James Tennison, Whidbey Island, WA.
While scrolling through Instagram one day, we stumbled upon James Tennison’s oil and watercolor artwork. His account is filled with breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, still-lifes and portraits, each of which evoke a sense of awe. James’ eye for the way light and shadow interact and the colors they create is astounding, no matter the subject or media.
James’ work is inspired by a myriad of artists such as Singer Sargent, Joaquin Sorrolla, Johannes Vermeer, Winslow Homer, Andrew Wyeth, Frank Benson, Alfred Munnings, and Abbott Thayer. “Just to name a few,” he jokes.
Every artist has a story about how they became interested in painting and James is no exception. “Like many children,” he says, “I always liked to draw and was fortunate to have parents that encouraged this passion. We would visit museums on occasion and we also had a few original oil paintings around our house. I can remember being fascinated by these painting and wondering how the artists made them. I remember getting my first oil paint set when I was around 10 years old and can still recall the pleasure I had in painting my first still-life.”
James has come along way from that first painting. He has participated in numerous competitions and showcases with plenty of awards for both his oil and watercolor paintings. His artwork hangs in prestigious corporate, private and public collections throughout the United States and he has been published in Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, and International Artist Magazine, just to name a few.
According to James, he does not have a favorite piece that he has created. “I always hope that my current painting will be my best and favorite…I have several portrait commissions I am working on at the moment, as well as paintings of local subjects. I like to have several paintings going on at the same time.”
For the past 20 years, James has been using Silver Brush natural hog bristle Grand Prix® filbert brushes and stiff white synthetic Bristlon® filbert brushes. “I was first introduced to Silver brushes at a Portrait Society of America conference about 20 years ago. I have been using them ever since.”
When asked if he has any advice for aspiring artists, James said, “Get the best art education you can find. Learn the fundamentals of drawing, design, composition and color. Study nature and great art of the past and present. Work hard. Follow your heart and enjoy the privilege and pleasure of creating art.”
To see more of James’ work, please visit: