Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Early Work 1980-1987

 Perhaps it 's because I turned 60 nine months ago that I've painted six self-portraits during that time and find myself also looking back at some of my earlier work. The earliest I'm posting is 1980 with a few from 84-87. All the paintings from 1980 were painted in one sitting and most are 24x30. I had been painting full time for five years in 1980 but didn't start going out on location on a daily bases until 1979. At that point I had met George Van Hook, James B. Moore and Curtiss Otto and started painting with them each, mostly with George. It was a great learning and growth period. We were painting at least three 24x30's each day. The energy and enthusiasm was addicting. I think the smallest size we worked was 16x20. My work was rough and not always drawn well, but it was fearless. I'm not sure I could pull off a 24x30 in one shot today. I had a naive passion in the early work. The passion is still there except with a much more formed and critical eye. I thought it would be interesting to post these works showing where I've come from. I've also included a couple of portraits. Thanks for taking a look. Some of the paintings are in storage and others I copied to jpeg from old slides. You'll be able to tell the difference.

1980 24x30
Auto shop, Arcata, Ca.

1980 30x36
Auto shop, Arcata, Ca.

1980 24x30
Arcata, Ca.
1980 24x30
Outdoor portrait, Arcata, Ca.

1981 24x36 This is the house I where I grew up in Ontario Ca. I think of this
 as a self-portrait, I'm reflected in the sliding glass door
1984 20x30
I've started working on paintings more than one sitting by the time
I painted this work at the dry dock.

1981 24x30
This is Justin on my pickup truck. He is the son of a friend

1981  24x30
Justin again on his front porch

1982  36x48
Painting of a friend Suk Cho Kim
1982  30x36
This was a commission of Paul Ricards grandfather. He was in his 90's and
I painted this at their home.

1985  12x36
Eureka Ca.

1984 12x24
Tanker and Tug Eureka, Ca.

1980 30x24
Eureka Alley
1980  24x36
Holt and Euclid Ontario, Ca.

1980  30x24
Arcata, Ca.

1980  24x30
Eureka Street

1980  30x24
Claremont College

1981  30x36
Claremont College

1987  40x48
Mt. Lassen
I spent two weeks camping and painting in Mt. Lassen park in the fall
of 1987.

1986  34x50
San Gabriel Mountains, Southern Ca. While visiting my folks in Ontario I have
painted many works throughout the area. I recently took this out of storage and
spent a couple hours reworking some areas. I'm pleased with this piece.
1987  40x60
San Antionio Dam Spillway, S. Ca.
 The grey part of the sky is the valley smog.

1980  30x24
Rouge River, Oregon 
1980  24x30
Above the smog filled valley in Southern Ca.

Self-Portrait 1980  30x30 oil on canvas


  1. Passion indeed, the energy with which you painted these scenes just leap off the canvas! Plus that fearlessness adds volumes; we should all paint like that, instead of the timid little strokes we hesitantly use at the easel.

  2. Awe-inspiring, daily painting or drawing is a excellent pratice for a creative development.

    Jim, are these paintings "acryl" or "oil"?
    Keep it on, I'm impressed by your paintings.

    I put the link of your blog to my blog -
    I hope you don't mind.


  3. Hi Jim, really cool retrospective works- I was just a little boy growing up in Arcata when you were doing these and seeing some of the scenes invoked some nostalgia. Ya, your line has changed a bit, a little bit sharper edges back then- I can sense the hunger and "im gonna do this shit" kind of immediacy in the strokes of past, and naturally a strong similarity to the Van Hook works I have seen hanging at HSU and the Arcata library. As always, very inspiring. Thanks.

    Bjorn Lundeen