Paul James

Puddle Town - Canvas by Paul James
Puddle Town - Paper by Paul James
Grizzly - Paper by Paul James
Grizzly - Canvas by Paul James
Monty Loose - Canvas by Paul James
Monty Loose - Paper by Paul James
Stylish Stan - Paper by Paul James
Stylish Stan - Canvas by Paul James
Dirty Harry 1 - Canvas by Paul James
Dirty Harry 1 - Paper by Paul James
Dirty Harry 2 by Paul James
Dirty Harry 2- Canvas by Paul James
Tagging Along - Canvas by Paul James
Tagging Along by Paul James
Dividing his time between Southern Ireland and his narrow boat back home in the UK, much sought after contemporary animal, wildlife and landscape artist, Paul James is also gaining an impressive following a little further overseas, in America, where collectors are clamouring for his most recent compositional releases. On the back of his burgeoning popularity and the universal appeal of his work, James has bagged a number of industry nominations and awards too, amongst which are the following. Finalist in ‘Not the Turner Prize’, the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists’ ‘Addenda Award’ and ‘People’s Favourite’ at the Royal West of England Academy, whilst in 2006 James gained ‘Signature Membership’ from the Society of Animal Artists, based in New York.

With regards to the latter, and that’s specifically where James has made his indelible illustrative mark on the contemporary art world; his often humourous, always seismically clear and present portrayals of farmyard favourites and many other, more exotic members of the worldwide wildlife family have fast earned him an enviable reputation, and one which he’s regularly building on it would seem. The explicit graphic detail depicted in the fleece, fur and feathers of his primary ani-mates is on another visual level, with almost a photographic quality to their pictorial appearance; be they his more tried and tested cows and ducks or the lesser-spotted but much appreciated polar bears and gorillas witnessed in more recent times.

It’s the somewhat unexpected juxtapositions and stark contrasts between creatures and contexts of late which has really put James’ highly illustrative ducks (cows, sheep and silverback gorillas) amongst the proverbial pigeons, as we have all gasped in delight at being confronted with the aforementioned critters found in the most unnatural of habitats. Set against the graphically symbolic and unreservedly urban backdrop of graffiti’d walls more in-keeping with motorway underpasses and dangerous subway entrances and exits, James was inspired to illustratively introduce his habitually rural and exotically-residing familiar creature features to a more compromising vista after spending much time on his narrow boat and passing through such low-rent graphic panoramas, as he routinely swapped countryside-channelling waterways for the more suburban sprawl.

Regularly wittily toying with metaphorical narratives as well as physical scale and perspectives of his favoured subject matters, James has dipped into his surrealism reserves so as to deliver these visual signs of our times, and proving that genre cross-fertalisation is compositionally possible when an artist puts their imaginative and undoubtedly leftfield mind to it.

A product of a Leicestershire upbringing, James’s prodigious creative talents were observed from a young age, and actively encouraged at every turn. His father in particular would sit and draw for hours with his son, with a shared interest for the pencilled capture of the likeness of cars, steam trains and anything remotely mechanical in its construct. Indeed, cars would long remain an avid interest of James’s throughout his life to date. His other passion if you like was for music, and is again something which has survived the passage of time, as James is an accomplished and recognised pianist to boot. Indeed, at one stage he may well have walked this musical line as he toured the pubs, clubs and cocktail bars of his native east Midlands performing both piano and organ recitals on a semi-regular basis.

But it was art in which James first felt the calling and the area in which he excels today; although it might easily have not been this way after his art college days. Or rather lack of actual productive days as it were. Having been coerced against his better judgement by his secondary school art teacher to go on to study graphic design, James soon found the constraints and disciplined structure of this associated creative surround to be too much to bear for someone who’s brand of art demanded freedom, and promptly walked out on his higher education. Thereafter the very determined non-conformist made a living as an independent artist, combining his love of art (fulfilling commissioned painting of people’s pets and classic cars) with his love of music (performing locally and regionally at various venues), whilst also setting up his own business in the motor trade for a transient period.

Eventually though he chose to concentrate solely and fully on his art, and in 1986 launched himself onto the contemporary fine art scene, since going on to establish himself as one of the UK’s most gifted and celebrated animal art exponents and executed in a number of guises; just as his loyal band of followers, buyers and collectors like it.

View All Art Works By Paul James