James Lumley, who resides in Amherst, Massachusetts, is an experienced artist of professional accomplishment. Being a lover of nature, he creates each painting on-site at a special time of day when the quality of light best captures its essence.
His ability to interpret the magnificent grandeur of the natural scene in a unique quality of atmosphere and light makes him one of the most accomplished artists today.
Jim’s paintings reflect not only his exceptional skill, but also a love of the American landscape and dedication to its conservation and remembrance.
In addition to drawing and design courses at the University of Massachusetts, Jim studied painting with Ellen Johnson, June Stevenson, Christen Couture, Rey Milici, David Farrell, Stephen Perkins, and Joanette and Cedric Egeli. His primary teacher for twelve years was Henry Hensche at the Cape School of Art. He is represented by galleries and art consultants all along the east coast. His work is in many private and corporate collections. He is currently writing a book on painting technique.
Statement by the Artist
My work is rooted in that of the Impressionists, in particular the studies of light and color made by Claude Monet. He showed us the beauty of an early morning dawn, the warmth of an evening sunset, the somber relationship of fields and woods on a stormy day. He shocked us into seeing the variety of color in nature. We no longer enjoy a landscape rendered in a narrow range of color; we know colors are changed by the light striking the scene.
I make all my paintings from direct observations from nature. Like Monet, I feel the sensation of live can only be gained by standing in front of nature. Only under a condition of existing light and atmosphere can I observe the beauty of a scene. I do not copy a scene – photography does a better job (although only within a limited color and value range) – and I am not interpreting it through some psychological concept.
To capture the beauty of the natural world I use color to show the major planes of light striking a landscape at specific times of day under the same atmospheric conditions. I also use different colors, instead of shades of the same color, to show how the light changes shapes within the landscape. Showing how horizontal planes recede into the distance by these subtle changes of color give my paintings a unique three-dimensional effect. I usually work no more than two hours on a painting before returning to it another day at the same time of day and if the same atmospheric conditions prevail.
When others compare my vigorous coloration with Impressionism, I demur. They misconstrue my artistic purpose. The Impressionists profess to imitate nature, painting it as it is. The result is often flat, arbitrary color that disregards the more profound truth.
As viewers, the more we become aware of how different lights affect the color of what we see, the deeper our feeling for a work. Even though understanding a painting is in part intellectual, caring about one is emotional, a participation engaging the mind as well as the heart.
I attempt to have my work stand up to the best work of the ages. I strive not only to be as good, but to add something to our insight of the world around us.