As founder of the Myxolydian School of Modern American painting, James Davis has established a reputation as one of southeastern North Carolina’s most unique and recognized artists. Working from his studio in Wilmington, NC, mixing media such as oil, charcoal and watercolor, he attracts strong interest from art writers and art patrons.
Working from his own inner vision rather than with initial studies, sketches or drafts, James Davis habitually prepares his canvases as foundations for the scenes he depicts. As base colors, he uses iridescents, most often silvers or golds with reds or blues, to lend depth to the final piece. His goal is to draw viewers into his canvases, building perception of distance through subtly implied reflective backgrounds that change with changing light conditions. A James Davis painting may look totally different depending on the time of day or lighting.
Given his lengthy career, now covering almost 40 years, it is not surprising that James Davis has a good idea of what people will respond to in his artwork. Unique to Davis is the extent of the toolbox he uses to generate that response. There are thousands of shades in each painting, and the shading is positioned as a series of highway signs to guide the eye to the true emotions of a piece. It is evident that he sees the whole spectrum at every instant during his creative process and has a rare gift for picturing the final product from every angle. As a result, many of his works, once displayed, change aspect with every hour of the day in response to changes in light.
Hap Willard is President and Founder of Corporate Canvas, a fine art publishing company specializing in Limited Edition Archival Reproductions. He writes, edits and designs books on fine art and literature.