James McFarlane was born in Mildura, Victoria and grew up in the Riverland, South Australia. In 2005 he relocated to Adelaide to begin studies in Hotel Management. After completion he began employment within the private establishment clubs of Adelaide as a steward, working his way up to a management position; It was here, surrounded by both traditional and contemporary fine art that his appreciation for painting was realised, with exceptional artists and their collections becoming the backdrop to his everyday working environment.
In 2014 James acquired his first studio space at 95 Currie Street, and began making the change towards painter. While his early work was very good, it lacked the discipline and production of one with a trained art background.
In 2015 James undertook training with acclaimed artist Tony Smibert, who taught him the systems necessary to develop his ideas, translate them and execute them in a disciplined manner. It was this fundamental training that he needed to express his new craft.
James’ earlier work reflected that of traditional and conventional art. He has a keen interest in the Old Masters and made studies into Dutch and Flemish technique, intrigued by the slow building of layers to create depth within paintings. As he grew into his own however, the desire to capture the exact likeness of manmade things became less important and his motivation moved towards emotive and abstract concepts. A strong focus on application and the individual brush mark, becoming a reoccurring theme.
Today James’ work looks at the relationships of space, time and rhythm; one can see these concepts clearly within his unique style.
The work invites the audience to be transported to a new mental environment, to mediate between the marks and layers.
“I hope the works to have a meditative quality about them, to appeal on an emotive level, as to call, to a dormant, primitive consciousness.” James McFarlane
James works predominately in oils and watercolour and is currently working on his debut solo exhibition.
James currently lives on Hindmarsh Island, South Australia.
It is in my nature to make order and organise; a big part of my new practice is to go “with the flow”. To embrace every mark, whether it be a right or wrong, and take each mark and to accept them all. There are, no right or wrong marks. Simply marks.
My work looks at these individual brush marks, their placement to each other and their relationships to other marks. These brush marks are made often with certain pigments that have a unique personality, not in a sense of their colour, but in how the pigments react to each other, their surface and medium.
I then place these marks in an ordered-chaos, of rhythm, space and time.
I like to think that these marks have no referencing or origin. No bold or thought provoking statements are being made. Only to create a visual, which I hope is interesting to the eye, and perhaps stirs the viewer’s imagination.