Swanson, James

Originally from a small town in Wisconsin. Life was leading him down a path to become a forest ranger. Until he realized painting trees was much more comfortable than sitting in them. James went on to The Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. After receiving his BFA in Illustration, James moved to Chicago and set up shop as an illustrator working mainly for advertising agencies and magazines. His list of clients included: McDonalds, Budweiser, ESPN, U.S. Tennis Open, The U.S. Olympic Volleyball Team and Soap Box Derby.

Recently James has transitioned into the Fine Arts world and is represented in a number of galleries and museums across the United States. In 2008, James began an eclectic oil painting project called “The Artist and the Traveler,” where James chooses from friends, family, and acquaintance’s photographs of their journeys and transforms them into works of art. The project has received rave reviews from around the world, and many of the oil paintings from the “The Artist and the Traveler” have won “Best of Show” awards and have been juried into some of the most prestigious art exhibitions in the country. Creating oil paintings from other traveler’s journeys allows James a unique experience of the world since he has always been in awe of this world and wants to paint every part of it.

His latest project has drawn him back home, brought on by the passing of his best four legged friend and painting buddy, Amber. Since her passing, he decided to celebrate her life by painting a dog a day for an entire month. The resulting paintings will be displayed in an art exhibition and book that are dedicated to Amber. Some of the proceeds will go to local animal shelters.

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