At the age of 21, upon seeing nineteenth century French landscape paintings, I had an awakening to art. The beauty and sensitivity I saw in those works changed my perception of the world.
I started studying art history, painted copies of French impressionist landscapes and enrolled in life drawing and painting classes at Chaffey Community College. In 1975 I decided to become a full-time painter. I was 24 years old.
I moved from Ontario California, where I was raised, to the northern part of the state. After a year I settled in Eureka California. I was drawn there by the beauty, the art community, and the chance to live a quieter more rural life.
I met and worked with several very accomplished artists, painting landscapes everyday on location, or painting in the studio always working directly from the still-life set up or models. I learned from direct observation of nature, by looking at and studying great art from the past and working alongside artists more developed than myself.
In 1984 I met my wife and fellow artist, Terry, and her son Ian. Ian was 10 years old at the time and we now have three grandchildren. Today, Terry and I have a wonderful quiet life in Loleta, California. It’s a small rural town just south of Eureka. We have studios on our property and I continue to paint daily, following my passion for painting from life, trying to capture the light, atmosphere, space, and the mysterious beauty all around us.
Some of Jims’ Recent Awards:
1. 2015 First Place, Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition $15,000 award plus cover story in the September 2015 issue
2. 2015 Gold Medal For Best Painting 104th Gold Medal Exhibition, California Art Club
3. 2015 Laguna Canyon Foundation Award, Laguna Beach 17th Plein Air Invitational
4. 2014 Best of Show, Laguna Beach 16th Plein Air Invitational
5. 2014 2nd place, Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition
6. 2014 Franz Bischoff Award for Best Still Life 103rd Gold Medal Exhibition, Californai Art Club
7. 2014 Southwest Art Magazine Award of Excellence 103rd Gold Medal Exhibition, California Art Club
8. 2014 and 2015 Finalist Art Renewal Center International Salon Competition
9. 2013 3rd Place, Plein Air Magazine Salon Competition
Join Jim McVicker for a Retreat in Paradise
Painting in Plein Air and the Studio
March 7 – 21, 2020