Exeter, Devon,  

Welcome to the website of James Tatum

My paintings are the direct result of my observations and experiences on actual locations. All of my paintings begin en plein air with drawings, water colours or acrylic sketches. The larger works are then completed in my studio either in acrylics or oils. I paint on paper, board, and canvas.

My goal in painting is to show the world in a new and personal way. It often involves simplifying the scene to try to capture its essence and inner spirit as I see it. I am particularly interested in the effects of light, shadow and movement. The paintings often incorporate the use of rough textures as the picture may warrant. I am interested in trying to capture my direct and often passionate responses to a scene which convey something of what it felt like to be there more than mere depictions.

For me, painting is a celebration of mystery. It's the wisdom of uncertainty and insecurity. The asking of questions without answers. It values imagination over reason. The fiction that points towards the truth.

My painting is a physical process, not a theoretical one. It's an expression of the essence and energy of what I observe. It is as rough and real as nature. Making a painting is a fight and a struggle... and you do not always win... that's the risk... but a risk that has to be taken.