About the Artist

"Variety of forms in the whole extent of my work is a constant quality.  In this way my work does not have a "style" in the traditional sense.  However my sensibility is consistently evident throughout.  For years I doubted I had a style until I finally came to realize this. "

Values, concepts, & ideas:  In the recent nature work the evident value is beauty.  There are also implicit values:  love of the health of the environment. Many of these paintings have been acquired by hospitals and medical clinics.  The feedback I have received is that the work is perceived as having a healthful quality because of its radiance, rhythm, and peaceful subject matter--spiritual health.

In the more figurative previous work the ideas are perhaps more evident: the Odyssey series--journey through life; outrage and compassion about the victims of war, poverty, greed, and prejudice; women’s predicaments and rights; the destruction of the environment; homage to other art; and the virtues and vices series.  The list could go on.

In all the work I believe it can be felt that everything was my authentic experience and was done with commitment to the content.  I think strong form is the main messenger of meaning, and the meaning is mainly an emotional or poetic evocation, as in complex instrumental music.  I believe strong form survives beyond the reasons (ideas) for which the work was done.

James Burpee

James Burpee


James Burpee lives and works in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota, and the last 20 years have been spent painting a lot of Minnesota’s most beautiful locations. 

Beyond the collections in the Twin Cities, his work is in collections from Hawaii to New York, and Europe.

He has been in national invitational exhibitions, and featured in a range of solo and group shows. Burpee has been an Artist in Residence in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and Foundation Karolyi in Vence, France, among other locations, and has been a visiting artist across the country, including the California College of Arts & Crafts and Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

In all my painting practice - recent and past - I have wanted to create a feast for the eyes, heart, and mind.
— James Burpee

He has been an instructor at the college level since 1960.  He is now retired from teaching and is a full-time artist.

His large talent and his passion for painting—its practice, its culture, and its capacity to connect us across time and space—deserve wide recognition.
— Robert Berlind


B.A. Art, San Jose State College, San Jose, CA

M.F.A. Painting; Printmaking minor, California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA


University of Minnesota, Adjunct Faculty Painting & Drawing, 1997-2009

Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Professor of Painting & Drawing, 1967-1996

Midwestern University, Assistant Professor of Painting & Drawing, 1960-1967

Current Gallery

Rubine Red Gallery 668 N Palm Canyon Dr., #102 Palm Springs, CA 92262 760-537-7665