This painting is based on a photo that I took of my grandson and his cousin climbing a tree, with my son at its base, in the North Carolina High Country. To me, this symbolizes both the freedom of the outdoors and the strength of our family bond. The fish on my son's t-shirt honors another grandson, Joseph (a.k.a. "Joefish"), whom we lost to cancer in 2015.
I wanted to go big with this painting, to make the most of the looseness of watercolor on Yupo paper and to express the exuberance and hope of the moment.
I have been studying, taking workshops, and painting actively since 2003. Over the past dozen years, I have taught watercolor classes at Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News and at Charles Taylor Visual Arts Center and Blue Skies Gallery in Hampton.
This year, I have had work accepted at On the Hill Gallery's Garden Perspective Show in Yorktown, VA and the Academy Center for the Arts National Juried Exhibition in Lynchburg, VA.
I am a member of several local art leagues and am a Signature Member and former president of VWS. My work is available at Blue Skies Gallery in Hampton and Chaffin Interiors in Newport News and can be seen at Jim Dees' Art on Facebook. I served many years on the Hampton Arts Commission.
I have a bachelor's degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, a master's from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and a certificate of advanced study for post-master's work at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. I have five grown children, 11 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren - all living in nearby states. I have lived in Hampton with my wife Carol since 1991.
I have studied locally under Phyllis Greenway, Kristina Havens, and T J Jones and attended a 2-week workshop in Venice, Italy with Leslie Rich. I've also had rewarding VWS workshops with Cheng-Khee Chee, Carole Barnes, Skip Lawrence, Christopher Schink, Dan Smith, and John Salminen.
I have displayed works in exhibitions at Charles Taylor Visual Arts Center in Hampton, Peninsula Fine Arts Center in Newport News, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, Tidewater Arts Alliance in Norfolk and Portsmouth, Academy of Fine Arts in Lynchburg, Central Virginia Watercolor Guild in Charlottesville (2015 Award of Excellent) and VWS in Hampton, Gloucester, and Salem.
Since 2006, I've had six two-artists shows with friend and mentor Holland Wentz Etheridge at the library and Stryker Center in Williamsburg.