Jim McVicker

The famous religious painter Carl Bloch was said to have dipped his paintbrush in his heart. As an artist, I relate to that statement because painting for me is a way to turn myself inside out and share what is there on canvas. Sometimes I see things that are so painfully beautiful that I can find no adequate words to describe them. My art has become a spiritual language where I can express myself without speaking. And hopefully those who view my paintings will feel what I am trying to say with no words passing between us. I have found that it is through visual imagery that I can best reveal my passions.

As an artist I am more interested in painting my emotional reaction to a subject than in creating a photorealistic rendering of it; consequently my paintings lean more to impressionism than realism. I tend to work in an abbreviated style where the suggestion is more important than the completed statement, and where the parts or details are sacrificed for the good of the whole. I’ve learned that the less I give away in my paintings, the more people seem to read in them.  To me, there is more poetry in an image when not every detail is spelled out and the viewer is allowed to solve some of the mystery.

I love to capture the abstract patterns of light and shadow in the subject as, paradoxically, I find this creates a more realistic image when viewed from a short distance. I generally paint things that I am close to, both in distance and in feeling. I am not about depicting vast expanses of nature, but rather of close, intimate corners of personal spaces. Any subject is game for my brush as long as it is beautifully lit. In truth, light is always the subject I find most exciting, as anything it touches is enhanced in depth, dimension, vibrance, and beauty. This is the spiritual implication art has for me.

I consider it the greatest of privileges to be an artist–to notice the grandeur in small things around me, to celebrate them on paper or canvas, and to share my passion for life though my artwork. 

I have always been a lover of nature and the outdoors. Some of my best memories are of my time spent hiking in the mountains and traveling to state and national parks with my parents. When I discovered my love of painting more than 40 years ago I knew I would paint on location, working from life and painting the beauty I saw around me.

With time and experience I also developed a passion for still life and figure painting. With all subject matter I’m most inspired by the direct connection I get when working from life.

It’s hard to define what I feel when working from life that I find so powerful compared to painting from a photograph or my imagination.

Outdoors, painting plein air there is the energy, an elusive spiritual energy, the air and light, all the visual stimulation and the overwhelming beauty, life in flux. It all inspires and compels me to paint.

I hope that people viewing my work will sense my love of live, art and deep reverence and respect for nature, the environment and the joy I feel when painting all that I’m a part of.

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