Jim Darke


"When Jim Darke received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1966, his plan was to pursue his art and support himself as an art instructor. However, the Navy made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The choice between teaching art in a public school and Navy flight training was a relatively easy one for the young man. The new plan was then to use the visual experiences gained while flying to further his artwork at a later date. Upon completing his service, he attempted to follow the plan for several years. But the business of life kept getting in the way.

After several decades of working at various jobs to pay the bills, he found himself at a point where he could reconnect with the plan to pursue his art. For ten years prior to arriving at that point, he had worked as a somewhat self-taught cartographer. A good map tells a compelling story. The challenge of using a mixture of hard data and effective graphic design to tell that story suited the now not so young man and helped prepare him for transitioning back into fine art work. In attempting to reconnect with doing art, it seemed natural to use the most effective tools at hand. Dutch masters such as Johannes Vermeer used camera obscura because it was the best technology available to them. Certainly, if they had access to electronic drawing tablets and computers, they would have used them. With this justification in hand, he dove into digital painting in 2015.

Digital painting lacked some of the sensuous appeal of applying paint to canvas. So before too long acrylic paint on canvas was added to the mix and the circle back to his BFA from a half-century earlier was complete. Today he paints primarily with acrylics