Eamonn James is a Resident Artist and Onsite Manager at 317 Art Collective.
One of Rockford's most up and coming new artists, Eamonn James sees each painting as an opportunity for planned improvisation, something like visual jazz. Eamonn attended Colombia College Chicago, but draws from a lifetime of experience to create pieces rich in physical texture, depth, and emotion. "It really starts when I cut the first board for the canvas," he says. "I begin sewing my intention with each cut of the saw blade, with each staple when I'm stretching the canvas. And when I finally get to the actual painting, I intend for that piece to affect the feeling of the viewer or the room in which it is placed. I draw heavily from my inner world. I explore my mind and attempt to create a visual representation of what I see or feel or if there's something I can't quite put my finger on. Sometimes it's bright and full of energy and sometimes it's dark and a mystery, even to me. Sometimes, though, it just means making something nice to look at. Sometimes I'm not that deep. I've lived a crazy life. And it's left a mark on my psyche. Painting is a way for me to express that. To make sense of these sort of abstract emotions and thoughts I have. Love, God, sex, a world torn by violence. It's all really big in my head sometimes, and art helps me get it out."
Eamonn works big. It wouldn't be surprising to see him painting a hand made canvas eight feet long. He says his favorite thing is when someone looks at a painting and asks, "how did you do that?"
"It reminds me that art really is incredibly magical," he says. "I love that."