James Reynolds

Artist Statement

I have always been an artist, constantly drawing my surroundings as a child. In my early twenties, I studied design and sculpture intensively with European-born artist, Ted Lukjanczyk. He gave me a solid grounding in the classical traditions of formal structure and proportion. I then spent an enchanted year living in Europe, where I was privileged to visit many of the world's finest museums and galleries. This period was very formative for my artistic sensibility. I have come to believe that making art under the wing of a master and looking at a lot of world-class art is as strong a foundation for the artistic career as one can hope for. Upon my return from Europe, I went to work for Sonoma County ceramic artist Diana Crain who taught me about the whimsical and playful side of modern art. Since shifting my focus from sculpture to painting, I have had the good fortune to study with highly skilled professional artists, including Richard McDaniel and Clark Mitchell, Lisa Beerntsen and Marsha Connell.

I believe that artists provide an important role in awakening a sense of appreciation, not simply of beauty, but of the fragile nature of this treasured landscape. It is easy to feel depressed and overwhelmed about the direction our species has taken, and being lectured about the need for change rarely inspires us to act. But if our hearts are touched by poetry, if we can connect with a deep sense of the perfection that is the Earth, and the tragedy of its loss, perhaps we will begin to act with greater care and wisdom. A new painting emerges on my easel - a prayer going out into the universe, my song of joy and hope.

My work can be seen at Sebastopol Gallery. I also exhibit at many venues around the county throughout the year, as well as two annual studio shows.