James Bartholomew

Diverse narratives from one of our most distinguished artists

James Bartholomew is a man of many passions and it is the things he loves that he chooses to immortalise on canvas – the Langdales at dawn, a crumbling Venetian façade, the gentle face of a Jersey Cow, the roiling waves of Skye – creating art that is by turns uplifting and inspirational. This wonderful affinity with his chosen subjects has won him considerable acclaim in recent years, and we are proud and privileged to present our first solo exhibition of his work.

A member of the Royal Society of Marine Artists and the Manchester Academy of Fine Art, James has won may notable awards and has undertaken commissions for clients as diverse as Sunday Times, the BBC, the British Tourist Authority, Bonhams and Christie’s. His seascape and landscape paintings have been awarded the Charles Pears Award and the Sir Peter Scott Award. James works in a distinctive combination of pastel and watercolour, using spontaneous gestural marks and sweeping strokes.

Inevitably this means that the pastel will sometimes get wet and be moved around within the paint, becoming simply a pigment. Alternatively James places the pastel over the top of the dry paint generating an indefinable quality of vibrancy. This unusual blend of media and his energetic technique animates the moving subjects of his paintings, be they crashing waves, scudding clouds, or simply some sheep ambling though a field, and gives each work a strong sense of life and momentum.

“As with most of my subjects, light, and the colours and patterns that it creates, is the crucial element of the picture.”