Copan, Central America was a life-changing experience,”says James. “Through art, I realized how cultures survive. It was the artists who recorded Mayan history in stone. I also learned that with each subsequent trip, I packed lighter and lighter until watercolors and mini sketchbooks took the place of the oils, canvases, and an easel. “My watercolor studies, along with photographs, translated into oil paintings when I returned to my studio,” says James.
In her artistic endeavors and travels, James has received numerous awards and signature memberships in the art world. Her training began in her teens when she studied privately with a well known New York Illustrator and progressed to study at Moore College of Art and The Pennsylvania Academy. Her passion for life long learning includes workshops, “for that once or twice a year tune-up”. “I am a believer in craftsmanship and preserving reality while allowing the viewer to see the painterly strokes that are laid into the piece. These are story paintings.”
The Gallery desk will be distributing free raffle tickets, one per person, from April 5 until April 13 for this lovely painting by Jini. You must be present at the Second Saturday Art Talk to win.
SECOND SATURDAY ART TALK
James will also discuss her work at the gallery’s Second Saturday Art Talk on April 13 at 2 p.m. Thoughts about painting on site as well as creating a good composition will be discussed along with a painting demonstration. Arrive early as seating is limited.