Recent Work

Recent Work (2000 - 2018)

From the artist:

In year 2000 I began a consistent involvement painting nature.  That is the focus of this section on recent work.  I found this activity brought me peace and healing.  The diversity and invention in nature is absorbing and never-ending, and my perception of water became a constant inspiration.

The paintings are based on a dialogue between accurate description and two-dimensional composition, and the paintings at times vary slightly more toward one or the other.  Other constants are luminous color (the paintings should emit light as well as describe light), solid and intricate composition, and good drawing. These are the staples of my practice.

My dialogue with the possibilities of the art of painting through various times, places, and individual artists has been a constant involvement.  In this learning process my innate sensibility has made the choices of what is important for me to learn, and informs the variety of imagery seen in these paintings.  Some are relatively calm and serene, and some are very dynamic, conjuring a range of emotions.  My sensibility is evident throughout.

Click on an image to expand it


"Synthesizing realism and abstraction rooted in nature" -James Burpee


"Music for the eyes, mind, and heart" -James Burpee


"All paintings are what I saw and experienced, with improvisation added to modify source images" - James Burpee


"My overall goals are luminous, rhythmic, serene, and solid qualities which celebrate the art of painting as well as the beauty of nature." - James Burpee


¨The reason I continued to paint figuratively rather than abstractly was that in figurative painting I thought I could do both simultaneously.¨ - James Weeks


¨Since I love the specifics and surprising diversity of nature and the poetry of the visual language of painting, my work is both descriptive and two-dimensionally composed¨ -James Burpee


"That the inner feeling of beauty be at one with nature" -Pierre Bonnard


"My compulsion was to give expression to the place where beauties that should not be forgotten and beauties that have yet to be imagined collide, coexist, and transform" -unknown


"For Bonnard, seeing was where time, feeling, memory, and mystery all resided." -Rika Burnham on Pierre Bonnard


"My art exists at the boundary of perceived reality and pure form." -James Burpee


"The work is about when something familiar becomes something new" -James Burpee


In these recent work sections 95% of the paintings came from one half mile long creek on the North Shore, Minnesota.


"it's not a matter of painting life.  It's a matter of giving life to painting" - Pierre Bonnard


"For me art is a disciplined exhilaration." - James Burpee


"I am only beginning to understand.  I should start all over again" - Pierre Bonnard


"There is always color, but it has yet to become light" - Pierre Bonnard


"My work has an affinity with complex and expressive instrumental music --feeling is in the poetry of form" - James Burpee


"The main subject is the surface which has its color, its laws, over and above those of the objects" - Pierre Bonnard


"I walk in beauty" - part of old Navajo chant


Appendix to recent work.  I recently found some painting images worthy of being included here.

Three postings of my work are posted on YouTube.  See them by entering "James Burpee art legacy" in the search bar.  Many of the works prior to year 2000 include drawings and works on paper.