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I’ve always liked pictures.  When I was younger I saw some paintings in my school library and wondered how someone could make something so impressive with paint. Because of that experience, I now think of painting as the creation of an aesthetic experience for others. But initially the intended expression needs to move me enough to invest the time and energy necessary to produce the image.            

Early in my development as an artist, the focus was on building the skills and developing the thought process that lead to the creation of an image, but I’ve always hoped that the final result would engage the viewer aesthetically and thoughtfully. As time has passed there has been an increasing awareness of the creative process and less time is spent on the how of painting and more time invested in the why and what. I feel that the accumulated practices and experiences are the subconscious sea on which ideas are floated. Some take form and are imagined as images. The imagined motivates me to produce the actual. The production is a journey that involves missteps and new discoveries; and changes. I love the process and the journey. The final step is the most difficult. Stopping too soon and going too far are inherent risks, but the resulting anxiety heightens my awareness as the journey comes to an end. I’ve heard it said that painting is easy, until you know how, and I realize that the pursuit of painting the figure will be a never-ending, and never-completely-mastered series of journeys.


– James Adkins