Jim McVicker

Sunflowers, Community Garden

Jim made his first on location, plein air, painting in 1973. His influences then were the French Impressionist, mostly Monet, Pissarro and Sisley. At the time he was working full time and attending art classes at Chaffey Community College in Southern California. Jim was born and raised in Ontario California, about 35 miles east of Los Angeles. By the summer of 1975 he decided to become a full time painter. He quit his job, left school and moved to Santa Cruz in Northern Ca. Jim always loved the northern part of the state and wanted to get away from everything he knew up to that point and start a fresh life as a painter. Jim believes he had about $5,000 dollars in his bank account. In his mind, he had enough money to make a start at really exploring and trying to learn how to paint. Jim’s work at the time was very rough but he had no doubt that he would grow and survive.

After a couple of years Jim move further north to Humboldt County and has remained there, with a couple of adventures elsewhere, since 1977. Humboldt is where his education as a painter really started. There were several painters in the area whom Jim met through a life drawing group. Three of them, Curtis Otto, James Moore and George Van Hook became close friends as well as the three painters he learned so much from for the next few years. They painted daily together and George and Jim shared a studio for a couple of years. Working so closely with artists beyond ones own level was such a great way to learn to see.

In 1984 Jim met his wife, Terry. She was working as a graphic designer at the time they met but by the time we were married in 1988 she began painting as a fine artist full time. Terry has been another major influence in Jim’s development as an artist. To have a partner and companion on a daily bases that sees in ways he doesn’t, and paints her view of life, opened his work and continues to do so. They also both believe in painting from life, outdoors and in the studio. They both paint a lot of still life and figure painting when not working outdoors.

Jim paints small and large on location. He has painted as large as 54×84 outdoors, but normally work 9×12 to 30×40. Jim may work one to fifteen or twenty sittings outdoors. He has no set rules but work until he feels he has completed the painting. Sometimes, years later, Jim will re-work a painting in the studio when he feels that it is not quite working. “It is funny how time can often change how we perceive our work,” Jim has remarked.

Jim always looks at as much art as he can, historical and contemporary. He learns from all of it. He will always keep painting and trying to grow as a painter. He thinks that will never end. 

Website: www.jimmcvickerpaints.com