“First, I work the painting to a state of being nearly complete, in the traditional sense. I then muster-up the willingness to deconstruct it using paint-stripper, metal grinding, power grit sanding, knife scraping and more!” – James Armstrong
All throughout his childhood, Northern-Californian painter James Armstrong was a self-proclaimed black sheep. An artist in a family of lawyers, Armstrong felt the desire to create compelling artworks from an early age, eventually earning a BFA and graduate degree from the East Carolina University School of Art. He began his career as the creative director of his own agency in Newport, CA, but has been a painter full-time since 2004.
Armstrong’s paintings, often created on the back of old road signs, boast serene California landscapes with hints of the metal peeking through, creating the glimmer of the sun on the surface of a pond or adding to the luminosity of a cloud. Trained in the style of the classic California landscape painters, Armstrong begins his paintings with a fully-realized composition before beginning to scrape away layers in a process he refers to as “reductive”. Armstrong allows the painting to take control, reacting emotionally to the needs of the painting. He paints, deconstructs, and repaints, cycling through the process over and over until the painting is finally completed, a perfect balance between perfection and destruction.
Armstrong’s paintings are included in both corporate and private collections across the U.S., including the collections of Warner Brothers Studios, Cingular Wireless, MCA Universal, and the California Secretary of State.