JAMES BAINES ~ VISUAL ARTIST
Australian artist, born in 1944, James artistic expression began with a series of portraits from the Sydney community in which he lived as a child. By the age of 15 he was accepted for the National Arts School – a rare recognition of his precious talent from an institute which normally only accepted students over 18.
At college James was taught and influenced by distinguished Australian artists Geoffrey Miller, John Passmore, John Coburn, John Olsen and Dorothy Thornhill.
In the years after art school James spent several years travelling and painting in South-East Asia, India and Nepal. Returning to Australia in 1970, James combined these experiences with the impact of the open landscapes and plains of Western Australia, Northern Territory and Tropical Far North Queensland.
Building on these experiences and influences James has developed his expressive style and reputation in many media. James’s work in outdoor murals and large acrylic paintings in public places has won particular acclaim but James remains an artist of great versatility in subject and style.
“James Baines presents a high degree of skill and understanding of the human condition as indicated by the rich montages and character details”. Upstream People Gallery, USA.
James’ works are on display in the United States, Asia, Europe, England and Australia.
From his early awards at art college in 1960 to the 2006 International Artist magazine award James has won over 50 awards including being highly commended in the Doug Moran, Australia’s National Portrait prize.
1966 COOKTOWN Painting - pictorial history of Cooktown. Acrylic 1.35 x 3.66m
1967 ANZAC GALLIPOLLI Cairns R.S.L.Club - Oil pastel over Acrylic on hard board 1.37 x 2.44m
1988 BOWEN MURAL - Depicts a horse team in front of the original North Australian Hotel taking a boiler to the mines. 15 x 5m
1989 PALMER RIVER - Montage of the Palmer River gold fields and the establishment of the Port of Cooktown. Acrylic on canvas 1.7 x 3.3m
1989 BROOME ODYSSEY - MONTAGE OF BROOME'S history from 1688 to 1989. Acrylic 1.7 x 3.3m
1991 BOMBS OVER DARWIN - Depicts the first two air raids on Darwin on 19th February 1942. Acrylic on canvas 1.8 x 3m - See website for more details, Bombs Over Darwin.
1995 REEF RAINFOREST - Commissioned by the Peninsula Environmental Educational Programme. A painting depicting the world heritage area from the Great Barrier Reef to the Tropical North Queesland Rainforest. Acrylic on canvas. 1.68 x 1.37m
1997 MALANDA ENVIRONMENTAL CENTRE - Interpretive murals depicting the Tablelands volcanic formation and wall to wall rainforest scene.
1998 RAINFOREST AND REEF CENTRE - Cardwell, North Queensland. Interpretive environmental mural. 2.5 x 8m
"The subject matter is not that important, the language of painting is aesthetics.
The images should all harmonize with each other for the painting to work; I believe art should communicate to at least one person for it to be art.
Why do I paint? Difficult pleasure, where else can I find it"? James Baines