With the 62nd Annual Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in town this week, Jim thought it appropriate to run with the equine theme and discuss one of his dynamic abstract paintings, “Horse“.
Q: Was “Horse” meant to depict an actual horse or were there some curves in the road for this painting?
Jim: It’s funny, this painting didn’t start out or was meant to be a horse. You’ll notice the style is very wild and spontaneous; this speaks to how “Horse” came about. I had started with the blue background and was enjoying myself with the bright primary colors, when I paused and stood back. The painting was so spontaneous, I hadn’t planned a direction so I wanted to study it. I felt like I was looking for something. Then the horse’s head emerged and I went with it.
Q: What kind of reactions does “Horse” receive?
Jim: It’s a very fun piece. When it’s hanging in the gallery, I ask visitors what they see and it almost turns into a “Where’s Waldo” game. People get really stumped and stuck in the layers of color until someone figures it out, then everyone can see it. It’s really fun watching visitors find the horse within.
Q: Do you find yourself inspired particularly by livestock shows, given your agriculture background?
Jim: No more than any other thing. I like to walk around and be inspired by what I see. For example, my painting “Airport Man”: I spotted this older guy walking through the airport one day. He was wearing chains, leather, combat boots. He was making a statement and it resonated with me. I went home and was inspired to paint “Airport Man”. Inspiration is everywhere, and that’s what’s fun about Abstract. Everyone’s inspiration and interpretation is different.
Q: Do you enjoy painting animals specifically or prefer to keep it more abstract?
Jim: It depends on where I’m at and what I’m witnessing. I would like to paint certain animals more intentionally in the future and see what comes out. There’s always the possibility that the direction will shift and we arrive back at abstract.