James showed artistic ability early on . He won a Key New York and Gold metal in National Scholastic as a junior in high school. He became a craftsman in various fields relating to his familys construction and home renovation business.
In his twenties a accident that almost took the vision of one of his eyes spurred him to pursue his love of art.
While attending Cuyahoga Community College he meant his mentor and teacher Shirley Aley Campbell professor emeritus there and also a professor of Cleveland Institute of art. James studied for 3 years in all her classes Painting ,Life drawing and portrait.
” Shirley was a amazing teacher and artist . Shirleys knowledge and representation of the body is unsurpassed . I still use the pallet and techniques she taught me as a base for all my paintings to this day.”
James was blessed with great teachers and the opportunities to work for some outstanding artists and craftsman .
” Gary Waltzer for my photographic education a foundation that I am forever grateful for .”
“The gems I got and great friendship from Nicholas Liviach the head of C.C.C.s art department when I attended who introduced me to the beginning of computer high end design in the 80s was a in great head start on tech. Coincidentally he had been my mothers high school art teacher before his career with Cooper school of Arts. Life is synchronistic ”
” Working with Ginna Brant on her sculpture series Elementals. Designing hanging systems and dismantling the pieces then reassembling them increasing their structural integrity was a wonderful challenge. Watching as she transformed wood into 3d representations of her drawings was amazingly inspiring.”
After his formal training James added work in the automotive custom paint venue to his regular commissions. With 30 years experience in that additional venue he honed his knowledge of modern paints. James developed his own mixes and techniques. This created the exciting marriage of his traditional painting with modern achieve materials.