Hart James

My work is about the energy of nature around us. The current of the water, the flow of the air over us, the rock formations that form the foundation under our feet and the movement of those foundations. The natural world is very simply alive. It is nothing to be taken for granted.

It is as much a part of us, as our circulatory system.

Growing up on a farm, I absorbed the natural world around my small child, self. A backpack filled with empty jars, Golden Guide Books on Insects, Plants and Birds, I spent the daylight hours studying the beauty, the transience, the processes and cycles, the details of construction in nature.

I have come to realize that very few people have my background. Growing up on a farm, I spent all the daylight hours in nature. But more than that, I grew up wandering our family farm of 150 acres, the neighboring farm of my grandfather’s farm of 300 acres, the farms of my two uncles, and the farms of the neighbors behind us. It was more than 1500 acres of countryside and farmland. In these surroundings, I became attuned to the natural world in a way that seems more connected to earlier societies, than with our present day world. I intuited natural processes that are just now being ‘discovered’ by modern scientists. I understood the infinity of space, the insignificance of man, the strength of the life force of nature. I was ten.

It is with this knowledge that I paint landscapes. I reach into the landscape with my intuition. I challenge myself further with each painting. I strive for the perfection and beauty of the natural world. The kindest critique I have ever been given was from two different collectors.

They both said, ‘You are a nature whisperer, Hart.’


Exhibits with Hart James

SmithVallee Exhibit postcard HartJames JanHoy
APR 5 - APR 28 | 2019

Hart James presents her first major exhibition at Smith & Vallee, with abstract oil and charcoal paintings that speak to the energy and power of the natural world. Jan Hoy returns to Smith & Vallee Gallery with her deceptively simple, yet extraordinarily elegant and complex sculptures. The work of these two artists, on one level may seem quite different, however, there are many connections that bind the two. They are interpreting the natural world through the lens of abstraction, using earth-toned pallets with a palpable reverence for the intrinsic beauty of our world.