J a m e s W h i t e
Many years ago, I made a decision to concentrate on the watercolour medium and I have never regretted that choice. Watercolours have given me the ability to paint images with strong, clean colours that are full of light and the resulting shadows. I use rough Fabriano paper because of the wonderful effects of granulation – the way the pigment settles in the depressions of the painting. I create soft, suggestive washes with a detailed focus that is hard-edged. My subjects are drawn from remembered images, often visual incidents while travelling, or are sourced from my local environment. I enjoy painting a series of works as they flow from one to another and like the content to focus on telling a story with a hint of humour.
Raised on the family farm in Boggabri in northern New South Wales, James White attended the local bush school before transferring to The Armidale School. Here, he came under the influence of traditional painter, Fred Roberts, who introduced him to the possibilities of art. Winning the watercolour prize at the Currabubula Art Show in 1964, just as he left school, was a further incentive to continue painting. He has won the watercolour prize at Currabubula another seven times over the succeeding years.
White spent the next three years travelling overseas, sketching and painting. When he came back to Australia, he returned to the family farm at Boggabri. Inspired by local artist, Rupert Richardson (who would himself become a Member of the AWI in 1980), watercolours became his preferred medium.
White has had solo exhibitions of watercolours at the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in Armidale (1998, 2004, 2008, 2010), at Weswal Gallery, Tamworth, the Moree Gallery, the Narrabri Art Gallery and Gallery 126 in Armidale. He was a finalist in the 2010 Country Energy Art Prize.
In 1994, he became a Visual Arts teacher at the Armidale School, until he retired in 2013.
James White has been a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute since 1991.