A Brush with Art Community Commentary

Artist paints essence of the coast

Jim McConlogue captures the essence of the California landscape in his paintings. With his masterful technique and ability to tell a story on canvas, he transports viewers to a particular moment in place and time that evokes a sense of actually being there, or wishing we were.

Not your typical “artistic type,” Jim is a wholesomely active member of the Encinitas community where he lives with his wife and three children and contributes time coaching his children’s ball teams, while serving professionally as a corporate creative director.

Artist Jim McConolgue’s "Two Harbors.” Courtesy photo


A native Californian, Jim earned a degree in Political Science, with a minor emphasis in art, and worked in the graphics department of the Senate Republican Conference in Washington D.C., later serving as art director for a national weekly political magazine. His artistic interests increased during his years in Washington, D.C., as he spent hours viewing the National Gallery of Art’s collections and studying through the Corcoran School of Art.

Upon returning to California, Jim continued to hone his artistic skills, developing a lyrical style reminiscent of the early California Plein-Air painters.

Morgan Mallory, representing Jim’s work for five years through the Leucadia Art Gallery and Corner Frame Shop, reflected, “Jim’s talent and artistry emote the timeless quality of the early California Impressionists.”

Jim acknowledged, “I pattern my work after several painters including early California Plein-Air painters Maurice Braun, Elmer Watchel, and Edgar Payne, as well as a number of contemporary landscape painters.” He continued, “I admire how they’ve handled a certain aspect of a painting…a beautiful cloud or a reflection of light in a shadowed area that really attracts my attention and admiration.”

Jim, who has developed his own evocative style, speculated, “Finding your own voice as an artist is what we all strive for, and studying how great painters handled painting challenges helps each of us reach and grow toward that end.”

In regards to his expressive use of color, he commented, “My pallet is very similar to many artists; but like words in a story, it is how those colors or words are intertwined and used that make the painting speak or the story come to life.”

Jim explained of his work, “It’s my goal to bring the viewer into the story– to give them not only a sense of the place, but also an experience of the time, energy, and beauty of that place…a real feeling of the warmth of the day or the breeze in the palms or the early morning sparkle of the sun’s glare. It’s those special moments that I strive to achieve in each of my paintings.”

Jim is currently working on several commissioned paintings, while his original oils are available through the Leucadia Art Gallery and Corner Frame Shop in Leucadia, the Contemporary Fine Arts Gallery in La Jolla, and Wall Street Art in Framing, La Jolla.

They can also be seen on his website at JimMcConlogue.com.

Be sure to see the Encinitas Library’s exhibition of Jim’s paintings scheduled to run July and August 2012.

Kay Colvin is an art consultant and director of the L Street Fine Art Gallery in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. She specializes in promoting emerging and mid-career artists and bringing enrichment programs to elementary schools through The Kid’s College. Contact her at kaycolvin@lstreetfineart.com.

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