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James Lavadour



Every morning I walk to the studio before the sun comes up. Five years ago, on that walk, a meteorite streaked overhead and lit everything like day. It was a terrifying and wonderful moment. Painting is that same experience. The bits and details of that flash of brilliant clarity would pass by if not for the practice of painting.  A painting is a structure for the extraordinary and informative events of nature that are otherwise invisible.

Painting is not about making pictures, rather it is a transfiguration of energy from one state into another. Painting is a model that allows us to examine the infinite in our physical reality. It is a process that is happening in real time where every micro-space of surface holds something to discover. Image is merely a framework for these cosmic events made visible. I use the horizon of landscape, middle ground, and foreground because they are what I know from years of hiking and observation of the land around me. Everything that is in the land is in me. There are rivers and mountains in paint. A simple brush stroke is the universal undulating flow, always in motion and ever informative. Painting is a structural record for time and space. In my view the whole purpose of modern painting, and art in general, is to dive into the unknown and to bring back those gems of knowledge and wisdom that are beneficial and uplifting. Art, science, and technology form the spectrum of the human reflective faculty the same way that red, yellow, and blue are the refraction of one light. This is how we become educated and informed.

I am a self-taught artist. My art education came from the land. I learned through endless walking, looking, hearing, and feeling the natural world around me. Also I learned from music, reading every art magazine I could get my hands on, and most of all from the act of painting itself.  As in, the music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, the paintings of the Chinese literati and the work of the Abstract Expressionists, improvisation is the spark for of my inquiry.