james watkinson


"All of my work, whether abstract or figurative has a narrative content.

During the past several years my interest has shifted more to the relationship between people and, most recently, issues of gender and identity. Besides life-affirming gestures such as eating, drinking, dancing, singing, loving and being loved, approaching each day with a sense of adventure is a way to embrace life. One can seek adventure by traveling to distant lands, pursuing scientific exploration or engaging in military action. Artistic creation that too, can lead to remarkable experiences in previously unexplored places. This quest occasionally leads to misadventures and those, too, can have their moments of humor, fond memories and valuable lessons to learn.

The drawings, which I began in the nineties, contain a similar element of discovery and surprise. I control the pencil but have no pre-conceived notion about what I will draw. The images begin to emerge from my unconscious as though they were channeled from afar. These often depict relationships and inner conflicts as well as the passage of time.

The paintings sometimes have a surrealistic aspect but they deliberately reflect memory or thoughts about the relationship between men and women. They are painted in acrylic with individuals culled from various books and magazines incorporated as collage elements.

I'm using the photographic images to explore issues touched on in the paintings and also to depict the relationship of male and female that exists within an individual. The settings are often stylized to create an atmosphere that, like the issues themselves, is slightly askew, seemingly real but not quite real, quietly humorous and often fraught with mishap and misstep. A central question, which lead to this body of work, is: "Why would one chose to experience the world and themselves through the eyes of the opposite gender?" Perhaps it is partly because this, too, opens up the possibility of insight, experience, adventure and artistic discovery."

A Serious Consideration

The Coquette and Mr. Prickles

A Fall of Men
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